From the second edition (1989):
art, n.
(ɑːt) 3–. Also 3–4 ars, arz, 4–7 arte. Sc. 6–7 airt. [a. OF. art:—L. artem, prob. f. ar- to fit. The OF. nom. sing. ars:—L. ars, and pl. ars:—L. artes, were also in early Eng. use, but without distinction of case.]


I. Skill; its display or application. Sing. art (abstractly); no plural.


1. gen. Skill in doing anything as the result of knowledge and practice.

c1225 St. Margarete 194 Telle me of ȝoure art‥Whi werrie ȝe cristene men. 1340 Hampole Pr. Consc. 7434 Couth never telle, bi clergy, ne arte‥þe thowsand parte. 1539 Taverner Erasm. Prov. (1552) 23 Arte or cunninge euerye countrey nourysheth. Yt is to saye, cunnynge men, & such as haue anye facultie or science, whether so euer they goo, shall lacke no lyuynge. 1611 Bible Acts xvii. 29 Golde, or siluer, or stone grauen by arte, and mans deuice. 1663 Butler Hud. i. i. 87 Else when with greatest art he spoke, You'd think he talk'd like other folk. 1718 Pope Iliad iii. 285 The copious accents fall with easy art. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. II. 129 The potato, a root which can be cultivated with scarcely any art.


2. a. Human skill as an agent, human workmanship. Opposed to nature.

c1386 Chaucer Sqr.'s T. 189 Nature ne Art ne koude hym nat amende. 1573 G. Harvey Common-pl. Bk. (1884) 87 Nature herself is changeable‥and arte, after a sorte her ape, conformith herself to the like mutabilitye. 1592 Shakes. Rom. & Jul. ii. iv. 94 Romeo: now art thou what thou art, by Art as well as by Nature. 1643 Sir T. Browne Relig. Med. i. §16 Now nature is not at variance with art, nor art with nature: they being both the servants of his providence. Art is the perfecttion of Nature‥Nature hath made one World, and Art another. In briefe, all things are artificiall, for Nature is the Art of God. 1699 Dryden Cock & Fox 452 Art may err, but nature cannot miss. 1742 Collins Ode to Pity 23 Youth's soft notes unspoil'd by art. 1839 Longfellow Hyperion iii. v. (1865) 165 Nature is a revelation of God; Art, a revelation of man‥Art pre-exists in Nature, and Nature is reproduced in Art.


b. Artifice, artificial expedient. (Cf. 12.) Obs.

1667 Oldenburg in Phil Trans. II. 415 That some of the Natives there can stay under Water half an hour without any art.


3. The learning of the schools; see 7.a. spec. The trivium, or one of its subjects, grammar, logic, rhetoric; dialectics. Obs.

c1305 St. Edmund 220 in E.E.P. (1862) 77 Of art he radde six ȝer: contynuelliche ynourȝ, & siþþe for beo more profound: to arsmetrike he drouȝ. 1330 R. Brunne Chron. 336 (R.) Of arte he had the maistrie. c1430 Freemasonry 567 Gramer forsothe ys the rote‥But art passeth yn hys degre, As the fryte does the rote of the tre. 1573 G. Harvey Common-pl. Bk. (1884) 76 It makith no matter howe a man wrytith untoe his frends‥Præceptes of arte and stile and decorum‥ar to be reservid for an other place.


b. gen. Scholarship, learning, science. arch.

1588 Shakes. L.L.L. iv. ii. 113 Where all those pleasures liue, that Art would comprehend. 1675 R. Barclay Apol. Quakers ii. §15. 64 A Mathematician can infallibly know, by the Rules of Art, that the three Angles of a right Triangle, are equal to two right Angles. 1709 Pope Ess. Crit. 61 So vast is art, so narrow human wit. c1840 Longfellow Psalm of Life, Art is long, and time is fleeting.


c. words or terms of art: words peculiar to, or having a peculiar use in, a particular art or pursuit; technical terms.

1628 Coke On Litt. Pref., The Termes and Words of Art. 1701 Swift Cont. Nobles, etc. Wks. 1755 II. i. 22 By which he brought many of them, as the term of art was then, to Philippize. 1754 Edwards Freed. Will i. §3. 15 If we use the Words, as Terms of Art, in another sense. 1807 Morris & Kendrick (title) Explanation of the Terms of Art in Anatomy. 1816 Scott Antiq. (1852) 256 A few thumping blustering terms of art.


4. spec. Skill in applying the principles of a special science; technical or professional skill. Obs.

c1300 K. Alis. 737 Thyn erbes failith and thyn art! 1393 Langl. P. Pl. C. xviii. 96 Astronomyens al day · in here art faillen. 1605 Shakes. Macb. iv. i. 101 Tell me, if your Art Can tell so much. 1656 H. Phillips Purch. Patt. (1676) 31 Without sufficient knowledge in point of art. 1677 Moxon Mech. Exerc. (1703) 253 Work, in which they have taken a great deal of pains, and used a great deal of Art.


5. The application of skill to subjects of taste, as poetry, music, dancing, the drama, oratory, literary composition, and the like; esp. in mod. use: Skill displaying itself in perfection of workmanship, perfection of execution as an object in itself. Phr. art for art's sake. Hence in many allusive phrases (see quots.).

