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ERIC Number: EJ859544
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
A Propaedeutic to Walter Benjamin
Socher, David
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v43 n4 p1-8 Win 2009
The Emerson College Web site on Walter Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction" nicely animates some ideas of the essay. One such idea is the following: "To an ever greater degree the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility." When Benjamin wrote this essay and this maxim, Norman Rockwell had been illustrating magazine covers for both "Boy's Life" and the "Saturday Evening Post" for several years. Rockwell, who also made paintings for advertisements, said he didn't "want to paint for the few who can see a canvas in a museum." He wanted his "pictures to be published," exemplifying Benjamin's point. Wood engravings have been around for a thousand years and coins with portraits for two thousand. The author doesn't mention these old examples to dispute Benjamin's point--certainly "to an ever-greater degree" the modern age designs for reproducibility. He merely intends to highlight the distinction between creating a print and painting a painting or drawing a drawing. (Contains 4 tables and 12 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; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A