IS IT ART?
Paintings and power shovels, sonatas and submarines, dramas and dynamos -they all have one thing in common. They are fashioned by people. They are artificial, in contrast to everything that is natural – plants, animals, and minerals. The average 20th-century person would distinguish paintings, sonatas, and dramas as forms of art, while viewing power shovels, submarines, and dynamos as products of technology. This distinction, however, is a modern one that dates from an 18th-century point of view. In earlier times, the word "art" referred to any useful skill. Shoemaking, metalworking, medicine, agriculture, and even warfare, were all once classified as arts. They were equated with what are today called the fine arts -painting, sculpture, music, architecture, literature, dance, and related fields. In that broader sense, art was defined as a skill in making or doing, based on true and adequate reasoning.