Arthur Danto

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Arthur Coleman Danto (January 1, 1924 – October 25, 2013) was an American art critic and philosopher.


  • There were limits to what art—composed of such genres as portraiture, landscape, still life, and historical painting (the latter of which, in royal academies, enjoyed the highest esteem)—could do to show movement.
    • What Art Is (2013), Chap. 1 : Wakeful Dreams
  • Thanks to Descartes and Plato, I will define art as “wakeful dreams.” One wants to explain the universality of art. My sense is that everyone, everywhere, dreams. Usually this requires that we sleep. But wakeful dreams require of us that we be awake. Dreams are made up of appearances, but they have to be appearances of things in their world. True, the different arts in the encyclopedic museum are made by different cultures.
    • What Art Is (2013), Chap. 1 : Wakeful Dreams

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