In this lecture the correct relation is being discussed between art criticism and history of art, philosophy of art and aesthetics. The place of art criticism as a discipline, its values and standard as well as its different methods are pointed out. Knowledge of the history of art is essential for correct valuation of contemporary art. Against the backround of the new settlement in South Africa art has initially found it difficult to develop and mature. Even to-day the public sees too few works of art of a high standard to be able to distinghuish between art and kitch. Younger artists often are ill-advised and irresponsible publicity can do much harm. They have little knowledge of the difficulties which the older generation of artists in South Africa had to overcome. Often they tend too much to follow blindly all art phenomena which pose as the latest, without much realization of what each new era really entails. There often is an unhealthy preparedness to imitate what has been accomplished elsewhere and to pose such work with minor changes as sound and original.
In the future television in South Africa will have the task to make everyone conscious of what good art is like through examples, as the radio has done for music, drama and opera. Our students do not grow up amid museums of old and modern art. As such they are at a disadvantage in comparison to students in Europe and America. There rests an important duty on the universities and other educational institutions in South Africa to assist people to become more conversant with art.
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