Separating art and state
Post #1060 • September 24, 2007, 10:28 AM • 35 Comments
Every now and then, on this blog and elsewhere, I've tossed out the idea that public funds should not go to support contemporary art museums. I think doing so is a kind of corporatism that unfairly benefits collectors, gallerists, and artists whom the museum works with. This morning ArtsJournal linked to a story from the Yale Daily that reports:
"The federal leviathan concerns itself with every nook and cranny of our lives, and the arts have not escaped the tender stifling of its embrace," [David Boaz of the Cato Institute] said. ... He contended that, like religion, individuality is essential to the interpretation of art. Therefore, Boaz said, art deserves to be given the same respect as religion and kept entirely separate from government.
As a student put it,
I don’t think that we should accept the government coming in and telling us what we should care about.
But Alexander Dominitz '09 of the Tory Party disputed Boaz's claims, saying that art is a key element of culture and requires the support of government to survive.
Is this actually true? Would art not survive without government support? If not, are the arts any better than any other industry with a failed business model?