Quotations about   arts

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Those who are concerned with the arts are often asked questions, not always sympathetic ones, about the use or value of what they are doing. It is probably impossible to answer such questions directly, or at any rate to answer the people who ask them.

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) Canadian literary critic and literary theorist
Anatomy of Criticism, “Polemical Introduction” (1957)
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Added on 1-Nov-21 | Last updated 1-Nov-21
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One lesson the arts teach is that there can be more than one answer to a question and more than one solution to a problem; variability of outcome is okay. […] The arts teach children that their personal signature is important and that answers to questions and solutions to problems need not be identical. There is, in the arts, more than one interpretation to a musical score, more than one way to describe a painting or a sculpture, more than one appropriate form for a dance performance, more than one meaning for a poetic rendering of a person or a situation. In the arts diversity and variability are made central. That is one lesson that education can learn from the arts.

Elliot Eisner (1933-2014) Academic, researcher, professor of art and education
The Arts and the Creation of Mind, ch. 8 (2002)
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Variant: "The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution; questions can have more than one answer. If they do anything, the arts embrace diversity of outcome."
Added on 29-Jul-15 | Last updated 29-Jul-15
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There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. The age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias. The age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci. The age of Elizabeth was also the age of Shakespeare. And the New Frontier for which I campaign in public life, can also be a New Frontier for American art.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Letter to Miss Theodate Johnson (13 Sep 1960)
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Published in Musical America (Oct 1960). Response to a letter from Johnson, publisher of the magazine, to Kennedy and Nixon asking their views on music in relation to the federal government and domestic world affairs. Inscribed on the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
Added on 7-Apr-14 | Last updated 7-Apr-14
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