Portal:The arts

T H E   A R T S   P O R T A L

The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling and cultural participation. They encompass multiple diverse and plural modes of thinking, doing and being, in an extremely broad range of media. Both highly dynamic and a characteristically constant feature of human life, they have developed into innovative, stylized and sometimes intricate forms. This is often achieved through sustained and deliberate study, training and/or theorizing within a particular tradition, across generations and even between civilizations. The arts are a vehicle through which human beings cultivate distinct social, cultural and individual identities, while transmitting values, impressions, judgments, ideas, visions, spiritual meanings, patterns of life and experiences across time and space.

Prominent examples of the arts include architecture, visual arts (including ceramics, drawing, filmmaking, painting, photography, and sculpting), literary arts (including fiction, drama, poetry, and prose), performing arts (including dance, music, and theatre), textiles and fashion, folk art and handicraft, oral storytelling, conceptual and installation art, criticism, and culinary arts (including cooking, chocolate making and winemaking). They can employ skill and imagination to produce objects, performances, convey insights and experiences, and construct new environments and spaces.

The arts can refer to common, popular or everyday practices as well as more sophisticated and systematic, or institutionalized ones. They can be discrete and self-contained, or combine and interweave with other art forms, such as the combination of artwork with the written word in comics. They can also develop or contribute to some particular aspect of a more complex art form, as in cinematography.

By definition, the arts themselves are open to being continually re-defined. The practice of modern art, for example, is a testament to the shifting boundaries, improvisation and experimentation, reflexive nature, and self-criticism or questioning that art and its conditions of production, reception, and possibility can undergo.

As both a means of developing capacities of attention and sensitivity, and as ends in themselves, the arts can simultaneously be a form of response to the world, and a way that our responses, and what we deem worthwhile goals or pursuits, are transformed. From prehistoric cave paintings, to ancient and contemporary forms of ritual, to modern-day films, art has served to register, embody and preserve our ever shifting relationships to each other and to the world. (Full article...)

Featured articles -

Cscr-featured.png  Featured articles are displayed here, which represent some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

Featured picture

"After the war, a medal and maybe a job"
Credit: Artist: John French Sloan; Restoration: Lise Broer
"After the war, a medal and maybe a job", an anti-World War I editorial cartoon showing a soldier who is missing the lower half of his body dragging himself along with his hands, with his intestines trailing behind him. A fat capitalist sitting in a chair offers him a medal for his service.

Did you know...

Teuchitlan scale model

  • ... that the conical step pyramids (reconstruction pictured) and circular public architecture of ancient Mexico's Teuchitlan tradition were unique in Mesoamerica?
  • ... that in Korean cuisine, dishes made by steaming vegetables stuffed with seasoned fillings are called Seon?
  • ... that the SC Johnson & Son-produced film To Be Alive! was the first non-theatrical production to receive an award from the New York Film Critics Circle?

In this month

Fred Rowntree


Featured biography

Henry Moore in workshop by Allan Warren

Henry Moore was a British artist and sculptor. Born into a poor mining family in the Yorkshire town of Castleford, he became well-known for his large-scale abstract cast bronze and carved marble sculptures; substantially supported by the British art establishment, Moore helped to introduce a particular form of modernism into Britain. His ability to satisfy large-scale commissions made him exceptionally wealthy towards the end of his life. However, he lived frugally and most of his wealth went to endow the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education and promotion of the arts. His signature form is a pierced reclining figure, first influenced by a Toltec-Maya sculpture known as "Chac Mool", which he had seen as a plaster cast in Paris in 1925. Early versions are pierced conventionally as a bent arm reconnects with the body. Later, more abstract versions, are pierced directly through the body in order to explore the concave and convex shapes. These more extreme piercings developed in parallel with Barbara Hepworth's sculptures. Hepworth first pierced a torso after misreading a review of one of Henry Moore's early shows. (Full article...)

