"William Morris told us to cease thinking of art as the rarefied expression of a mystically talented few, or as the peculiar possession of rich men. He argued that work is the mother of art, directing our study to carpets as well as paintings, axes as well as statues, and he bade us consider our own work as a source of insight into the work of others. With him, we come to wish that the painter in the loft, the scholar at the desk, and the industrial laborer on the shop floor might know the joy of the peasant girl at the loom."
Material culture historian Henry Glassie reflects on the value of the world as an inspiration for art, and how artistry, at its core, comes from age-old trades. He takes us through the lifespan of a traditionally-made Turkish rug to illustrate this, and brings us back around to the very fact that he is writing about it, to ensure we understand that all manner of artistry, big and small, is a product of the creative soul of humankind.
The chapter I read today was a joyous revelation, a celebration, of the material as historical, as everything we can and hope to be, in what we create on this earth, with our hands, our patience, our inspiration, our minds.