1620 J. Taylor in Shaks. C. Praise 133 Spencer and Shakespeare did in art excell. 1675 Traherne Chr. Ethics iii. 25 Art‥more frequently appears in fiddling and dancing, then in noble deeds. 1711 Shaftesbury Charac. (1737) I. 244 Remarking what this mighty Genius and Judg of Art declares concerning tragedy. [1836 V. Cousin Cours de Philosophie 1818 224 Il faut de la religion pour la religion, de la morale pour la morale, comme de l'art pour l'art.] 1840 H. Rogers Ess. II. v. 259 It is just such art as this that we ask of the preacher‥that he shall take diligent heed to do what he has to do as well as he can. 1867 Mill Inaug. Add. St. Andrews 46 If I were to define Art, I should be inclined to call it the endeavour after perfection in execution. 1872 Swinburne Ess. & Stud. (1875) 41 The well-known formula of art for art's sake‥has, like other doctrines, a true side to it, and an untrue. 1879 M. Arnold Guide Eng. Lit. in Mixed Ess. 193 We mean by art, not merely an aim to please, but also a law of pure and flawless workmanship. 1920 B. Russell Pract. & Theory Bolshevism iv. 48 There it stands, this old art, the purest monument to the nullity of the art-for-art's-sake doctrine. 1925 A. Huxley Those Barren Leaves ii. i. 86, I was not an art-for-arter. 1928 —— Point Counter Point xvi. 291 We're frankly missionaries, not an art for art concern. 1937 ‘G. Orwell’ Road to Wigan Pier xii. 243 Our leading writers, who a dozen years ago were art for art's saking for all they were worth‥are now taking a definite political standpoint. 1942 Burlington Mag. May 115/1 The first exponents of ‘art for art’ did not, as do their descendants, uphold the claims of the senses abstractly and in isolation. 1948 J. W. Aldridge in Penguin New Writing XXXV. 115 Ulysses represents the extreme of the art-for-art's-sake doctrine. 1950 E. C. Pettet in Essays & Studies III. 45 The advocate of the ‘practical’ Shakespeare, allied on this occasion with the art-for-art's-saker, says [etc.].


6. The application of skill to the arts of imitation and design, painting, engraving, sculpture, architecture; the cultivation of these in its principles, practice, and results; the skilful production of the beautiful in visible forms.
This is the most usual modern sense of art, when used without any qualification. It does not occur in any English Dictionary before 1880, and seems to have been chiefly used by painters and writers on painting, until the present century.

1668 J. E[velyn] (title) An Idea of the Perfection of Painting demonstrated from the Principles of Art. a1700 Dryden To Kneller, From hence the rudiments of art began, A coal or chalk first imitated man. c1777 J. Barry in Cunningham Brit. Painters II. 96 A solid manly taste for real art, in place of our contemptible passion for daubing. 1801 Fuseli Lect. Art i. 8 Greek Art had her infancy. 1834 Prospectus of Edin. Art Union, It is proposed to form an Association for the purchase of works of art. 1848 A. Jameson (title) Sacred and Legendary Art. 1856 Ruskin Mod. Paint. III. iv. iii. §12 note, High art differs from low art in possessing an excess of beauty in addition to its truth, not in possessing excess of beauty inconsistent with truth. 1869 Gladstone Juv. Mundi xv. §2. 520 By the term Art, I understand the production of beauty in material forms palpable; whether associated with industrial purposes or not. 1876 H. N. Humphrey Coin Coll. Man. i. 4 The coins of Greece and Rome form in themselves a complete history of Art.


II. Anything wherein skill may be attained or displayed. Sing. an art; pl. arts.


7. a. chiefly in pl. Certain branches of learning which are of the nature of intellectual instruments or apparatus for more advanced studies, or for the work of life; their main principles having been already investigated and established, they are in the position of subjects requiring only to be acquired and practised. Applied in the Middle Ages to ‘the trivium and quadrivium, a course of seven sciences, introduced in the sixth century…the trivium contained grammar, logic, and rhetoric; the quadrivium arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy' (Hallam); called also the free or liberal arts. Hence the ‘faculty’ of arts, and arts ‘curriculum,’ embracing the portions of these, with subsequent additions and alterations, still studied at the Universities, and the degrees of ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Master of Arts’ conferred upon students who attain to a prescribed standard of proficiency in these branches of knowledge, or, as it is called, ‘graduate in arts.’

