Raymond Williams on art and society

Pictures for Schools

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading some books (Culture and Society, 1958, Politics of Modernism, 1996, and The Long Revolution, 1961) by cultural theorist Raymond Williams, as part of an attempt to gain an understanding of the cultural and social changes which took place in the mid-twentieth century, and their relationship to art. In The Long Revolution, Williams places art at the centre of society, reality and the way the world is experienced, and in this regard it was The Long Revolution which I found most interesting and useful. Of particular interest are Williams’ ideas about how communication and art can contribute to new social and cultural meanings which come to coexist alongside old meanings, and how individual members of society and artists can contribute to bringing about this change. I was also interested in Williams’ description of both seeing and the creation…

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