Aesthetic modernism, the first among equals? A look at aesthetic value systems in cross-cultural, age and visual arts educated and non-visual arts educated judging cohorts

Anna M. KINDLER, David PARISER, Axel VAN DEN BERG, Wan Chen LIU, Belidson DIAS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we seek to understand the formation of cultural values and the hierarchies of aesthetic judgment among adults and children from Brazil and Canada. Are aesthetic judgments consistent within cultures? Across age groups? Across cultures? This paper looks at some initial work on these questions. In 1982 Gardner and Winner proposed that the artwork of young children and artist-adults shared important aesthetic properties. Davis's research supported this claim. She found that where judges valued Modernist aesthetic properties they found strong and consistent aesthetic parallels between the work of children and adult artists. On the other hand. our cross-cultural research demonstrated the limitations of such a claim. Elsewhere [Pariser, D. and van den Berg, A. (I 997). "The mind of the beholder. Some provisional doubts about the U-curved aesthetic development thesis". Studies in An Education. 38(3), 1997, 158-178; Pariser, D. and van den Berg, A. (2001). "Teaching art versus teaching taste: What art teachers can learn from looking at a cross-cultural evaluation of children's art. Poetics". Journal of Empirical Research on Literature, the Media and the Arts. 29. 2001,331-350], we have suggested that the notion of the equivalence of infant and adult art is largely a by-product of Modernist aesthetic values. Using some of the data gleaned from our most recent study [Kindler. A., van den Berg, A. and Pariser, D. (2000). "Making drawings, judging drawings: A cross-cultural study of graphic development and aesthetic development". Proposal funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. No. 410-2000-0453] we show that: (a) Modernist-inspired aesthetic rankings of a cross-sectional sample of drawings are relatively rare even among Brazilian and Canadian artist-judges; and; (b) that there exist at least three other ranking patterns, which either reflect non-Modernist aesthetic values, and/or reflect developmental differences among our judges. Copyright © 2002 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-152
JournalThe International Journal of Cultural Policy
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002

Citation

Kindler, A. M., Pariser, D. A., van den Berg, A., Liu, W. C., & Dias, B. (2002). Aesthetic modernism, the first among equals? A look at aesthetic value systems in cross-cultural, age and visual arts educated and non-visual arts educated judging cohorts. The International Journal of Cultural Policy, 8(2), 135-152.

Keywords

  • Aesthetic development
  • Modernism
  • Aesthetic judgment
  • Cross-cultural research

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