Top Historical Art Quotes

Browse top 78 famous quotes and sayings about Historical Art by most favorite authors.

Favorite Historical Art Quotes

1. "My Aunty Frisco used to say that a man who has a strong relationship with fire is capable of historical love, because the flames keep the passion flowing in the smaller parts of the soul."
Author: Adam Rapp
2. "Narcissism and the Confederate dead cannot be connected logically, or even historically; even were the connection an historical fact, they would not stand connected as art, for no one experiences raw history."
Author: Allen Tate
3. "After all, much of the fondness avid readers, and certainly collectors, have for their books is related to the books' physical bodies. As much as they are vessels for stories (and poetry, reference information, etc.), books are historical artifacts and repositories for memories-we like to recall who gave books to us, where we were when we read them, how old we were, and so on."
Author: Allison Hoover Bartlett
4. "As Solomon himself had remarked, 'We can be sure of talent, we can only pray for genius.' But it was a reasonable hope that in such concentrated society some interesting reactions would take place. Few artists thrive in solitude and nothing is more stimulating than the conflict of minds with similar interests. So far, the conflict had produced worthwhile results in sculpture, music, literary criticism and film making. It was still too early to see if the group working on historical research would fulfil the hopes of its instigators, who were frankly hoping to restore mankind's pride in its own achievements. Painting still languished which supported the views of those who considered that static, two dimensional forms of art had no further possibilities. It was noticeable, though a satisfactory explanation for this had not yet been produced that time played an essential part in the colony's achievements."
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
5. "... on the historical scale, the damages wrought by individual violence for selfish motives are insignificant compared to the holocausts resulting from self-transcending devotion to collectively shared belief-systems. It is derived from primitive identification instead of mature social integration; it entails the partial surrender of personal responsibility and produces the quasi-hypnotic phenomena of group-psychology."
Author: Arthur Koestler
6. "If you look at landscape in historical terms, you realize that most of the time we have been on Earth as a species, what has fallen on our retina is landscape, not images of buildings and cars and street lights."
Author: Bill Viola
7. "[...] He didn't want his wife to read historical romances because it might give her unrealistic expectations. [...] If I had been him, I would have been reading your books every time you laid them down to see how I could improve my skills and please you. Second warning of the night. I bought a couple." You bought a couple of what?" Historical romances. I'm three-quarters through the first one." He flashed her a slow grin. "All I can say is, I like the way your mind works." ~Jake Coulter and Molly Wells"
Author: Catherine Anderson
8. "Historically, large-scale global trade has served two functions: 1) the exchange of goods between willing sellers and buyers described in Econ 101 textbooks; 2) as a tool of state aggrandizement, in which the private parties are stand-ins for governmental interests."
Author: Charles C. Mann
9. "The tape measures and weighing scales of the Victorian brain scientists have been supplanted by powerful neuroimaging technologies, but there is still a lesson to be learned from historical examples such as these. State-of-the-art brain scanners offer us unprecedented information about the structure and working of the brain. But don't forget that, once, wrapping a tape measure around the head was considered modern and sophisticated, and it's important not to fall into the same old traps. As we'll see in later chapters, although certain popular commentators make it seem effortlessly easy, the sheer complexity of the brain makes interpreting and understanding the meaning of any sex differences we find in the brain a very difficult task. But the first, and perhaps surprising, issue in sex differences research is that of knowing which differences are real and which, like the intially promising cephalic index, are flukes or spurious."
Author: Cordelia Fine
10. "He was thinking about automated teller machines. The term was aged and burdened by its own historical memory. It worked at cross-purposes, unable to escape the inferences of fuddled human personnel and jerky moving parts. The term was part of the process that the device was meant to replace. It was anti-futuristic, so cumbrous and mechanical that even the acronym seemed dated."
Author: Don DeLillo
11. "Historically, shamans have always been part of the society where they lived, taking care of its problems, whenever they were allowed to operate. For centuries shamanic cultures have been persecuted in the western world until they were almost entirely exterminated. They have managed to survive in secrecy or through complex esoteric camouflage. Nowadays there seems to be more freedom and this ancient knowledge can re-emerge and be used in our own cultural context and not relegated somewhere else. The world needs shamans able to function on the roads, among the electronic equipment and engines, in the squares and markets of our contemporary society."
Author: Franco Santoro
12. "More and more political analysts and weak-kneed politicians are advising the historically pro-life Republican Party to abandon its pro-life stance for political gain. My first response is that if you cannot trust a party on the value of defending human life, how can you trust it on issues like marginal tax rates?"
Author: Gary Bauer
13. "The finest SF comes to grips with life's mysteries, with our resentments against our own natures and our limited societies. It does so by asking basic questions in the artful, liberating way that is unique to this form of writing. Echoes of it are found in other forms of fiction - in the novel of ideas, in the historical novel, in the writings of the great philosophers and scientists; but the best SF does this all more searchingly, by taking what is in most people only a moment of wonder and rebellion against the arbitrariness of existence and making of it an art enriched by knowledge and possibility, expressing our deepest human longing to penetrate into the dark heart of the unknown."
Author: George Zebrowski
14. "[...] a familiar art historical narrative [...] celebrates the triumph of the expressive individual over the collective, of innovation over tradition, and autonomy over interdependence. [...] In fact, a common trope within the modernist tradition of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries involved the attempt to reconstruct or recover the lost ideal of an art that is integrated with, rather than alienated from, the social. By and large, however, the dominant model of avant-garde art during the modern period assumes that shared or collective values and systems of meaning are necessarily repressive and incapable of generating new insight or grounding creative praxis."
Author: Grant H. Kester
15. "All historical experience demonstrates the following: Our earth cannot be changed unless in the not too distant future an alteration in the consciousness of individuals is achieved."
Author: Hans Kung
16. "While the opportunity to improve yourself and your situation is a great thing, our striving to build perfect lives seems to have morphed into perfectionism so focused on itself that we forget about others in the world. We work so hard to build the ultimate luxury sedan, to embody society's standard of beauty, and to achieve historical scientific breakthroughs that we conveniently forget our family members in other parts of the world who must walk miles each day in their only set of clothing for the opportunity to go to school."
Author: Holly Sprink
17. "Given the historical power differential between blacks and whites, blacks are required to be attentive to the way their white counterparts see themselves in relation to people of color if they want to survive and even thrive."
Author: James A. Forbes
18. "Above all, it seems to me wrongheaded and dangerous to invoke historical assumptions about environmental practices of native peoples in order to justify treating them fairly. ... By invoking this assumption [i.e., that they were/are better environmental stewards than other peoples or parts of contemporary society] to justify fair treatment of native peoples, we imply that it would be OK to mistreat them if that assumption could be refuted. In fact, the case against mistreating them isn't based on any historical assumption about their environmental practices: it's based on a moral principle, namely, that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate or exterminate another people."
Author: Jared Diamond
19. "People tell you to write what you know, but I've found that writing what you know is much harder than making it up. It's easier to research a historical period than your own life, and it's much easier to deal with things that have a little less emotional weight and where you have a little more detachment. It's terrible advice! So this is why you'll find there's no such place as the Welsh valleys, no coal under them, and no red buses running up and down them; there never was such a year as 1979, no such age as fifteen, and no such planet as Earth. The fairies are real, though."
Author: Jo Walton
20. "I suppose I am talking about just that: the ambiguity of belonging to a generation distrustful of political highs, the historical irrelevancy of growing up convinced that the heart of darkness lay not in some error of social organization but in man's own blood. If man was bound to err, then any social organization was bound to be in error. It was a premise which still seems to me accurate enough, but one which robbed us early of a certain capacity for surprise."
Author: Joan Didion
21. "I expressed skepticism, in the first chapter, about the utility of time machines in historical research. I especially advised against graduate students relying on them, because of the limited perspective you tend to get from being plunked down in some particular part of the past, and the danger of not getting back in time for your orals."
Author: John Lewis Gaddis
22. "Love is understood, in a historical way, as one of the great human vocations - but its counterspell has always been infidelity. This terrible, terrible betrayal that can tear apart not only another person, not only oneself, but whole families."
Author: Junot Diaz
23. "Believing in the resurrection does not just mean assenting to a dogma and noting a historical fact. It means participating in this creative act of God's … Resurrection is not a consoling opium, soothing us with the promise of a better world in the hereafter. It is the energy for a rebirth of this life. The hope doesn't point to another world. It is focused on the redemption of this one."
Author: Jürgen Moltmann
24. "It wasn't that he was a Confederate. Everyone in Gatlin County was related to the wrong side in the War Between the States. We were used to that by now. It was like being born in Germany after World War II, being from Japan after Pearl Harbor, or America after Hiroshima. History was a bitch sometimes. You couldn't change where you were from. But still, you didn't have to stay there. You didn't have to stay stuck in the past, like the ladies in DAR, or the Gatlin Historical Society, or the Sisters. And you didn't have to accept that things had to be the way they were, like Lena. Ethan Carter Wate hadn't, and I couldn't, either."
Author: Kami Garcia
25. "There is no valid reason for the perennial Christian preference of biography, history, and the newspaper to fiction and poetry. The former tell us what happened, while literature tells us what happens. The example of the Bible, which is central to any attempt to formulate a Christian approach to literature, sanctions the imagination as a valid form of truth. The Bible is in large part a work of imagination. Its most customary way of expressing truth is not the sermon or the theological outline, but the story, the poem, and the vision--all of them literary forms and products of the imagination (though not necessarily the fictional imagination). Literary conventions are present in the Bible from start to finish, even in the most historically factual parts."
Author: Leland Ryken
26. "When it is impossible to stretch the very elastic threads of historical ratiocination any farther, when actions are clearly contrary to all that humanity calls right or even just, the historians produce a saving conception of ‘greatness.' ‘Greatness,' it seems, excludes the standards of right and wrong. For the ‘great' man nothing is wrong, there is no atrocity for which a ‘great' man can be blamed."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
27. "Consciously a man lives on his own account in freedom of willbut he serves as an unconscious instrument in bringing about the historical ends of humanity. An act he has once committed is irrecvocable, and that act of his, coinciding in time with millions of acts of others, has an historical value... 'The hearts of kinds are in the hand of God.' The king is the slave of history... Every action that seems to them an act of their own freewill, is in an historical sense not free at all, but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
28. "As far as a truly radical conscience, you have to take it as part of a larger thing, that it was sort of historical inevitability that with the coming of a leaguer society people would start to use drugs a lot more then they had before."
Author: Lester Bangs
29. "Primitives of our own species, even today are historically shallow in their knowledge of the past. Only the poet who writes speaks his message across the millennia to other hearts."
Author: Loren Eiseley
30. "Praxeology is a theoretical and systematic, not a historical, science. Its scope is human action as such, irrespective of all environmental, accidental, and individual circumstances of the concrete acts. Its cognition is purely formal and general without reference to the material content and the particular features of the actual case. It aims at knowledge valid for all instances in which the conditions exactly correspond to those implied in its assumptions and inferences. Its statements and propositions are not derived from experience. They are, like those of logic and mathematics, a priori. They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts."
Author: Ludwig Von Mises
31. "I wasn't an academic looking in books for ideas. But I educated myself about historical work that was similar to mine, to provide a frame of reference that wasn't the usual frame of reference of the New York art world and Europe."
Author: Michael Heizer
32. "What? We feel aesthetic pleasure at a sonata by Beethoven and not at one with the same style and charm if it comes from one of our own contemporaries? Isn't that the height of hypocrisy? So then the sensation of beauty is not spontaneous, spurred by our sensibility, but instead is cerebral, conditioned by our knowing a date?No way around it: historical consciousness is so thoroughly inherent in our perception of art that this anachronism (a Beethoven piece written today) would be spontaneously (that is, without the least hypocrisy) felt to be ridiculous, false, incongruous, even monstrous. Our feeling for continuity is so strong that it enters into the perception of any work of art."
Author: Milan Kundera
33. "Key is the question of where do new ideas come from. Historically, four places: government labs, big corporations, startup companies, and research universities."
Author: Nicholas Negroponte
34. "When writing about historical characters I try to be as accurate as possible, and in particular not to misrepresent the view they held. With a real historical figure you have to be fair, and this is not an obligation you have in dealing with your own creations, so it is quite different."
Author: Pat Barker
35. "Historians concluded that in the twentieth century about sixty genocides had occurred in the world, but not all of them entered historical memory. Historians said that historical memory was not part of history and memory was shifted from the historical to the psychological sphere, and this instituted a new mode of memory whereby it was no longer a question of memory of events but memory of memory."
Author: Patrik Ouředník
36. "Whatever its future success as a historical movement, anarchism will remain a fundamental part of human experience, for the drive for freedom is one of our deepest needs and the vision of a free society is one of our oldest dreams. Neither can ever be fully repressed; both will outlive all rulers and their States."
Author: Peter Marshall
37. "Creativity is closely associated with bipolar disorder. This condition is unique . Many famous historical figures and artists have had this. Yet they have led a full life and contributed so much to the society and world at large. See, you have a gift. People with bipolar disorder are very very sensitive. Much more than ordinary people. They are able to experience emotions in a very deep and intense way. It gives them a very different perspective of the world. It is not that they lose touch with reality. But the feelings of extreme intensity are manifested in creative things. They pour their emotions into either writing or whatever field they have chosen" (pg 181)"
Author: Preeti Shenoy
38. "Without entering here into a dissertation upon the historical romance, it may be said that in proper hands it has been and should continue to be one of the most valued and valuable expressions of the literary art. To render and maintain it so, however, it is necessary that certain well-defined limits should be set upon the licence which its writers are to enjoy; it is necessary that the work should be honest work; that preparation for it should be made by a sound, painstaking study of the period to be represented, to the end that a true impression may first be formed and then conveyed. Thus, considering how much more far-reaching is the novel than any other form of literature, the good results that must wait upon such endeavours are beyond question. The neglect of them—the distortion of character to suit the romancer's ends, the like distortion of historical facts, the gross anachronisms arising out of a lack of study, have done much to bring the historical romance into disrepute."
Author: Rafael Sabatini
39. "As president of the American Historical Association, I started a programme to make dissertations into e-books in 1999. Before I knew it, I was involved in other electronic projects. Harvard invited me to become director of the libraries in 2007."
Author: Robert Darnton
40. "My point is, however, that churches do promote beliefs that would more appropriately find a place in a context of intellectual debate. They wind up cheerleading for highly dubious opinions on historical, scientific, and metaphysical matters, simply on the bases of emotional preference and the inertia of tradition. They demand conformity to these beliefs, and if you cannot swim with the current, then, well partner, maybe you'd be happier in another pool, another lake in fact, the one ablaze with burning sulfur."
Author: Robert M. Price
41. "Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks."
Author: Roger A. Caras
42. "It is by studium that I am interested in so many photographs, whether I receive them as political testimony or enjoy them as good historical scenes: for it is culturally (this connotation is present in studium) that I participate in the figures, the faces, the gestures, the settings, the actions."
Author: Roland Barthes
43. "What genuine painters do is to reveal the underlying psychological and spiritual conditions of their relationship to their world; thus in the works of a great painter we have a reflection of the emotional and spiritual condition of human beings in that period of history. If you wish to understand the psychological and spiritual temper of any historical period, you can do no better than to look long and searchingly at its art. For in the art the underlying spiritual meaning of the period is expressed directly in symbols. This is not because artists are didactic or set out to teach or to make propaganda; to the extend that they do, their power of expression is broken; their direct relations to the inarticulate, or, if you will, 'unconscious' levels of the culture is destroyed. They have the power to reveal the underlying meaning of any period precisely because the essence of art is the powerful and alive encounter between the artist and his or her world." (pg 52)"
Author: Rollo May
44. "Skepticism is an important historical tool. It is the starting point of all revision of hitherto accepted history."
Author: Samuel E. Morison
45. "The best historical stories capture the modern imagination because they are, in many senses, still current - part of a continuum."
Author: Sara Sheridan
46. "[On Jason Mashak's book SALTY AS A LIP, as reviewed in The Prague Post:] Mashak amalgamates various national, historical and religious traditions into a myth-mash that illuminates many sects' fanatical compartmentalizing, and the fact that so many religions and philosophies share similar goals, if not roots."
Author: Stephan Delbos
47. "Sociologists argue that in contemporary Western society the marketplace has become so dominant that the consumer model increasingly characterizes most relationships that historically were covenantal, including marriage. Today we stay connected to people only as long as they are meeting our particular needs at an acceptable cost to us. When we cease to make a profit - that is, when the relationship appears to require more love and affirmation from us than we are getting back - then we "cut our loses" and drop the relationship. This has also been called "commodification," a process by which social relationships are reduced to economic exchange relationships, and so the very idea of "covenant" is disappearing in our culture. Covenant is therefore a concept increasingly foreign to us, and yet the Bible says it is the essence of marriage."
Author: Timothy Keller
48. "There are well established and easily understood historical reasons why every legitimate influence should be brought to bear on the removal of this roadblock from the pathway of normal human advancement. This must be done for the sake of the Homo-Marxian as well as the rest of humanity. He is the victim of a man-made experiment, trapped in his own self-perpetuating cycle of human negation. As long as free men are the prevailing majority in the earth there is a very good chance of breaking this cycle. To do so, however, free men must achieve an intelligent and dynamic solidarity at least as strong as the illusory but firmly fixed purposes of Homo-Marxian."
Author: W. Cleon Skousen
49. "All the authors I studied, all the historical figures, with the exception of George Washington Carver, and all those figures I looked upon as having importance were white men. I didn't mind that they were men, or even white men. What I did mind was that being white seemed to play so important a part in the assigning of values."
Author: Walter Dean Myers
50. "In editing a volume of Washington's private letters for the Long Island Historical Society, I have been much impressed by indications that this great historic personality represented the Liberal religious tendency of his time. That tendency was to respect religious organizations as part of the social order, which required some minister to visit the sick, bury the dead, and perform marriages. It was considered in nowise inconsistent with disbelief of the clergyman's doctrines to contribute to his support, or even to be a vestryman in his church.In his many letters to his adopted nephew and younger relatives, he admonishes them about their manners and morals, but in no case have I been able to discover any suggestion that they should read the Bible, keep the Sabbath, go to church, or any warning against Infidelity.Washington had in his library the writings of Paine, Priestley, Voltaire, Frederick the Great, and other heretical works.[The Religion of Washington]"
Author: Washington

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Most people are much better at saying things in letters than in conversation, and some people can write artistic, inventive letters, but when they try a poem or story or novel they become pretentious."
Author: Charles Bukowski

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