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Art, Museum and Conservation: An Essay on the Philosophy of the Work of Art
Anistoriton (2003)
  • Virginia A Dressler, Kent State University

By a strictly physical sense, a work is an entity consisting of material, time and space, the product of a process of physical creation. At this fundamental level, a work subsists within the same physical world within which all matter exists, and in so, abides by the same temporal rules. A work also acts as a mute witness to its past, unable to object to any alterations to its essence. The term ‘work’ used here is indicative of a physical presence of a being, though in an artwork are other, less concrete realms. These other states in an artwork are more abstract in nature, non-physical, illusional realms, seeming to transcend the temporal or material laws of the physical world. These other states represent something beyond the material surface, behaving similarly to a symbol. The subjective nature of these non-tangible states does not provide the same finite restrictions of materiality of the physical state in works. For this argument however, I will primarily focus on the physical being, from creation to death, in the material surface and material restrictions of an artwork.

  • Philosophy of art,
  • conservation,
  • practice
Publication Date
December, 2003
Citation Information
Virginia A Dressler. "Art, Museum and Conservation: An Essay on the Philosophy of the Work of Art" Anistoriton Vol. 7 (2003)
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