„So, ungentle reader, (as you and I value what we should ashamed—after witnessing a few minor circus-marvels—to call our "lives,") let us never be fooled into taking seriously that perfectly superficial distinction which is vulgarly drawn between the circus-show and "art" or "the arts." Let us not forget that every authentic "work of art" is in and of itself alive and that, however "the arts" may differ among themselves, their common function is the expression of that supreme alive-ness which is known as "beauty."“

This being so, our three ring circus is art—for to contend that the spectacle in question is not an authentic manifestation of "beauty" is as childish, as to dismiss the circus on the ground that it is "childish," is idiotic.
"The Adult, the Artist and the Circus." Vanity Fair (October 1925)

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
E.E. Cummings photo
E.E. Cummings207
American poet 1894 - 1962

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„You are known among us as a protector of the arts so you must remember that, of all the arts, for us the cinema is the most important.“

—  Vladimir Lenin Russian politician, led the October Revolution 1870 - 1924

Из всех искусств важнейшим для нас является кино.
Conversation with A.V.Lunacharsky (April 1919); also quoted in A Concise History of the Cinema: Before 1940 (1971) by Peter Cowie, p. 137, Complete Works of V.I.Lenin - 5th Edition - Vol. 44. - p. 579.
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„Thou art a monument, without a tomb,
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.“

—  Ben Jonson, On Shakespeare

Source: To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare (1618), Lines 17 - 24; this was inspired by a eulogy by William Basse, On Shakespeare:
Context: Soul of the age!
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!
My Shakespeare, rise; I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room;
Thou art a monument, without a tomb,
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.

Paul A. Samuelson photo

„Science is not art. Yet, despite the lack of complete identity between art and science, there is much in common among different creative processes.“

—  Paul A. Samuelson American economist 1915 - 2009

Introduction to the Enlarged Edition
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John Galsworthy photo

„Art is the great and universal refreshment. For Art is never dogmatic; holds no brief for itself; you may take it, or you may leave it.“

—  John Galsworthy English novelist and playwright 1867 - 1933

Vague Thoughts On Art (1911)
Context: Art is the great and universal refreshment. For Art is never dogmatic; holds no brief for itself; you may take it, or you may leave it. It does not force itself rudely where it is not wanted. It is reverent to all tempers, to all points of view. But it is wilful — the very wind in the comings and goings of its influence, an uncapturable fugitive, visiting our hearts at vagrant, sweet moments; since we often stand even before the greatest works of Art without being able quite to lose ourselves! That restful oblivion comes, we never quite know when — and it is gone! But when it comes, it is a spirit hovering with cool wings, blessing us from least to greatest, according to our powers; a spirit deathless and varied as human life itself.

„All art is contemporary, if it's alive. And if it's not alive, what's the point of it?“

—  David Hockney British artist 1937

Interview with Mark Feeney, "David Hockney keeps seeking new avenues of exploration" http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2006/02/26/david_hockney_keeps_seeking_new_avenues_of_exploration/ Boston Globe (26 February 2006)
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Marcel Duchamp photo

„What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion.“

—  Marcel Duchamp French painter and sculptor 1887 - 1968

1951 - 1968, The Creative Act', 1957
Context: I want to clarify our understanding of the word 'art' – to be sure, without an attempt to a definition. What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way as a bad emotion is still an emotion.
Therefore, when I refer to 'art coefficient', it will be understood that I refer not only to great art, but I am trying to describe the subjective mechanism which produces art in a raw state – 'à l'état brute' – bad, good or indifferent.

H.L. Mencken photo

„Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.“

—  H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956

1940s–present, A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949)
Source: A Mencken Chrestomathy

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„We live in a time which has created the art of the absurd. It is our art.“

—  Norman Mailer American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film maker, actor and political candidate 1923 - 2007

Introducing our Argument
Cannibals and Christians (1966)
Context: We live in a time which has created the art of the absurd. It is our art. It contains happenings, Pop art, camp, a theater of the absurd … Do we have the art because the absurd is the patina of waste…? Or are we face to face with a desperate or most rational effort from the deepest resources of the unconscious of us all to rescue civilization from the pit and plague of its bedding?

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„In a day of peace, let us advance the arts of peace and the works of peace.“

—  Daniel Webster Leading American senator and statesman. January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852. Served as the Secretary of State for three… 1782 - 1852

The last sentence of this quote is incised in marble on the wall of the United States House of Representatives chamber, directly behind the Speaker's chair (with the word "develop" spelled with a final "e").
Address on Laying the Cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument (1825)
Context: Our proper business is improvement. Let our age be the age of improvement. In a day of peace, let us advance the arts of peace and the works of peace. Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.

George Sand photo

„Art for the sake of art itself is an idle sentence. Art for the sake of truth, for the sake of what is beautiful and good — that is the creed I seek.“

—  George Sand French novelist and memoirist; pseudonym of Lucile Aurore Dupin 1804 - 1876

L'art pour l'art est un vain mot. L'art pour le vrai, l'art pour le beau et le bon, voilà la religion que je cherche....
Letter to Alexandre Saint-Jean, (19 April 1872), published in Calmann Lévy (ed.) Correspondance (1812-1876). Eng. Transl by Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort in Letters of George Sand Vol. III, p. 242

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