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Subject: Questionnaire on art and craft

Questionnaire on art and craft

From: Adrienne F. King <afebk>
Date: Sunday, April 8, 2001
    **** Moderator's comments: Please respond directly to the

I am a graduate student in Art History at the University of North
Texas.  I am interested in the role of the museum in the distinction
between 'art' and 'craft', and I am currently examining whether or
not the practice of art conservation has a part in this distinction.
I am having difficulty finding art conservators who are willing or
have time to answer the following questions to a satisfactory degree
of depth.  It was kindly suggested to me that I try posting my
questions here.  I am an Art History student, but I am familiar with
the general concerns and vocabulary of conservation: I wrote my
undergraduate thesis on the theoretical versus the technical
problems of conserving modern art. I have also taken courses in art
restoration at the Escuela des Artes Applicados at the Universidad
de Seville.

The questions I have are based on my own assumption that, in
general, 'craft' refers to material aspects of an object while 'art'
refers to its content, but I would be interested to hear answers
based on any other more or less unified theory of craft:

A.  Distinguishing between art and craft:

    How do you define craft?

    Do you feel that your work distinguishes in any way between art
    and craft?

    The conservator has a responsibility to not differentiate
    between works based on their value.  Does this include
    disregarding value judgments based on the hierarchy of artistic

B. Craft media:

    Do you find any problems particular to craft media that has been
    used experimentally?

    Can you tell me about any works of craft media with which you
    have had singular problems?

    Would you characterize the problems of modern and contemporary
    experimental media in general as problems of craftsmanship?

C. The conservator's practice:

    Do you see your work as a craft?

    Do you see your work as an art?

    How do you feel about the controversy in some states over
    copyrighting a conservator's work on an object?

    Do you think that passing or not passing this copyright law
    would distinguish conservation work as art or as craft?

Adrienne F. King
Graduate Research Assistant
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visul Arts
School of Visual Arts
University of North Texas
PO Box 305100
Denton, TX 76203
801 Hebron Pkwy, #4211
Lewisville, TX 75057

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:54
                  Distributed: Friday, April 13, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-54-019
Received on Sunday, 8 April, 2001

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