c1300 K. Alis. 665 The sevethen maister taught his pars, And the wit of the seoven ars. c1305 St. Kath. 4 in E.E.P. (1862) 90 Þere nas non of þe soue artz þat heo gret clerk of nas. c1320 Seuyn Sages (W.) 182 And eke alle the seven ars. 1377 Langl. P. Pl. B. x. 150 He hath wedded a wyf‥Is sybbe to þe seuene artz. c1400 Destr. Troy iv. 1497 Cassandra‥enfourmet was faire of þe fre artis. c1425 Wyntoun Cron. viii. iv. 9 Mayster of Art. 1503 Hawes Examp. Virtue vii. 103, I am grounde of the artes seuen. 1557 N. T. (Genev.) Epist. iiij, They‥beat their wittes night and daie in the artes liberall or other sciences. 1579 Fulke Refut. Rastel 751 He being a Master in all the seuen liberall Arts, is not so ignorant in grammer. 1594 Carew Huarte's Exam. Wits (1616) 7 Moreouer, mans life is very short, and the arts long and toilsome. 1608 Shakes. Per. ii. iii. 82 My education been in arts and arms. 1795 Gibbon Autobiog. 29 How many [professors] are stationed to the three faculties, and how many are left for the liberal arts? 1794 Reid Acc. Univ. Glasgow Wks. II, 723/1 Four [Faculties]‥Theology, Canon Law, Civil Law, and the Arts.‥ The Arts, under which was comprehended logic, physics, and morals, were considered as a necessary introduction to the learned professions. Ibid. 724/1 In some universities, Masters of Arts are called Doctors of Philosophy. Ibid. 725/2 The dean conferred the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 1868 M. Pattison Academ. Org. §5. 191 The first seven years‥were employed on studies, which varying in their nature in various periods of the university history went under the common name of ‘Arts.’
attrib. 1912 W. Owen Let. 12 June (1967) 141, I definitely abandon the thought of Divinity Training till at least an Arts Degree is won. 1946 Universities Quarterly I. 52 The Arts faculties ought to include sufficient knowledge of general science to provide a general appreciation of science and the scientific method as applied to the problems of daily life. 1960 Guardian 20 Apr. 8/3 It should be possible to make scientists literate and arts men ‘numerate’. 1967 J. Philip et al. Best of Granta 104 Granta's characteristic role in the 'sixties has been as an avant-garde arts magazine.


b. sing. Any one of the above-mentioned subjects.

c1300 K. Alis. 72 Barounes‥That this ars [astrology] wel undurstode‥Wis in this ars, and malicious. c1450 Merlin v. 86 An arte that is cleped astronomye.


8. A practical application of any science; a body or system of rules serving to facilitate the carrying out of certain principles. In this sense often contrasted with science.

1489 Caxton Faytes of Armes i. i. 2 Emonge thother noble artes and sciences. c1538 Starkey England ii. i. 160 Scholes in euery Arte, syence and craft. 1588 Fraunce Lawiers Log. i. i. 1b, An art is a methodicall disposition of true and coherent preceptes, for the more easie perceiving and better remembring of the same. 1599 Shakes. Hen. V, i. i. 51 So that the Arte and Practique part of Life must be the Mistresse to this Theorique. 1724 Watts Logic ii. ii. §9 This is the most remarkable distinction between an art and a science, viz. the one refers chiefly to practice, the other to speculation. 1825 Bentham Ration. Reward 204 Correspondent‥to every art, there is at least one branch of science; correspondent to every branch of science, there is at least one branch of art. 1852 McCulloch Dict. Comm. 449 Agriculture is little known as a science in any part of America, and but imperfectly understood as an art. 1870 Jevons Elem. Logic i. 7 A science teaches us to know and an art to do.


9. a. esp. An industrial pursuit or employment of a skilled nature; a craft, business, profession.

1393 Gower Conf. III. 142 Artificers Whiche vsen craftes and mestiers, Whose art is cleped mechanique. 1557 Seager Sch. Vertue in Babees Bk. 353 Ye seruauntes, applie your busines and arte. 1660 Stanley Hist. Philos. 165 Arts of three kinds. The first diggeth out Metals, and fells Wood. 1705 Addison Italy 6 The Fisher-men can't employ their Art with so much success in so troubled a Sea. 1745 De Foe Eng. Tradesm. I. i. 8 To be taught the art and mystery which his master engages to learn him. 1851 D. Wilson Preh. Ann. (1863) I. ii. ii. 358 Aboriginal learners slowly acquiring the new art.


b. A guild, or company of craftsmen. Cf. Florio: ‘Arte‥a whole company of any trade in any city or corporation town.’

1832 Sismondi Ital. Rep. viii. 184 These men, belonging to the woollen art. 1872 Yeats Growth Comm. 107 The industry of the free republic was controlled by guilds or arts.


10. A pursuit or occupation in which skill is directed towards the gratification of taste or production of what is beautiful. Hence the Arts: (specifically) = the fine arts; see next sense. (Cf. 5, 6.)

1597 [see 11b]. 1769 Sir J. Reynolds Disc. i. Wks. 1870 I. 306 There is a general desire among our Nobility to be distinguished as lovers and judges of the Arts. 1778 —— ibid. vii. I. 426 All arts having the same general end, which is to please. 1827 Continental Advent. li. III. 243 The true Italian feeling for the Arts. 1842 Parker Baptistery Pref. xii, The sister Art that speaks in stone. 1884 Punch 3 May 210/2 You will speak only of music, extolling this Art above all others.


11. In prec. senses, but particularized:— a. by an adjective, as magic art (or the black art), military art, the healing art. industrial arts, mechanical arts, useful arts: those in which the hands and body are more concerned than the mind. fine arts: those in which the mind and imagination are chiefly concerned.

1393 Gower III. 80 Thexperience Of art magique. 1611 Bible Wisd. xvii. 7 The illusions of arte Magicke. 1667 Moxon Mech. Exerc. (1703) 1 Smithing is an Art-Manual. 1697 Dryden Virg. Georg. iv. 178 My song to flowery Gardens might extend, To teach the Vegetable Arts. 1711 Addison Spect. No. 5 ⁋4 How an Amazon should be versed in the Black Art. 1734 tr. Rollin's Rom. Hist. (1827) III. 96 A treatise‥upon the art military. 1767 Fordyce Serm. Yng. Wom. I. vi. 250 They‥wanted instruction in the principles of the Fine Arts. 1785 Reid Int. Powers vi. vi, The fine arts are very properly called the arts of taste. 1854 Ruskin Two Paths ii, Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together. 1884 Gladstone Sp. in Parl. 28 Apr., The Reform Bill of 1866 was defeated by obstruction, though at that period the art of obstruction was not so much of a fine art as it was now. Mod. A professor of the healing art.


b. by a genitive or genitive phrase, as ‘the painter's art,’ ‘the art of painting.’

