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ERIC Number: EJ790180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Aesthetic Experience and the Construction of Meanings
Parsons, Michael
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v36 n2 p24-37 Sum 2002
The author of this essay has known Ralph Smith since the late sixties, when he attended the University of Illinois as a graduate student and Smith arrived as an Assistant Professor. Smith has been a major influence in thinking about art education in North America for years and has consistently articulated a point of view of central importance in the field. This essay is about one of the issues the author wrestled with in his conversations with Ralph Smith. It involves only one of the many contributions he has made to art education but it is one that is foundational to his thought and to the thought of many others. The issue is the value of the idea of the "aesthetic," as in the "aesthetic experience" of persons and the "aesthetic qualities" of objects. The idea provides a way of talking about artworks and the responses to them that defines and justifies some goals for art education and influences thinking about curriculum. The interest of the topic is that there has recently arisen a tendency in art education to abandon talk about the aesthetic in favor of talk about meaning, as in the "meanings" of artworks. The author questions whether the differences between these two ways of talking, which are embedded in theories about art, are responsible for differences about more practical matters, such as the school art curriculum. (Contains 9 notes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; North America