Quotes about Art

                          This file was prepared by Max Darby in January 2010.  




Everyone seems to have an opinion about what Art is or about the nature of experience in the Arts. Some of the following quotes have been the focus of interesting and animated round table discussions with my students. There are many activities that can be derived from such simple beginnings.


Dancer Isadora Duncan, when asked about how she felt when she danced, once said “If I could tell you what I feel I wouldn’t need to dance.” That attitude has been picked up in some of the opinions about the Visual Arts below (please send me any additional opinions you find).



Art, like life itself, need not be defined or understood to be enjoyed. It must simply be experienced

                                                                        Duane and Sarah Preble




Art, the production or expression of what is beautiful or visually attractive; the skill or work of humans.

                                                                        Macquarie Dictionary


…art is something we do intentionally…things humans make or do.

                                                                        Richard Wollheim


The artist is the creator of beautiful things.

                                                                        Oscar Wilde


To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then, by means of movements, lines or colours, sounds or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling – this is the activity of art.

                                                                        Leo Tolstoy


…Art exists because the ideas special to it cannot be transmitted otherwise…

                                                                        Vernon Blake


Art, however we define it, is present in everything we make to please our senses

                                                                        Herbert Read


Art isn’t everything. It’s about everything.

                                                                        Gertrude Stein


A work of art is an expressive form created for our perception through sense or imagination, and what it expresses is human feeling.

                                                                        Suzanne Langer


…the explanation of art as essentially an imitation of aspects of the universe…was probably the most primitive aesthetic theory.

                                                                        M.H. Abrams


Art is human emotion expressed in terms of a medium.

                                                                        Graham Hopwood


…the art product is unlike other created objects because it is primarily for aesthetic experience.

                                                                        Kenneth Lansing


Art is anything you can get away with. 

                                                                        Marshall McLuhan



You put a tree on the left side and one on the right side, a mountain in the middle and a lake at the front with ducks on it and half of the sun setting behind the mountain. That’s Art!

                                                                        Lucy (Charlie Brown comics)


Art is the personal, skilful and aesthetic expression of an idea or feeling made in an art form.

                                                                        Max Darby



Then there is that well-known saying which stresses the right of everyone to have an opinion (I have no idea where it came from) “I know nothing about Art, but I know what I like.”

How sad if they knew nothing about Art and also didn’t even know what they liked?









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3 Responses to “Quotes about Art”

  1. Great article 9/10! Bookmarked 🙂

  2. max says:

    Sorry, I’m not able to help.
    You need to see a specialist.

    I’m an art educator/consultant.



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