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Art’s Undertakers: a portrait gallery

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Abstract

This article leads us through a gallery of ‘art undertakers’. It questions whether the capital of trust in the power of art has been spent, and whether institutions like UNESCO still have the capacity to support it. Major thinkers of all eras have worried about the future of the arts. Writers such as Tolstoy and Valéry expressed their doubts about the art of their own generation, while recognizing the essential role it played (‘the usefulness of the useless’ in the words of Paul Valéry). But it cannot be denied that many dark spots remain on today’s cultural scene, in spite of the growing number of artistic events and the development of the arts into many new areas, notably art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, and so on. Ultimately, the vitality of the arts cannot be measured in terms of increased discussion, more patronage or new sources of funding.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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