1509 Hawes Past. Pleas. 189 Set with magykes arte. 1560 Bible (Genev.) 2 Chron. xvi. 14 Spices made by the arte [Wyclif, Tindale, craft] of the Apoticarie. 1611 Ibid., Apothecaries arte. 1597 Morley Introd. Mus. 181 The arte of dauncing being come to that perfection. 1691 T. H[ale] New Invent. 29 The art of making gold. 1774 T. Jefferson Autobiog. Wks. 1859 I. App. 141 The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. 1821 J. Baillie Met. Leg., Wallace lxiii. 6 The soldier's dext'rous art. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. 301 The rapid improvement, both of the art of war and of the art of navigation. 1875 Fortnum Maiolica iii. 34 To have encouraged the potter's art.


12. An acquired faculty of any kind; a power of doing anything wherein skill is attainable by study and practice; a knack.

1637 Rutherford Lett. 120 (1862) I. 299, I thought the guiding of grace had been no art. I thought it wd come of will. 1781 Cowper Convers. 4 Conversation‥may be esteemed a gift, and not an art. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. II. 201 The art of saying things well is useless to a man who has nothing to say. 1876 Hamerton Intell. Life iii. iii. 91 The delicate art of verbal selection.


III. Skilful, crafty, or artificial conduct.


13. Studied conduct or action, especially such as seeks to attain its ends by artificial, indirect, or covert means; address; cunning, artfulness.

c1600 Shakes. Sonn. 139 Use power with power and slay me not by art‥What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might Is more, etc. 1738 Pope Epil. Sat. i. 32 Smile without Art, and win without a Bribe. a1762 Lady Montague Lett. lxxiv. 122, I am incapable of art. 1801 M. Edgeworth Belinda I. xvi. 300 Her art and falsehood operated against her own views.


14. An artifice, contrivance, stratagem, wile, trick, cunning device. Chiefly in pl.

1597 Shakes. Lover's Compl. 295 His passion, but an art of craft, Even there resolved my reason into tears. 1625 Bacon Simul., Ess. (Arb.) 506 Attributing Arts or Policy to Augustus, and Dissimulation to Tiberius. 1681 Dryden Abs. & Achit. i. 402 The next successor‥My Arts have made obnoxious to the State. 1712 Steele Spect. No. 510 ⁋4 All the little arts imaginable are used to soften a man's heart. 1769 Robertson Chas. V, V. i. 172 All the arts of address and policy. 1813 Jane Austen Pride & Prej. (1833) 34 The arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. 536 No art was spared which could draw Monmouth from retreat.


IV. Phrases.


15. art-of-memory: an old game at cards. (Described in the Compleat Gamester (1709) 101.)

1674 Cotton Compl. Gamester (1680) 99 This Art of Memory is a sport at which men may play for money, but it is most commonly the way to play the drunkard.


16. art and part (Sc. Law and gen.): a. orig. in such expressions as to be concerned in (either) by art or part, either by art in contriving it, or by the part taken in actually executing it; whence, to have art or (and) part in: to have a share in, either by contrivance or participation; b. (corruptly) to be art or part in (be for have, or perh. for ‘to be of art or part in’): to be concerned either in the contrivance or the execution of; to be art and part in: to be accessary both by contrivance and participation, often used loosely, as a mere jingling phrase for ‘accessary, participating, sharing’ (the sense of art being merged in that of part).

a. c1425 Wyntoun Cron. vii. ix. 539 All þa Ðat (oþir) be art or part or swike Gert bryn‥þis erle Patryke. 1582–8 Hist. James VI (1804) 60 Thame that has bein foirfaltit for airt and pairt of the slauchter. 1609 Skene Rej. Maj. 118 Thou thy selfe full airt had, and parte in harming and skaithing of me. a1670 Hacket Abp. Williams ii. 86 (D.) The old man which is corrupt (Eph. iv. 22), who had art and part, as the Scottish indictment runs, in all our Bishop's persecutions. 1767 H. Brooke Fool of Qual. i. 6 (D.) He had neither art nor part in this frightful discomfiture. 1864 Spectator 529 He has no further art or part in the matter.
b. 1515 Acts Jas. V (1597) §2 He salbe halden airt & partaker of his evill deedis. 1536 Bellendene Cron. Scot. xii. viii. (Jam.) Gif evir I wes othir art or part of Alarudis slauchter. 1691 Blount Law Dict., Art and Part is a Term used in Scotland and the North of England. When one is charged with a Crime they say, He was Art and Part in committing the same‥He was both a contriver, and acted his Part in it. 1753 Stewart's Trial 283 Find unanimously, the pannel James Stewart guilty, art and part, of the murder of Colin Campbell. c1876 Nat. Encycl. I. 105 The law of Scotland makes no distinction between the accessory to any crime (called art and part) and the principal. 1878 Tennyson Q. Mary iii. iv, You are art and part with us In purging heresy.


