Relative values: the words about non-Western art - British Library Research Repository
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Relative values: the words about non-Western art



A survey of holdings of non-Western art in British, and some North American, art libraries has by and large confirmed that it is poorly represented, and that contemporary non-Western art is especially neglected. Libraries’ freedom to acquire material in this broad area may be restricted or defined by curricula, the interests of clients, and the availability of material, yet libraries which allow themselves to be thus constrained present a distorted and impoverished view of world art. Library classification schemes tend to favour Western art, with non-Western art sometimes being relegated to ‘crafts’ or ‘anthropology’, while subject descriptors sometimes employ inappropriate terminology.


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