Canon

DEFINITION

In art, the body of unquestionably important artists (DWMs ? dead white males) and works. Until recently the canon was seldom challenged, and changed at a sluggish pace. Now it's being relentlessly challenged by art historians and critics recovering forgotten and ignored artists (especially by women, non-whites, and outsiders) both within and outside the Western world. The scope of what is considered art has been widening as new fields, including photography, performance art, video, crafts, and design, are added to what amounts to an ever-increasing canon. Postmodernism, however, has put in question the very idea of an irreducible list of masters and masterpieces. So, when referring to the canon today, one should specify what sort of canon one means.

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