17. arts and crafts: the arts of decorative design and handicraft; spec. work done by or under the auspices of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in London in 1888, or similar later work; also attrib. Hence (colloq.) art-and-crafty, arts-and-craftsy adjs., pertaining to or characteristic of the arts and crafts or of the ‘arts and crafts’ movement, esp. its more pretentious side. Cf. arty-and-crafty a.

1888 Times 29 Sept. 6/1 The Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the New Gallery‥may best be described as an exhibition with a purpose. 1894 Studio 48/1 The impression‥on the mind of a person who had previously had little experience of collective ‘Arts and Crafts’ may not be without practical value. 1899 J. W. Mackail Life W. Morris II. xviii. 200 The newly-formed association was at first known by the name of the Combined Arts. The name of the Arts and Crafts was the invention of Mr. Cobden-Sanderson. He was also‥responsible for another of the new departures made in the first Arts and Crafts Exhibition. 1902 [see arty-and-crafty a.]. 1909 Westm. Gaz. 24 Dec. 2/2 An art and crafty tea-table. 1939 O. Lancaster Homes Sweet Homes 44 The fervent mediaevalism‥found its final expression in the Arts-and-Crafts movement. 1943 G. Greene Min. Fear i. i. 8 Short blunt fingers prickly with big art-and-crafty rings. 1957 R. Campbell Portugal vi. 202 The arts-and-craftsy, self-conscious supervision, patronage, and spurious jollity given to morris dancing‥in England.


V. 18. Comb. chiefly attrib. from sense 6, as art-activity, art-appreciation, art-collecting vbl. n., art-collection, art-collector, art-connoisseur, art-correspondent, art-critic (hence art-critical adj., art-critically adv., art-criticism), art-dealer, art-furniture, art-instinct, art-lover (hence art-loving ppl. a.), art-magazine, art-manufacture, art-monger, art-product, art-sale, art-school, art-student, art-style, art-teacher, art-teaching vbl. n., art world; or instrumental, as art-spun, etc. Also art centre (see centre n. 6a); art director, one who is responsible for the décor, properties, scene-painting, etc., in a theatre or in cinematographic films; art editor, one who is responsible for the illustrations or the section devoted to the arts in a book, magazine, etc.; hence art-edit v. trans. (rare); art-educate v. trans., to educate in the arts of design; art-form [cf. G. kunstform], (a) an established form taken by a work of art, e.g. a dialogue, novel, sonata, sonnet, triptych, madrigal; (b) a theme or motif constituting a traditional subject of works of art, e.g. the Madonna and Child; (c) a medium of artistic expression; art gallery [gallery n. 6], a building or portion of a building devoted to the exhibition of works of art; formerly also art museum; art history [cf. G. kunstgeschichte], the history of art, esp. as an academic study; hence art-historian, art-historical adj.; art object, an object of artistic value; = objet d'art; art paper, paper coated on one or both sides with china clay or the like to give a smooth surface; coated paper (see coated ppl. a. 3); Arts Council: in full Arts Council of Great Britain, an organization established by Royal Charter in 1946 to promote and support (esp. financially) the development and appreciation of the arts in Britain; art square, a patterned square of carpet woven in a single piece; art-union, a union of persons for the purpose of promoting art (in sense 6), chiefly by purchasing the works of artists, and distributing them among their members, which is usually done by lottery; in Australia and New Zealand, a lottery with cash prizes.

