Friday, May 06, 2005

Greed and Art

In honor of finishing the US history final and never having to look at US history again, I thought I would take this post from history.

Reading our text, A History of the American People by Paul Johnson, it struck me that the two eras in history most known for their greed are also the eras known for some of the best art.

I have talked to many people who condemn the greed of the Catholic Church during the Renaissance. It is easy when walking into one of the magnificent churches around the world to condemn the richness but it was the Catholic Church's "greed" that funded, so to speak, the Renaissance. It is the church and aristocracy that funded the art.

I have also talked to many people that condemn the so called "greed" of the late 1800s and early 1900s but it was at this time where art flourished again with the Hudson River School and artists like Winslow Homer, Sandford R. Gifford, Thomas Cole, Frederick Edwin Church, and Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was the American version of the European aristocracy, the great entrepreneurs and big business, that funded the art.

It is only when we have more money than we need that we are willing to spend it on art


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