How Do You Grade Art? – Chris Staley, Penn State Laureate 2012-2013

How Do You Grade Art? - Chris Staley, Penn State Laureate 2012-2013



So today we're in that Palmer Museum of
Art and we're gonna talk about a question I
often asked, "how do you grade art?" and I think the
reason the questions asked so often is people feel that art is a form of
personal expression and how can one possibly grade something
that's so personal about one's thoughts and feelings about the world they live in? One of the first things I often
talk about with the class is the difference between subjectivity and
objectivity. Obviously subjectivity is one's own
personal sort of basis and preferences and
objectivity is something more sort of universal
truth that basically everyone agrees on. So it's
interesting standing here in this museum and wondering how the pieces got here in the museum. There had to
be some sort of betting system that had to do with that quality and who thought the pieces were worse strong enough to be in the museum.
In talking about grading one of the things I've used in terms evaluation
came out of a discussion or seller discussions from a friend and colleague
Charles Grant and using the four C's is sort of a
criteria for whether something works or not. And
those four C's the craft how you make something and
then the creativity and how innovative it is and
then the content in terms of the idea or concept and
composition, how things are sort of organized. Usually the one this most easily
understood is that the craft of something how someone make
something with their hands and often I've heard that as a criteria
when I'm actually in a museum and I've overheard people talking and someone will lean and say "Marge, I could do that
why is that here it's just splattered paint or something." And they have a understanding of a sort of
technical virtuosity. But it's more than just technical
virtuosity. It's also as I said before about
the content, the composition, the creativity and one could
argue that the the most significant work of art in the 20th
century in terms and influence on other artists was in fact the first ready made or
found object. Marcel Duchamp's fountain, which was
actually a urinal that was shown in 1917 in New York City. People were wondering how why is this in
the gallery and you had a huge influence on the rest the
20th century art and to this day and countless artists abuse found
objects in appropriated them in incorporated and into their artwork. So
those are the ways that one tries to evaluate
work and lastly I think how people view art is basically what you know is what you
see and so hopefully the more one knows the
more they'll see.

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