Art85-Min Ye-The Value of Art

Min Ye

Art 85

Third Paper

2012 Fall


The Value of Art

            What is the value of art? Some may say that art is a valuable thing that has no value because art cannot make people alive as food and water do. It cannot give anything to support people in the material conditions. However, art can give people a lot that others cannot. For example, art can bring spiritual pleasure to people. Art may affect people’s soul, or amaze people’s mind. These can be the value of art.

Nowadays, with the development of technology, art works can be duplicated very easily. Therefore, we can see clearly the pretty painting or sculpture from ancient times, and we can also enjoy the photographs or other art and design works all over the world through the Internet. Then what the value of the original art is becomes the question we have to think. Even though some art works especially photographs and paintings can be copied easily, those art works still have the indelible value, such as the unique moment of a photo is taken, the amaze idea of a painting is drew, or the special period of a sculpture is made. People may copy the same art work, but those thoughts and creativity cannot be duplicated.

  When I was searching Ansel Adams original photographs, I saw most price of the original works by Ansel Adams is between 8,000 and 50,000 dollars. It is very pricey I think. But the photographs he took were really very beautiful and unique. The trees, sunset, mountain and so on were taken with pretty colors and special composition. It is true that his works are pricy. But because those works are unique and impressive, the money is well worth. People cannot just copy his works from Internet because it is illegal. So that if people think it is pricy, and they can just go to the same place, and take the same picture, then the photo can be easy duplicated. Well, I don’t think so. Photos can never be the exactly same because of the different time, temperature, and other conditions. Every photo becomes the unique photo. And Ansel Adams took the beautiful photos because he had talent. And those photos he took become famous and pricy. This is the value of photography, the unique moment that a photo shows to us. 

For paintings, I think the number of reproductions is the most. Because those famous paintings are really expensive, most people cannot afford the original one. However, this does not mean that those duplicate paintings have no value. Some people buy the reproductions for decorate the house wall, some people just like paintings but they do not have plenty money, and some may want to learn how to draw these fantastic paintings. As long as people do not use the reproductions in an illegal way to get money, it would be fine to have the reproductions. Those are all the value of the reproductions, and there are more.

However, the original famous paintings have the incredible value which reproductions do not. When the painting was drawn, it did not only show the pretty picture, but also gave us the information of the background at that time, and the culture in that place, and the feeling from the artist. As Debbie Hall said, “The original work of art, created with body and soul, embodies the essence, inspiration, intelligence and creativity of an individual at a given point. Ideally, the work conveys a universal truth that makes one acutely aware of his/her own identity and purpose. The original work of art exists, uniquely, in a space at any given point in time.” I totally agree with Hall’s opinion. Original art works have the incredible value. It is the reason why years later, those famous paintings still cater to people’s aesthetic standard, and this is why those original paintings are very pricy, also because they cannot be copied as same as before. If some bad businessmen sell fake paintings with the real painting’s price, it is not only illegal, but also show the disrespect to the artists and art.

In conclusion, even though in the digital age those reproductions can be easily done, the original art works still have their own indelible and irreplaceable value. When we appreciate the art works, no matter paintings, photos, or architecture, we not only appreciate the color, shape, or other superficial things, the most important and valuable thing is the information behind the paintings.




Work Cited:

Hall, Debbie. “The Original and the Reproduction: Art in the Age of Digital Technology”. 04 Jan 2011. Web. 06 Nov 2012.


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