Writers as accomplished and diverse as Leo Tolstoy in "What is Art" and Susan Sontag in "The New Art, A Critical Anthology" have pondered the meaning and function of art, yet it remains a nebulous term. Perhaps Picasso, in an interview with Marius de Zayas in 1923, best captured the elusive nature of art when he wrote that "art is a lie that makes us realize truth. " Challenges The great art historian Ananda Coomaraswamy, in his book, "The Transformation of Nature in Art," wrote that "museums are the places were we've put the things that we've forgotten how to use. While museums have allowed millions to see the great works of art from throughout history, they also pose the threat of separating art from everyday life. William Morris believed that this separation was one of the causes of modern alienation, and that art should not be locked away in special buildings, but should be an integral part of society's daily life. When beauty and care are inherent in everything that is done, "art" in fact ceases to exist as a separate entity, and becomes an aspect of everything that we do.
Future. The future of art remains uncertain. According to Morris, speaking of his admiration for medieval craftsmen who wed artistic vision with a mastery of handcraft, the reunion of the two could overcome the dichotomy between art and life, and lead to a culture re-infused with a sense of beauty, wonder, and singularity. A reunion of what we now know as "fine art" with the greater population of the world would, as Morris put it in his essay "The Revival of Handicraft," lead to "the unwearying pleasure of tasting the fullness of life. "
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