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4 Ways Art Affects Culture and Society

October 14, 2018 Jessica 0 Comments

Art affects a great many people and things, especially culture and society. It can have a positive or negative effect, but rarely is its effect neutral.

“According to Thelma Golden, images can change the way we think about cultures and about ourselves. They can create a new story, a new narrative in art history and in the world. She thinks that the power of images is to raise the question of how people understand themselves and each other.” — How Art Gives Shape to Cultural Change

4 Ways Art Affects Society and Culture


Art has had an impact on us all. It affects culture and society in a variety of ways, for better or for worse. Here are a few examples:


  1. Art promotes communication between cultures — Art is a universal language that breaks cultural barriers and gives people respect for the beliefs and traditions of others. Using art can be an effective way of uniting individuals of contrasting cultures and improving their understanding of and communication with one another.


  1. Art preserves history — Art is one of the single best preservers of history, which has a huge impact on culture and society, and it is also a great history teacher. Simply looking at art infuses a respect for history into us, “and this art and history can influence the way that you see and appreciate the world, as well as how you see and appreciate past and present cultures from around the globe,” stated Social Justice Solutions.


  1. Art changes people’s opinions — Can you remember a time when art changed your opinion about something? Perhaps it was as petty as your favorite color or as serious as your stance on moral or religious issues. Since it engages us emotionally, the messages of art tends to go right past our logical mind and into our heart where decisions can be readily changed.


  1. It preserves the feelings of a culture — Artists have a crazy ability to capture feelings, and art historians are keepers and preservers of those feelings. “Painting, sculpture, music, literature, and the other arts are often considered to be the repository of a society’s collective memory. Art preserves what fact-based historical records cannot: how it felt to exist in a particular place at a particular time,” stated a contributor to Paint and Party. This is unique ability almost seems magical, but it’s as real as can be.


How Has Art Shaped Your Culture?

There is no doubt that your society and the culture in which you live have been shaped by art. In what ways have you noticed this?

Do you believe that art affects society and culture more than society and culture affect art, or vice versa? Share your thoughts with us in the section below.

Read more about art’s ability to influence things and people in 3 Ways Art Shapes Your Identity.

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