What Hath New York to do with Jerusalem?

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  • Title: What Hath New York to do with Jerusalem?
  • Author(s): Rod Miller
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Arts Theory and History
  • Keywords: Art, Art History, Quality, Transcendent, Wisdom, God
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2326-9952 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-1779 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2326-9952/CGP/v14i04/1-7
  • Citation: Miller, Rod. 2019. "What Hath New York to do with Jerusalem?." The International Journal of Arts Theory and History 14 (4): 1-7. doi:10.18848/2326-9952/CGP/v14i04/1-7.
  • Extent: 7 pages


It is worth considering if the movement from David to Warhol marks an advance or a decline. For the past hundred years, at least, a radical and ostensibly progressive vision has fueled many rapid changes. New themes, technique, materials, and outlook have been offered as means to direct art; art has nearly been defined as doing that which no one has done before, yet, to what end has this creative, ever-shifting effort been directed? Is this end a worthy one or even a sensible one? The implicit notion exists that art—the arts—ought to teach us something, somehow, in some way; does that way, that experience, exposure, improve us? How? Indeed, how is quality measured in art? Without any kind of standard, judgments of quality are frequently reduced to vague claims of aesthetics, trivial motions of originality, or more recently, nods to varieties of group identity and assertions of mere willfulness. Perhaps it is time to look again at claims of transcendence for substantial grounds to make qualitative judgments, to again seek wisdom.