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What is Art

    After receiving my BA and MA in Art, with majors in both history and
studio, and then taking a teaching credential, I took a teaching job at a
junior high school in the L.A. area.  Given carte blanche as to curriculum
and budget I had two glorious years with 7th and 8th graders doing
incredibly complex work over a period of five or six weeks at a time.  We
went to the museums, we toured galleries, we visited then-Sister Mary Corita
at Immaculate Heart College and learned to do serigraphy.  One girl in the
class produced a beautiful 16 color print with only one screen.

    In the second year all the administrators got fired by a John Birch
board member, and new ones brought it.  My new principal and vp told me,
when the third year began, that the work was too sophisticated for that
grade level and wanted to shift me to a class teaching math - which I failed
repeatedly in college.

    At the high-school where I worked next, the curriculum was firmly in
place instituted by two professional lady administrators who brooked no

    Applying for a job at the new County Art Museum I came across a book by
one David Manzella, titled "Educationists and the Evisceration of the Visual
Arts."  It fit exactly.  It's out of print, of course, but available in a
number of libraries across the country, and I recommend it highly.

    Taking my required graduate level course in "Philosophy of Art," I came
to the conclusion that if you wanted to see a real fit-fight pose, as a
question, the title of this posting, then stand back and watch.

    Then, I liked the cartoon of the dude in the gallery with each arm
around a beautiful girl, who says, "I don't know anything about art, but I
know what I like."  Long live his kind.

Charles Schermerhorn
The New Leaf Book Bindery
Lompoc, Calif.

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