A recurrent example is the fate of crafts. Art historians are wont to draw the line between arts and crafts at the boundary of usefulness: art begins where meeting some determinate need ends. That means that even carefully and imaginatively designed items, lovely things, that are useful, that people might want because they fulfill some need, cannot be art by virtue of that fact alone.
[Readers who doubt me can check out Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment for themselves. Kant’s influential exclusion of use-value from the definition of art still haunts the art world, even after decades of pop and po-mo.]
Most women, for most of the time since Kant, have been occupied with the production of necessary and useful items — crafts. Only recently has such craft-work begun to be considered, even potentially, as also artistic work.
This history is part of the reason the Women’s Center continues to celebrate crafts, both their practice — by providing space for ongoing craft activities — and their product — as, once again, will happen with the Fall Arts & Crafts Show & Sale, Friday, December 5, Winn Center.
All crafters (whatever their gender) are invited to contribute items for show and sale at that event. Proceeds from the sale go to support the Women’s Center and its programs.
*That’s Educate! Advocate! Celebrate!