A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression

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University of North Carolina Press, Oct 29, 2007 - Art - 327 pages
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What is craft? How is it different from fine art or design? Risatti examines these issues by comparing handmade ceramics, glass, metalwork, weaving, and furniture to painting, sculpture, photography, and machine-made design from Bauhaus to the Memphis Group. He describes craft's unique qualities as functionality combined with an ability to express human values that transcend temporal, spatial, and social boundaries. Craft must articulate a role for itself in contemporary society, says Risatti; otherwise it will be absorbed by fine art or design and its singular approach to understanding the world will be lost.

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A theory of craft: function and aesthetic expression

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This scholarly work lays out reasons for the historical dichotomy in Western philosophy between fine art and craft. Risatti (art history, emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.; Postmodern Perspectives ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

Howard Risatti is professor emeritus of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University. His four previous books include Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery and Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art.

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