Djcnor’s Weblog

Back to the necessity of arts

Posted on: November 28, 2008

I was trying to explain why the arts should be the last things cut in bad economic times. So far, I’ve covered:

1) When a bad neighborhood becomes a hot desirable one, what has happened nearly every  time? The artists have moved in. There are a whole lot of neighborhoods that are going to need that artists’ touch.

2) In hard times, it’s the arts, particularly participation in them that brings relief for the audience, and for the participants. And for the participants, they may even provide much needed additions to the budget.

So today:

3) The arts are a good investment. For this, all you have to do is look at the work in many different media that came out of the WPA program and what they are worth now. Right down to the Arts and Crafts furniture made for a lodge.

Go ahead. Guess how much a simple waste basket attributed to Limbert might cost you. I’ll put it this way: The bidding starts at $750.

The value of the works produced by WPA-supported artists in all the various disciplines is enormous. Even a list of their names is more than impressive.

but read this article.

I quote: “…these works produced during the Depression era have been called American Renaissance expressions by some…”

Could that be why the government now wants to own that WPA art again?

If we’re smart in the way we deal with this downturn, it could happen again.

Think of all the ancient civilizations we know about, and think how we know about them. It really is true that in the end, a civilization is known by the works of its artists.

That may mean that in the end, the Depression years might end up being known not as a time of great deprivation, but as the time of the production of great works of art. Imagine that.


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Djcnor’s Weblog

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