Civilising Caliban

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ISBN 9780571317585 Format N/A
9780571317585
Paperback
Published N/A Length N/A

About Book

'I wrote my thesis because it seemed incredible that a nineteenth century cleric could believe that paintings had the power to civilise his community of London's poorest. Yet that is what he did believe and his ideas were exported round the world. I still don't know whether he was right...' Frances Borzello
What is the purpose of art? Aside from aesthetic considerations, does it have socio-political functions? Art critic Frances Borzello reflected on this in her doctoral thesis, later expanded for publication in 1987 as Civilising Caliban. Therein she traced a link between Victorian-era exhibitions mounted for Whitechapel's poor by Anglican vicar Samuel Barnett to the munificent post-war patronage of the Arts Council. In a new preface to this edition Borzello reflects on how the idea of 'art for all' has fared - along with the questions of who pays for it and what good it achieves.

'I wrote my thesis because it seemed incredible that a nineteenth century cleric could believe that paintings had the power to civilise his community of London's poorest. Yet that is what he did believe and his ideas were exported round the world. I still don't know whether he was right...' Frances Borzello What is the purpose of art? Aside from aesthetic considerations, does it have socio-political functions? Art critic Frances Borzello reflected on this in her doctoral thesis, later expanded for publication in 1987 as Civilising Caliban. Therein she traced a link between Victorian-era exhibitions mounted for Whitechapel's poor by Anglican vicar Samuel Barnett to the munificent post-war patronage of the Arts Council. In a new preface to this edition Borzello reflects on how the idea of 'art for all' has fared - along with the questions of who pays for it and what good it achieves.
  • About Frances Borzello

    Frances Borzello wrote the Artist's Model, her first book, in the conviction that the stereotype of the model as female was a development of the last two hundred years. Before that the perfect body was always seen as male, its classical pedigree making it far superior to its lumpy leaking female counterpart. The author went on to write a series of books linking are to social history, among them Civilizing Caliban which documented the use of art in the nineteenth century to civilize the poor, and Seeing Ourselves, the first history of women artists' self-portraits. She is currently writing a book about the nude in contemporary art.

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