1923 D. H. Lawrence Stud. Classic Amer. Lit. vi. 93 The rhythm of American art-activity is dual. 1896 Peterson Mag. VI. 225/2 Art-appreciation, like art-creation, is a slow evolution. 1937 Burlington Mag. June 310/1 General hints on art-appreciation for the ordinary public. 1908 A. Bennett Buried Alive vii. 176 London, the acknowledged art-centre of the world. 1967 Listener 20 July 76/2 One of those exclusive civic centres or art centres in the South Kensington or South Bank tradition. 1902 Encycl. Brit. XXV. 683/2 They acted as a most healthy stimulus to art collecting. Ibid., The first really important art collection to come under the hammer. 1936 Burlington Mag. July 46/2 The Veronese art-collector Bendetto Maffei. 1904 W. James Let. 30 June (1920) II. 206 The bulk of ‘Modern Painters’ and the other artistic writings‥have made us take him [sc. Ruskin] primarily as an art-connoisseur and critic. 1882 Wilde Let. 19 Feb. (1962) 96, I would undertake to be your art-correspondent for London and Paris—two articles a month. 1865 Rossetti Let. 15 Nov. (1965) II. 580 The Art-critic's original dicta. 1866 Argosy (Midsummer) 61, I should certainly have liked to consult our great modern art-critic before making so daring a statement. 1879 Hibbs in Cassell's Techn. Educ. IV. 263/2 As desirous of improving the style of their work as any art-critic could possibly wish them to be. 1944 H. Treece Herbert Read 53 Read has always been more artist than art critic. 1936 Burlington Mag. June 303/1 Extensive art-historical and art-critical work. 1880 Swinburne Let. 17 May (1960) IV. 143 A sample of the ‘first manner’ (to speak art-critically) of the poem. 1867 Fine Arts Q. Rev. II. 174 We must recognize an immense advance in the tone and character of art-criticism, especially in‥leading journals. 1891 Wilde Intentions 258 It is only in art-criticism, and through it, that we can apprehend the Platonic theory of ideas. 1935 Burlington Mag. Nov. 202/1 The merciless scrutiny of modern art-criticism. 1934 A. Woollcott While Rome Burns 11 The young art-dealer was not precisely what would have been called pro-Ally. 1933 Archit. Rev. LXXIII. 127 The newest and most satisfactory examples of decoration in the world of the movie art-director. 1933 P. Godfrey Back-Stage xiii. 160 The first art director to do so. 1923 T. E. Lawrence Let. 13 Dec. (1938) 443 Hogarth will literary-edit the proofs for me: & Kennington art-edit the blocks. 1877 Harper's Mag. Dec. 53/2 The day editor [puts]‥news relating to art in the hands of the art editor. 1941 Oxoniensia VI. 93 The art-editors of the Commission are not entirely aware why a good photograph is good, or a bad one not good. 1880 Poynter Lect. Art I. 16 It has never been thought worth while to art-educate the workman. 1868 G. M. Hopkins Notebks. (1937) 97 An intellectual attraction for very sharp and pure dialectic or, in other matter, hard and telling art-forms. 1887 Magazine of Art 135/2 Some such accidental juxtaposition of decorative bird-woman and galleys‥suggested the art-form or myth of Odysseus and the Sirens. 1894 World 21 Feb. 23/1 This type of musical farce is not an elevating or intellectual art-form. 1928 H. Read Phases of Eng. Poetry i. 11 Anglo-Saxon poetry is already a highly developed art-form. 1929 H. G. Wells King who was King i. 8 (heading) The Film, the Art Form of the Future. 1952 D. T. Rice Eng. Art 871–1100 v. 132 Before the crosses were finally eclipsed as an art-form, a very wide repertory of different types of decoration was to appear on their shafts and heads. 1870 Athenæum 21 May 681 Little more than a pretty piece of art-furniture. [1845 Disraeli Sybil III. v. i. 14 Something of the splendour or the rarities of the metropolis; its public buildings, museums, and galleries of art. 1860 Birmingham Council Proc. 15 May 195 The scheme‥should comprise a central Reference Library‥, a Museum and Gallery of Art. 1863 Ibid. 5 May 198 The Fine Art Gallery now being erected in connection with the Central Free Library.] 1865 Ibid. 28 Nov. 37 An offer‥to deposit in the Art Gallery several valuable pictures belonging to the Society. 1885 M. Davitt Prison Diary II. xxiv. 46 Every public library in all towns of say 5000 inhabitants should have in connection with it a museum and an art gallery. 1946 Ann. Reg. 1945 333 This year of victory saw the gradual resumption of their normal functions by most of our public art galleries and museums. 1890 Wilde Critic as Artist in Wks. (1948) 958 The Greeks‥wrote essays on art, and produced their art-historians. 1907 Daily Chron. 5 June 6/4 In its way the most thorough piece of art-historian work that was ever produced. 1957 Times Lit. Suppl. 27 Dec. 790/1 The writer is an archaeologist and historian of art, not an ‘art-historian’, so those interested in this unfamiliar aspect of Greek art are better referred not to the text but to the plates. 1933 R. Fry Art History as Acad. Study 11 The whole tendency of their [sc. the Germans’] art-historical studies has been to regard works of art almost entirely from a chronological point of view‥without reference to their aesthetic significance. 1874 Temple Bar XLII. 204 Incidentally may here be mentioned, though not strictly within the limits of art history, the wonderful power which was exercised this year by a portrait of the period. 1876 Mind I. 477 Hasty inductions drawn from a narrow area of art-history are erected into general principles. 1927 R. H. Wilensky Mod. Movement in Art i. 51 The genius is so rare in art history. 1891 Wilde Pict. Dorian Gray iv, She has not merely art, consummate art-instinct, in her, but she has personality also. 1857 Ruskin Pol. Econ. Art 30 A certain quantity of Art-intellect is born annually in every nation. 1862 Thornbury Turner I. 13 The very starting-point of the boy's art life. 1876 Gladstone Relig. Th. in Contemp. Rev. June 23 The splendid and elaborate art-life of the people. 1874 Daily Tel. 4 May 5/6 This is‥what artists and art-lovers will thank him for. 1861 Trollope Tales of all Countries Ser. ii (1863) 52 The haunts in Rome which are best loved by art-loving strangers. 1934 Burlington Mag. Oct. 146/2 The English might have a reputable art magazine. 1928 A. Huxley Point Counter Point v. 71, I envy you art-mongers your success. 1856 Art-Jrnl. 2nd Ser. II. 93/1 If the money spent in the Art-museums of France was taken into consideration, it would be found that the assistance‥was on a‥liberal scale. 1857 Ibid. 239/1 As a national Art-museum it [sc. the South Kensington Museum]‥is a success. 1904 Westm. Gaz. 20 Oct. 1/2 Everyone‥remarked how very flat the picture market has been, compared with that of ‘art objects’. 1913 T. E. Lawrence Let. 16 Oct. (1954) 269 Arab glass‥is the rarest art object in the world. 1962 W. Nowottny Lang. Poets Use vi. 137 Different ways of looking at a house‥as an art-object. 1905 Jrnl. Soc. Chem. Industry XXIV. 771/2 The unpleasantness and fatigue caused by the reflection of light from the surface of high-glazed art papers. 1958 Times Lit. Suppl. 3 Oct. 567/4 To print both illustrations and text on coated paper (that is, so-called art paper). 1904 W. James in Atlantic Monthly July 102/2 All his [sc. Spencer's] dealings with the art-products of mankind. 1882 W. F. Poole Index Period. Lit. (ed. 3) 64/1 Art and Art Sales in England, in the 18th Century. 1902 Encycl. Brit. XXV. 684/1 The greatest art sale in the annals of Great Britain. 1866 Once a Week 3 Feb. 134/1 The Universities do not teach art, the Art-schools do not teach anything else. 1935 Discovery Jan. 17/2 Groups drawn from art schools. 1945 Times 13 June 2/4 The Government have decided that‥the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts is to continue after the war under a new name. The new body will be known as the Arts Council of Great Britain. 1951 Oxf. Compan. Theatre 36/1 The defined purposes of the Arts Council‥are ‘to develop a greater knowledge, understanding and practice of the Fine Arts, to increase their accessibility to the public and to improve their standard of execution’. 1957 Times Lit. Suppl. 1 Nov. 652/3 The Hallé's experience with an Arts Council grant. 1967 New Charter of Incorporation of Arts Council of Gt. Britain 7 Feb., The objects for which the Council are established‥(a) to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts; (b) to increase the accessibility of the arts. 1984 Listener 26 Apr. 3/3 When the Arts Council came to launch its new initiative towards the regions, those funds were inviolate. 1902 Encycl. Brit. XXVI. 605/1 The products of these two processes are well known under the trade-names of ‘Parquet Carpets’ and ‘Art Squares’. 1849 Art-Jrnl. XI. 107/3 In ordinary times there resides at Paris a numerous body of artists and Art-students 1934 R. Benedict Patterns Cult. (1935) iii. 48 What has happened in the great art-styles happens also in cultures as a whole. 1872 Ruskin Eagle's Nest i. §3 The least part of the work of any sound art-teacher must be his talking. 1857 —— Pol. Econ. Art ii. 101 The most singular concentration of art-teaching and art-treasure. 1857 Ibid. i. 41 The picture which most truly deserves the name of an art-treasure. 1837 (title) Art Union of Scotland. 1839 Dickens Let. 18 Feb. (1965) I. 509 All good fortune to the Art Union. 1849 Sydney Morning Herald 27 Nov. 1/4 The undersigned guarantees the‥sums of £50 and £40 to the drawers of the 1st and 2nd Prizes, in his Art Union. 1851 Rossetti Let. 30 Aug. (1965) I. 103 A Notice about an Art-Union print. 1868 Chambers Encycl. I. 446 Scotland preceded England in the establishment of Art Unions. 1931 Dominion (Wellington) 26 Dec. 13/7 Here we have art unions freely sanctioned‥for every conceivable object from sports of every kind to first aid. 1948 D. Ballantyne Cunninghams 148 But it would be a long, long time before she got a new dress—unless her ship came home and she won an art union. 1966 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 5 May 3/11 A Scottish couple‥yesterday won first prize in a Queensland consultation, the Scarborough art union. 1880 Poynter Lect. Art I. 16 The Art-workmen who have studied in our schools of design. 1890 Atlantic Monthly Dec. 753/1 January and February, 1890, saw the culmination of a new movement in the art world of Paris.


