The 'Arts Versus Crafts' Debate
According to the traditional theory of art, there is a basic difference between an 'art' and a 'craft'. Put simply, although both activities involve creative skills, the former involves a higher degree of intellectual involvement. Under this analysis, a basket-weaver (say) would be considered a craftsperson, while a bag-designer would be considered an artist. In this rather artificial distinction between arts and crafts, functionality is a key factor. Thus, a jeweller who designs and makes non-functional items like rings or necklaces would be considered an artist, while a watchmaker would be a craftsperson; someone who makes glass might be a craftsman, but a person who makes stained glass is an artist. The idea is that artists are somehow superior because they 'create' things of beauty, while craftsmen perform repetitive or purely functional actions. There may be some truth behind this theory, but many types of craftsmanship seem no different to genuine art. An example perhaps, is a cartoonist-animator, exployed to draw thousands of similar pictures of a cartoon character like 'Charlie Brown'. True, his 'art' is purely functional and highly commercial, but no one could deny he was an artist.
The Impact of the Renaissance on the Western Concept of Art
In general, until the early Renaissance of the 15th century, all artists were considered tradesmen/craftsmen. Even the greatest painters like Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael were seen as no more than skilled workers, while master sculptors like Donatello were seen as mere specialist stone-cutters and bronze metalworkers. Indeed, it was Leonardo's and Michelangelo's stated aim to raise the level of the artist to that of a profession - an ambition which was duly realized in 1561 with the founding of the first Art Academy in Florence, which was set up to train people in the profession of drawing (disegno).
However, although Renaissance artists succeeded in raising their craft to the level of a profession, they defined art as an essentially intellectual activity. This fixed Renaissance idea of art being primarily an intellectual discipline was passed on down the centuries and still influences present day conceptions of the meaning of art. Despite some modifications, as exemplified by changes in art school curricula, fine art still maintains its notional superiority over crafts such as applied and decorative arts.
...now lean,drink your milk and go to sleep thinking of wonderfull things my child....
TAOB NOTES: Many thanks for you contribution......