Fine Arts Column: Major arts are all connected


In doing some reading for my thesis, I stumbled across a portion of a lecture from the 1960’s in which the speaker goes into some comparisons of the seven major arts: poetry, sculpture, dance, painting, architecture, drama, and music. He says that he makes that distinction for any who are too orthodox and believe there are only five.

The two that are excluded being, oddly enough, drama and dance. Considering these are the two largest art forms that I partake in, I was baffled and angry. Obviously, I am quite biased toward the two, but reading that many back then and today put them in subcategories along with gardening and basketry felt like a knife in my chest. Really? Basketry is on the same level as dance and drama?

Biases aside, the speaker explained why this is typically done. Throughout that past few centuries, these arts have actually excluded themselves from the major arts because they recognized their reliance on other arts. Dance relies on music, and drama relies on poetry. Well, good dance and good drama do anyway.

While this made perfect sense to me, I was glad to continue reading that the speaker was definitely of the same mind as me. He said that although he understands this distinction for the purposes of studying each art form individually, when one looks at major arts as a whole then it can be seen that none can live without at least one other. They are all intertwined and can learn from each other.

As I pondered this, I began to see more and more how involved in one another the arts are. Just as drama needs poetry, poetry is almost elevated through drama, and likewise between dance and music.

Poetry can be paired with music, paintings can be influenced by beautiful dance movements and architecture and sculpture use similar mathematics and sciences to come to fruition: it is all connected. For a restless and creative mind such as mine, this is absolutely inspiring!

The more I think on it, the more fireworks go off in my mind in realizing the endless possibilities of art. Naturally, this all brings art back to the master artist Himself. And honestly, all art should have an end goal of glorifying God, be it directly or indirectly (by showing off His creation).

And just as one art form is not enough and should not try to exclude itself from others, artists should also make sure they are appreciative of all forms of beauty in the fine arts. No dance or painter should turn their nose up to each other; they both make fine pictures and should love the different ways each is presented. A poet should love the idea of a man making his words come to life, and an actor should not just assume he better for doing so but thank the poet for giving him material. And again I emphasize the importance of using all of these methods to bring it all around to the ultimate connection: our Creator.

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