Art as a manifestation and reflect ion of culture has been clearly established. Discussions of various depth on the subject are available in many general art education texts. However, the concept of art as a reflection of culture may take many forms and thus has the potential for ambiguity. Culture, as defined by the social sciences, is the complex of knowledge, beliefs, mores, customs, laws, and social institutions held by human beings as a part of society. Culture, in this sense, does not refer to what is commonly known as high culture, except as high culture is included in the larger complex defined above. Thus, art as a reflection of culture does not refer to the state of understanding, appreciating, and collecting art as a manifestation of good taste, aesthetic education, social position, or wealth. Rather, it refers to the mirroring of the human condition as this condition is formed through its social institutions. Art when broadly viewed as a reflection of culture creates opportunities to understand our world, to understand oneself, and to understand the qualities inherent in an artwork. A socially defined art curriculum can serve as a catalyst for the development of students’ sensibilities. This requirement is most fully met when all aspects of making, talking about, and appreciating art are incorporated into an organically structured integrally related program.
© The Author