Sharing Art

  • Hans Abbing


In spite of underrepresentation of other social groups in serious art events, a considerable part of serious as well as popular art is shared, be it outside halls, theatres and museums. It is mostly shared in reproduced forms. Now especially popular music is shared. But not all art by all groups is shared. Groups also have own art which they are proud of, do not want to share, and which is sometimes less meaningful for others. But the own art of lower social groups is often appropriated and “civilized” by higher groups.

In modern societies, interdependences of the arts within larger networks increase. Along with this development, social and symbolic boundaries in the arts become less important. Also, the separation of serious and popular art becomes less strong. Expert art consumers continue to be served in a separate, small and more studious domain in the arts. But in general, art institutions become more user-oriented and the arts become less exclusive. Mixtures of serious and popular art are sometimes offered in the same events. Exclusion within the middle class diminishes.

Over the last decades in foremost the popular arts, new forms of gatekeeping develop which increase the chances of lower educated and migrant groups to participate and artistically express themselves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Abbing
    • 1
  1. 1.AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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