What Is Fine Art?




Childers, Fred

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I have artists that I love, some of them are in the lexicon of fine artist and some are not. I have wondered why this is, as the paths leading to the arts are in general the same and the mediums they use common. Commercial success particularly in popular culture seems to cause an exclusion from the genre of fine art. This is not always the outcome; many compete and succeed in both commercial and fine art worlds. Andy Warhol, a designer, is now a staple of fine art collections as well as the Dada artist (anti-artist) Hannah Hoch. The impressionist had to fight The 40 Immortals for recognition and legitimacy, artist like Picasso, Monet, Manet, the Bauhaus, Van Gogh, and Marcel Duchamp, all were artist trying to go a new way, trying new techniques or ways to interpret the world. Until WWII the French Academy held considerable sway, but almost a century ago the Academy lost relevance as artist, fled Europe ahead of the NAZI party. The question that I want to address is “what is fine art and who decides”, or bestows that status today? To answer this question requires an exploration of the idea of “Art” and then the idea of “Fine art”.



art, techne, ARS, artisan, craftsman, Honors College


Childers, F. (2015). What is fine art? (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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