'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 24 November 2008

What is Art? Suggestion #3.

Art is a need for, or expression of, our creativity, but one that is not reached or required or appreciated until almost all other needs are met.  It is an indication of an advanced society.

An example of this way of looking at art is using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which if you are interested is discussed here.  
Maslow puts the arts under 'creativity', at the top of his pyramid.  

(Later on in his life he added a further level which he called  'self-transcendence', when he observed in himself that the achievements and success of his offspring were more satisfying than his own.)

Abraham Maslow,  A Theory of Human Motivation 1943.


  1. I hope those ones on the bottom aren't in Maslow's order of importance katherine

  2. It is an interesting concept, how doe we take in to account art that has been created as a reaction to personal suffering ? A lot of great work has come from personal tragedy, although I do not subscribe to the theory that you have to suffer for your art.

  3. Arthur, I think they are not! But, who knows? Either way, they were devised by a man, that's for sure!

    Yes, Sometimes the 'muse' - in music too, as I suspect you would know David - is angst or sorrow. I'm thinking 'Fire and Rain', for example. Clearly we need a 'bigger' definition than Alberti's.