Definition of art noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɑːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɑːrt//
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the use of the imagination to express ideas or feelings, particularly in painting, drawing or sculpture modern/contemporary/American art an art critic/historian/lover Can we call television art? stolen works of art Her performance displayed great art. see also clip art, fine art
  2. 2  [uncountable] examples of objects such as paintings, drawings or sculptures an art gallery/exhibition a collection of art and antiques Wordfinderart, background, canvas, exhibition, foreground, frame, fresco, painting, portrait, watercolour Cultureart galleries and museums of artIn Britain, works of art are displayed in art galleries and, especially outside London, in museums. Shops that sell paintings are also called galleries. In the US public art collections are displayed in art museums, and a gallery is a place where people go to buy works of art.Many galleries and museums in Britain and the US receive limited financial support from national or local government. Other money is raised through admission fees, although admission to many British museums is free, and the sale of postcards, calendars and other gifts. Some galleries obtain money through sponsorship. Many works of art are expensive and galleries can rarely buy them without organizing a public appeal or, in Britain, asking for money fromthe Art Fund.Visiting an art gallery is a popular leisure activity. Galleries and museums are friendlier places than they used to be. Many try to encourage children's interest in art by arranging school visits and many people make their first trip to an art museum with their school class.The most popular galleries in Britain, all in London, are the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition of paintings sent in by the general public also receives a lot of visitors. Sculpture attracts less attention, and though the names of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth are known to many people, few could describe any of their works. Well-known galleries outside London include the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.Important art museums in the US include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, all in New York, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Most US cities and many smaller towns have art museums.Galleries sometimes mount exhibitions of the paintings or art works of one artist, that are brought together from all over the world. People are prepared to queue for a long time to see them. Many people admire old masters, famous works by great artists of the past, but have little interest in modern art. New works receive publicity in the media only when they are unusual or likely to shock people. Galleries and museums try to encourage a more positive attitude to modern art but many people remain doubtful. There is usually controversy about the winners of the Turner PrizeSome exhibitions bring together all kinds of art, not only paintings, from a particular time or country so that people can learn about it. Exhibitions on subjects such as the Aztecs, art nouveau or the art of Turkey attract large crowds.
  3. 3  [uncountable] the skill of creating objects such as paintings and drawings, especially when you study it She's good at art and design. an art teacher/student/college/class CollocationsFine artsCreating art make a work of art/​a drawing/​a sketch/​a sculpture/​a statue/​engravings/​etchings/​prints do an oil painting/​a self-portrait/​a line drawing/​a rough sketch create a work of art/​an artwork/​paintings and sculptures produce paintings/​portraits/​oil sketches/​his most celebrated work/​a series of prints paint a picture/​landscape/​portrait/​mural/​in oils/​in watercolours/(especially US English) in watercolors/​on canvas draw a picture/​a portrait/​a cartoon/​a sketch/​a line/​a figure/​the human form/​in charcoal/​in ink sketch a preliminary drawing/​a figure/​a shape carve a figure/​an image/​a sculpture/​an altarpiece/​reliefs/​a block of wood sculpt a portrait bust/​a statue/​an abstract figure etch a line/​a pattern/​a design/​a name into the glass mix colours/(especially US English) colors/​pigments/​paints add/​apply thin/​thick layers of paint/​colour/(especially US English) color/​pigment use oil pastels/​charcoal/​acrylic paint/​a can of spray paint work in bronze/​ceramics/​stone/​oils/​pastels/​watercolour/​a wide variety of mediaDescribing art paint/​depict a female figure/​a biblical scene/​a pastoral landscape/​a domestic interior depict/​illustrate a traditional/​mythological/​historical/​religious theme create an abstract composition/​a richly textured surface/​a distorted perspective paint dark/​rich/​skin/​flesh tones use broad brush strokes/​loose brushwork/​vibrant colours/​a limited palette/​simple geometric forms develop/​adopt/​paint in a stylized manner/​an abstract styleShowing and selling art commission an altarpiece/​a bronze bust of somebody/​a portrait/​a religious work/​an artist to paint something frame a painting/​portrait hang art/​a picture/​a painting display/​exhibit modern art/​somebody’s work/​a collection/​original artwork/​drawings/​sculptures/​a piece be displayed/​hung in a gallery/​museum install/​place a sculpture in/​at/​on something erect/​unveil a bronze/​marble/​life-size statue hold/​host/​mount/​open/​curate/​see an exhibition (especially British English)/(usually North American English) an exhibit be/​go on (British English) exhibition/(North American English) exhibit feature/​promote/​showcase a conceptual artist/​contemporary works collect African art/​modern British paintings/​Japanese prints restore/​preserve a fresco/​great works of art See related entries: Subjects and courses
  4. 4  the arts [plural] art, music, theatre, literature, etc. when you think of them as a group lottery funding for the arts see also performing arts
  5. 5[countable] a type of visual or performing art Dance is a very theatrical art.
  6. 6  [countable, usually plural] the subjects you can study at school or university that are not scientific, such as languages, history or literature an arts degree compare science See related entries: Exams and degrees, Subjects and courses, Study routes
  7. 7[countable, uncountable] an ability or a skill that you can develop with training and practice a therapist trained in the art of healing Letter-writing is a lost art nowadays. Appearing confident at interviews is quite an art (= rather difficult).
  8. Word Originnoun Middle English: via Old French from Latin ars, art-.Extra examples Cinema became accepted as an art form. He created cover art and illustrations for the magazine. He was a noted art collector. His art style was less radical than his contemporaries. I’ve never mastered the art of making bread. Many people from the art world attended the funeral. Michelangelo’s Pietà is a magnificent work of art. She has the business of buying presents down to a fine art. Social interaction is increasingly becoming a lost art. Television has ruined the art of conversation. The castle houses one of the finest art collections in Britain. The museum normally showcases Western art. The open art exhibition will allow new artists to exhibit their work. Will real life ever imitate art the way Hollywood wishes it would? a liberal arts degree an exhibition of Peruvian arts and crafts one of the greatest works of art ever produced the Impressionist art movement the New York art scene Appearing confident at interviews is quite an art. Painting is the art of reaching the soul through the eyes. Teach your teenager the art of compromise. the art of conversation/​communication/​persuasion/​negotiation/​compromise/​healing/​listening/​love the art of fiction/​poetry/​painting/​filmIdioms
    get something down to a fine art
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    (informal) to learn to do something well and efficiently I spend so much time travelling that I've got packing down to a fine art.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: art