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Howard S. Becker, 1928-2023.
A friend of a friend of a friend who heard it from a friend told this story about a friend, a musician who was a cab driver. Businessman gets into the cab and anyhow they start to chat. Businessman tells my friend he’s an insurance executive.
“Hey, wow! Charles Ives was an insurance executive!
— Charles Ives! We still use his charts! One of the greats!
— But you know, he was also a composer…
— What! A composer?!!!”
Howard S. Becker has died. A sociologist. But you know, he wrote one of the most influential books about the Art World, titled Art Worlds.
“The Art World! Arthur Danto! ‘An atmosphere of art theory!’ Art as a philosophical enterprise!
— No. Art Worlds, accurately described by the publisher as a ‘classic sociological examination of art as collective action [that] explores the cooperative network of suppliers, performers, dealers, critics, and consumers who—along with the artist—’produce’ a work of art.’
— What! A sociologist?!!!”
August 17, 2023