2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

The Artworld and Popular Culture
Arliss W. Gammill
Dr. Julia DeLancey, Dr. Sara Orel, and Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentors

According to George Dickie's Institutional Theory of Art, the artworld is able to confer the status of "object for appreciation" onto an artifact, confirming and standardizing its value as a work of art. With the rise of popular culture, the artworld has dealt with stimuli from what would traditionally be considered "bad taste": Disney style animation, advertisements, comic books, kitsch and Japanese animation. This interaction occurs despite the artworld's traditional bias against "lowbrow" culture. At the same time, however, the artworld shows a willingness to borrow from popular culture (Pop Art) or to argue for the artistic merits of entertainment. The latter occurred in the 1930s when Disney art was displayed in galleries and discussed in art journals. Through this type of conferral of the status of "art," popular culture receives the validation necessary to be considered equivalent with "fine art." Essentially, the cultural value of popular culture is affirmed.

Keywords: Popular Culture, Disney, Animation, Institutional Theory, Anime, Artworld, Pop Art, Kitsch

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 40-1
Location: OP 2210
Time: 3:45

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