19. a. Designed to produce an artistic effect, as art furniture, art needlework, art pottery, etc.

1868 Building News 25 Dec. 869/3 (heading) Messrs. Walford and Donkin's art furniture. 1870 Art-furniture [see sense 18]. 1879 M. E. Braddon Vixen I. xvii. 327 Your last piece of art needlework. 1880 L. Higgin Handbk. Embroidery 98 The School was founded in 1872.‥ It was first established, under the title of School of Art-Needlework, in Sloane Street; but in 1875 was removed to the present premises in the Exhibition Road. 1881 C. C. Harrison Woman's Handiwork 47 Canton flannel,‥a soft downy fabric,‥comes in all the ‘art’ shades. 1885 C. M. Yonge Two Sides of Shield I. v. 75 ‘Don't you love art needlework?’ ‘Maude Sefton has been working Goosey Goosey Gander on a toilet-cover.’ 1887 G. B. Shaw Don Giovanni Explains in Wks. (1932) VI. 99 Some exquisitely fine fabric in an ‘art shade’ of Indian red. 1887 Trade Marks Jrnl. 9 Feb., ‘Liberty’ Art Fabrics. 1893 Yonge & Coleridge Strolling Players x. 77 What she called ‘an art-frock’ in Liberty silk. 1894 Mrs. H. Ward Marcella i. vii. 61 Marcella wore ‘art serges’ and velveteens. 1895 British Warehouseman Feb. 17/2 Chintzes, Art Blinds, Window Hollands,‥Art Serges. Ibid. 38/2 A new‥shade-card, comprising all the newest art tints. 1897 Daily News 23 Mar. 7/1 Great art-pottery establishments‥are busy in the preparation of vases and other articles. 1900 J. K. Jerome Three Men on Bummel viii. 171 A yard or so of art muslin. 1930 W. S. Maugham Cakes & Ale xii. 151 Curtains of art serge and a bilious green.


b. [cf. G. kunstlied, -musik.] Produced by an artist, composed with conscious artistry: said of poetry and music, opp. to popular or folk, as art ballad, art music, art song.

