Comparing Smith, And Reimer's 'The Question Of Elitism'

Decent Essays

The two articles by Smith and Reimer demonstrate differing beliefs about elitism, populism, and art excellence. Smith’s article “The Question of Elitism” attempts to expel elitism’s negative connotations. Elitists value the tradition of historical masterpieces; however, they do not dismiss popular, minority, and modern art. He states that the concept of self is a vital democratic principle, and art appreciation encourages the development of selfhood. Reimer’s article “Response to Elitism” refutes some of Smith’s statements about elitism, includes positive aspects of populism, and claims there are problems defining elitism in art because of the elitist belief that art must be judged on one scale. Smith and Reimer clearly have opposite biases …show more content…

Smith defends that the public, specifically children, “are often uncertain of their tastes and need to know something” about different aspects of art before defining their tastes and opinions (Smith, 8). Reimer retorts this by declaring, “People are not dumb” and know elitists only wish to educate them to attempt to change their tastes (Reimer, 24-25). Reimer believes that children should learn that art is judged by specific criteria they can apply. Children should learn about elitism and populism in order “to be free to enjoy the arts with intelligence” (Reimer 25). Smith and Reimer both believe in art education, but the elitism point of view includes more guidance, while the populist one includes more free personal opinion. In conclusion, these two articles are connected through the different points of view of elitism and populism. Elitists want one excellence scale, and populists want relative scales. Smith claims the public needs more guidance in art appreciation, and Reimer disagrees with elitist curriculum. These authors have contrasting points of view, but they are connected by the excellence criteria scales and the mutual belief in the importance of art

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