From Bohemia to Britart – art students over 50 years

Oakley, K. (2009) From Bohemia to Britart – art students over 50 years. Cultural Trends, 18(4), pp. 281-294. (doi: 10.1080/09548960903268105)

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In the mid-1980s, Frith and Horne (1987) were describing the experience of British arts schools as, “an anachronism, with students desperately clinging on to attitudes to work and play, which had otherwise vanished” (p. 12). Among these attitudes were the importance of freedom and experimentation in one's work, the status of the artist as an outsider, and the superiority of art over other forms of activity, such as design. Despite huge social changes and contemporary concerns about the “instrumentalization” of arts policy and education (Singerman, 1999; Wilson, 2007), the article argues that the Romantic ideology of the artist is remarkably persistent, and continues to shape graduates' attitudes to their working lives. This in turn feeds into contemporary debates about the nature of cultural labour (Ross, 2003) and the role of the “artistic critique” (Boltanski & Chiapello, 2005), and, crucially, provides an empirically based view of these debates from the perspective of cultural workers themselves.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Oakley, Professor Kate
Authors: Oakley, K.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts
Journal Name:Cultural Trends
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-3690
Published Online:20 November 2009

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