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We kind of try to merge our own experience with the objectivity of the criteria: The role of connoisseurship and tacit practice in undergraduate fine art assessment

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This article explores connoisseurship in the context of fine art undergraduate assessment practice. I interviewed twelve fine art lecturers in order to explore and unpack the concept of connoisseurship in relation to subjectivity, objectivity and tacit practice. Building on the work of Bourdieu (1973, 1977, 1986) and Shay (2003, 2005), both of whom problematize the view that subjectivity and objectivity are binary opposites, my research illustrates the ways that connoisseurship is underpinned by informed professional judgements located in communities of practice. Within this particular conception of connoisseurship, the lecturers' expertise is co-constituted in communities of assessors through participation and engagement. Standards reside in communities of practice.

Keywords: academic judgement; art and design; connoisseurship; objective; subjective

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: York St John University.

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • How can art, design and communication aid teaching? Do these teaching methods work better in certain fields of study? Focusing on arts and media-based subjects, and encompassing all areas of higher education, this journal reveals the potential value of new educational styles and creative teaching methods.
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