Featured audio

  • The first movement of Mozart's Serenade No. 13.
  • Selected quote

    Karel Čapek
    Karel Čapek, R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), 1921


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    Media files used on this page

    P parthenon.svg
    Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
    Audio a.svg
    Line art drawing of the A note
    Quill and ink.svg
    (c) Joan M. Borràs (ebrenc), CC BY-SA 2.5
    Quill and inkwell icon.
    P culture.svg
    Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
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    , Licence: CC0

    Icon for the WPVG project; used almost solely by {{WPVG icon direct}} and through there by 100,000+ pages

    Author/Creator: This W3C-unspecified vector image was created with Inkscape., Licence: CC BY 3.0
    Taken from original description of the image: icon for wikipedia WikiProject Visual arts - I created it and release it to public domain.
    Appolon 1 MK1888.png
    Apollon von Belvedere (Rom, Vatikan)
    Linecons big-star.svg
    Author/Creator: Designmodo http://www.designmodo.com/, Licence: CC BY 3.0
    Linecons by Designmodo
    Fred Rowntree00.jpg
    Photo portrait of Fred Rowntree (19 April 1860 Scarborough - 7 January 1927 Hammersmith), architect
    Author/Creator: Users CanadianCaesar, Protarion, Cool Cat, Harrisonmetz, Alkivar, Jon Harald Søby, Optimager, CyberSkull, ClockworkSoul on en.wikipedia, Licence: LGPL

    Shrunken and colored version created for ClockworkSoul's Coffee Roll template theme.


    part of the featured stars series

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    Author/Creator: Traced by User:Stannered, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
    Television set for Wikipedia userbox icons, or other things.
    Panorama of the Fountain of Time.JPG
    A large image which displays Lorado Taft's Fountain of Time in its entirety. Taken on June 14, 2007 in the noon-day sun. A renovation sign sits on the right.
    Nuvola apps kmessedwords.png
    Author/Creator: David Vignoni / ICON KING, Licence: LGPL
    Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.
    Portrait of Jean Bellette 1936.jpg
    Portrait of Jean Bellette 1936
    After the war a medal and maybe a job2.jpg
    Cartoon drawing shows a World War I veteran walking on his hands, dragging his entrails behind him. He approaches a fat capitalist, who sits on a chair and leans over to give him a medal for his service as a soldier.
    (c) MesserWoland, CC-BY-SA-3.0
    Abstract stick-figures gesticulating around a table.
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    Author/Creator: TristanBomb, Licence: CC0
    A dark green flag.
    Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
    Author/Creator: AJ on openclipart.org, Licence: CC0
    Two books icon.
    Henry Moore in workshop Allan Warren.jpg
    Author/Creator: Allan warren, Licence: CC BY 3.0
    Henry Moore, standing next to his sculpture Working Model for Oval with Points (LH 595)
    Teuchitlan scale model 1 cropped.jpg
    Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-2.0
    Keats urn.jpg
    A Drawing keats rendered of an engraving of the Sosibios Vase
    An image of Faltonia Betitia Proba holding a scroll. Underneath is the beginning of her Cento.
    Author/Creator: Illuminations Films, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
    Screenshot from Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize lecture, 27 December 2005
    (c) Vincent Le Moign, CC BY 4.0
    A colored Emoji from Streamline Emoji project
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    Titian - Pope Paul III with his Grandsons Alessandro the young and Ottavio Farnese - WGA22985.jpg
    Author/Creator: Titian , Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
    Ritratto di papa Paolo III con i nipoti Alessandro ed Ottavio Farnese.
    C Puzzle.png
    Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
    Photography of the Czech author Karel Čapek.
    Mozart - Eine kleine Nachtmusik - 1. Allegro.ogg
    Author/Creator: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
    Selections from the season 05-06 of the Advent Chamber Orchestra, Roxanna Pavel Goldstein, Musical Director, Elias Goldstein, Managing Director.