1890 A. B. Bach (title) The Art Ballad. Loewe and Schubert. Ibid. 19 Schubert was the creator of the art song, Loewe the creator of the art ballad. 1934 Webster, Art music. 1940 [see artify v.]. 1950 M. J. C. Hodgart Ballads iii. 49 Ballad music, like other folk music, sounds strange to anyone familiar only with ‘art’ music. Ibid. 57 Folksong is at variance with modern ‘art’ song, in which the practice is to make the musical stresses correspond to the speech-stresses. 1959 L. Bernstein Joy of Music (1960) 172 The songs of these shows are closer to art songs than they are to Tin Pan Alley.


c. Applied spec. to a theatre, cinema, etc., specializing in consciously artistic productions, opp. to commercial, popular, etc.; hence art film.

1929 S. W. Cheney Theatre xxiii. 520 Georg Fuchs of the Munich Art Theatre. 1932 W. Rothenstein Men & Memories II. xix. 154 Rumours of Craig's success at the Moscow Art Theatre reached London. 1933 P. Godfrey Back-stage xiii. 160 The studio or art theatre exists‥to prevent dramatic art from being wiped out by the commercially minded. 1944 L. Macneice Columbus 15 The radio play‥is competing with the Soviet art-cinema rather than with Hollywood. 1959 Encounter XIII. 52 The most the art-house circuit can do is $600,000. 1960 Guardian 15 Dec. 6/3 French art film makers‥spin romantic webs around works of art. 1962 Listener 8 Mar. 448/2 Films as sheer entertainment‥are slowly being ousted by these art-films. 1967 Guardian 5 Aug. 7/8 The Latin Quarter is rich in art cinemas.


VI. ‖art (ar), the French equivalent, occurring in certain phrases used in English contexts, as: a. art autre [lit. ‘other art’]= tachism(e.

1959 Vogue June 115 Art autre makes painting a truly visual art. 1963 Times 17 May 18/4 Official taste remains complacently becalmed at action-painting and art autre.


b. art brut [lit. ‘raw art’], primitive or unsophisticated art.

1955 A. C. Ritchie New Decade 21 Jean Dubuffet‥intensified interest in l'Art brut, the work of prisoners, mediums, the insane and other non-professionals. 1960 Times 10 Oct. 7/2 A certain aestheticism, under the obligatory roughnesses of art brut, is discernible.


c. art deco [abbrev. of art décoratif, lit. ‘decorative art’ (from the name of the exhibition L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925)] (often with capital initials), the name applied subsequently to a style of interior design (furniture, textiles, ceramics, etc.) popular in the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by geometrical shapes and harsh colours.

1966 Times 2 Nov. 15/1 Earlier this year the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris staged a fascinating exhibition‥which highlighted the style now known by connoisseurs as Art Deco. 1968 B. Hillier Art Deco 13 Art Deco can be held to cover the Ballet Russe fripperies of Erté as well as the ‘architectural nudism’ of Le Corbusier. 1972 T. Menten Art Deco Style Introd., Art Deco‥might best be characterized as an attempt to unite arts with industry, embracing the machine age and repudiating the old antithesis of ‘fine’ and ‘industrial’ art. 1979 E. H. Gombrich Sense of Order v. 118 Where Art Nouveau relished the sinuous line, Art Deco went in for angularity. 1983 Y. Brunhammer (title) The art deco style. 1985 Daily Tel. 23 Jan. 16/2 Our former consulate [in Shanghai]‥is now a‥travel agency. However, a rather splendid art-deco house has been found as a replacement.


d. art mobilier [lit. ‘portable art’], a term applied to prehistoric decorated or carved objects.

1946 Proc. Prehist. Soc. XII. 153 Engraved plaques of clay-slate from the Bann diatomite indicate‥that the art mobilier of the Iberian Peninsula has, to some extent, its counterpart in Ireland also. 1959 J. D. Clark Prehist. S. Afr. x. 259 The famous art mobilier which is found together with the implements and other occupation material.


e. art moderne, modern art.

1934 D. Parker After Such Pleasures 97 There was no tallying the gifts of Charvet handkerchiefs, art moderne ash-trays, etc. 1937 L. Bromfield Rains Came i. xxiii. 115 Atrocious bits of art moderne.


f. art nouveau (ar nuvo) [lit. ‘new art’] (often with capital initials), a style of art developed in the last decade of the 19th century, characterized by the free use of ornament based on organic or foliate forms and by its flowing (i.e. non-geometrical) lines and curves. (Called ‘Jugendstil’ in Germany.)

[1899 Studio XVII. 44 Jewellery‥executed at Mr. Bing's establishment ‘l'Art Nouveau’.] 1901 Times 15 July 12/5 It is much to be regretted that the authorities of South Kensington have introduced into the Museum specimens of the work styled, ‘L'Art nouveau’. 1908 G. B. Shaw Lett. to G. Barker (1956) 137 A model cemetery with Art Nouveau tombstones. 1909 J. Thorp Æsthetic Conversion (Heal & Son) 10 The art nouveau, with its meandering tulips and inconsequent squirms and dots. 1928 J. Buchan Runagates Club 103 A new plate of gun-metal and oxidised silver, lettered in the best style of art nouveau. 1939 O. Lancaster Homes Sweet Homes 54 A recurrent passion for tortuous curves and sinuous lines‥which‥finds expression in‥the flamboyant Gothic of the later Middle Ages, mid-eighteenth century rococo and, most deplorably, in Art Nouveau. 1939 A. Thirkell Before Lunch iv, An oxidized silver stand representing the Three Graces in Art Nouveau style.