Art Criticism 13 (1):53-80 (1998)

C. E. Emmer
Emporia State University
"The writer discusses the concept of kitsch. Having reviewed a variety of approaches to kitsch, he posits an historical conception of it, connecting it to modernity and defining it as a coping-mechanism for modernity. He thus suggests that kitsch is best understood as a tool in the struggle against the particular stresses of the modern world and that it uses materials at hand, fashioning from them some sort of stability largely through projecting images of nature, stasis, and continuity. He discusses the relation of kitsch to fine art, arguing that fine art also has as its primary function a counter-movement to modernity. He suggests that the main difference between fine art and kitsch is that fine art, as well as its emotional function, also involves a reception context that allows it to assume an intellectual task. Among the writer's conclusions, he finds that positing a stark or absolute contrast between kitsch and fine art is unjustifiable as both have the same roots and objectives." [WilsonWeb]
Keywords kitsch  sentimentality  modernity  aesthetics  value  taste  calinescu  dorfles  greenberg  art
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime.Immanuel Kant - 1960 - Berkeley: University of California Press.
The Open Work.Umberto Eco - 1989 - Harvard University Press.
The Jargon of Authenticity.Theodor W. Adorno - 1973 - Evanston: Ill., Northwestern University Press.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Flower and the Breaking Wheel: Burkean Beauty and Political Kitsch.C. E. Emmer - 2007 - International Journal of the Arts in Society 2 (1):153-164.
Contemporary Kitsch: The Death of Pseudo-Art and the Birth of Everyday Cheesiness (A Postcolonial Inquiry).Max Ryynänen - 2018 - Terra Aestheticae: Journal of Russian Society for Aesthetics 1 (1):70-86.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
2,538 ( #785 of 2,329,876 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
200 ( #1,993 of 2,329,876 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes