chapter  1
40 Pages

The Cultural-Niche Theory of Art

The Folk Art of the European peasant dasses was the craft objects of everyday life. These objects have been replaced by mass-market goods. For example, Figure 1.3 shows a hand-made quilt with a double ring pattern of the sort traditionally given to women at their wedding. Today factory produced mass-market quilts with the same pattern can be bought at the store. In general, we no longer make the things we use; we buy them, and most peasant craft knowledge has been forgotten. Thus,

The Design Arts have different ideological concerns than those of Fine Art or Popular Art. With the Design Arts there isn't a concern with what makes something art. The ideological concerns for Design Art are what constitutes functional form and what the role of decoration should be. Design Art is concerned with function and with style. Putting

style on products makes them more attractive. It makes us buy more products as we throw out old ones, not because they .are no longer usable, but because we no longer like their style. The consumer "decorates" his or her surroundings and person with this Design Art. Style sells, and designers sell style along with the primary function of the product.