Art and Anarchy by Edgar Wind

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Art and Anarchy by Edgar Wind
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Art and Anarchy by Edgar Wind

Will works of the imagination ever regain the power they once had to challenge and mould society and the individual? This was the question posed by Edgar Wind’s influential Reith Lectures delivered in 1960 and later expanded into his book Art and Anarchy. The book examines the various forces that have fashioned the modern view of the art, from mechanization and fear of intellect to connoisseurship and–perhaps the fundamental weakness of our age–the dispassionate acceptance of art. In the course of his discussion, Wind surveyed a wide range of topics in the history of painting, literature, music, and the plastic arts from the Renaissance to modern times.

Art and Anarchy by Edgar Wind is one of Patti Smith’s favorite books.