Are artists the important mediators of society? Artists are the most important members of the society because they help us to envision our thought that may not be tolerated in the social and political paradigm of our society. “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to the generations of the world” (Leonardo da Vinci). This statement aptly represents the power of art and its meaning in our society.  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It appears that the general consensus of the word artist is confined to painters, sculptors, and the like and not music or any of the other fine arts.  So, to continue in this vein, the consideration of the impact of art is contained in the old question "Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?"  If this question has validity, as it certainly does, then it seems foolish to say that art is not all that important to society.

One only needs to return to the prehistoric paintings on cave walls to understand the tremendous importance of art.  What about the Bayeux Tapestry which records the Norman Conquest?  Or Picasso's Guernica?!

Art in the form of architecture, Victor Hugo states in his novel Notre-Dame de Paris, is man's first way of recording his thoughts, feelings, and history.  Art educates people about a culture.  Art is the expression of the souls of nations.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I do think that artists are tremendously important for society, but I do not feel that they are the most important mediators of society. They do have a very important role to play, and we only have to look at various works of art to see the way that artists capture what is going on in society in various ways. I don't necessarily think that this means they automatically shape society. They may do to some extent, but they clearly play a valuable role in recording the changes of society.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I agree with #5. Art certainly is impacted by events in society, and members of society are impacted by the art around them. I'm not sure I can agree with the thesis that art and artists are the most important communicators or shapers of society, however. I would like to think that thought and logic and reflection interprets the impressions that art may present.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think that to a certain extent artists interpret and reflect society.  Art movements are often in concordance with social movements and developments.  Art often reflects the way people feel, and what is going on around them.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

An artist could be a mediator, but I don't think they are the most important members of society.  As a mediator, art generally allows us to see a different perspective while still making it our own.  We take what we want from art because it is abstract and not spelled out like a written work would be.  In that sense, art can be a type of mediator between an idea and the public.  However, I don't think I can agree that art is the most important member of society for the exact same reason.  We take what we want from art.  Therefore, it is less concrete than other works like writing, speeches, etc.  I think if you wanted to make either art as a mediator or art as the most important member of society a thesis, it would be difficult to have a truly strong paper.  There's just not enough evidence to support such a grandiose claim.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

"Mediators" has a different meaning than "Members." You might want to check your source for the term you want to inquire about.

I would question the thesis; it is true that art is capable of reaching a wide, but does it truly educate anyone? We see art -- in whatever form -- and we are "changed" by it... but what part of that change is concrete and what part is just abstract? I have had more knowledge imparted to me through discussion and debate than by art.

On the other hand, if you cram books into the category of art (I generally don't; I love reading but my purpose is entertainment, not enlightenment) then I have to agree with the thesis. I've learned more through reading than from all the paintings and sculpture in the world.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial