The Christian & Non- Western Philosophy of Art
by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
“The artist is not a special kind of man,” Coomaraswamy famously wrote, “but every man is a special kind of artist.” Coomaraswamy's nonmodern philosophy of art is intrinsically critical, and culturally perennial.
About the Author
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (1877–1947) was an influential art historian, theorist, and critic. He “first effectively rediscovered Rajput painting as a distinct entity, publishing it and giving it its name.”
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- Compare to recent scholarship by Wouter J. Hanegraaff, in Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- On Coomaraswamy's defining influence on John Cage, for example, see David W. Patterson, “The Picture That Is Not in the Colors: Cage, Coomaraswamy, and the Impact of India,” in John Cage: Music, Philosophy, and Intention, 1933–1950. New York: Routledge, 2002. Coomaraswamy's “Every man is a special kind of artist” was echoed by Joseph Beuys in his own famous slogan, “Everyone is an artist.”
- William Dalrymple, New York Review of Books, November 24, 2016.
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