There's an age-old debate about the importance or usefulness of art- why do we bother with it? This last week I happened across a couple of quotes that talk about that in different ways:
"One remark that I remember in particular had to do with his identity as a craftsman: he wanted to make solid objects that were concretely useful to the people who knew them. As a craftsperson myself, I love this outlook on art: it's not some enervated "extra" of no real value to life, but a solid, utilitarian object, like a chair or a toilet. It's not that people "can't live without" art; people can live without chairs and toilets, too. But the presence of art has a concrete benefit; I appreciated Bergman's reminder of that."
- Evening All Afternoon, on an interview with Ingmar Bergman
"These, with keen edges and smooth curves, were forms in modern prose which the lichened colleges presented in old poetry. Even some of those antiques might have been called prose when they were new. They had done nothing but wait, and had become poetical. How easy to the smallest building, how impossible to most men."
- Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native