Article Title

A Third System of the Arts? An Exploration of Some Ideas from Larry Shiner's The Invention of Art: A Cultural History


David Clowney


I explore some implications of Larry Shiner’s view that fine art is a modern invention. In part I, I briefly summarize Shiner’s main thesis and defend it against some misunderstandings and objections that have appeared in the literature. In part II, I discuss Shiner’s remarks about the possible emergence of what he calls a “third system of the arts.” I ask what such a system might look like, consider some signs that it may indeed be emerging, and venture a suggestion about what would be required for it actually to come about.