THOMAS RUCKTENWALD dot Com - Matted Autograph Presentations for home enjoyment, playrooms, work, conference rooms, restaurants, public venues, and just plain fun!

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Thomas Rucktenwald dot Com - Call Today (949) 872-1602
A new approach to Art ...
Combining people, places, occurances, and remembrances into a celebration within a frame

Autographs, Framed, Matted, Pictures, and Your Memories, all incorporated into one location for you to look at and enjoy

Thomas Rucktenwald

Thomas Rucktenwald
dot Com

Matted Autograph Presentations

Thomas Rucktenwald dot Com
180 Silver Maple Road
Groveland, FL 34736

(949) 872-1602



Read About us On:

- NEW Doctor Who Art
- NEW Movie and TV Presentations
- New Who (since 2005)
- Classic Who (starting 1963)



- NEW Build Your Business Plan
- NEW Build Your Marketing Plan
- Social Media 101
- Business Consulting and Coaching
- Build Your Business Plan
About Art
Tips On Collecting Autographs From Sportspeople, Athletes And Celebrities
Certified Autograph Dealer - Autograph Authentication Course
Autographs from Superlative People
Authentic or Unauthentic Autographs- A Subject of Debate
Getting Celebrity Autographs at Memorabilia Shows or Autograph Convention
The Art of Autograph Collection
The Three Main Benefits of Using Picture Frame Mats
The Best Ways To Select, Frame And Arrange Your Favorite Artwork
Custom Picture Frames for Showcasing your Artwork or Picture
Display Your Artworks through Wood Picture Frames
How to Properly Hang Your Photo or Art Frames
How to Write to Your Favourite Celebrity For Purposes of Getting An Autograph
Autograph World
Handjive Productions
Todd Mueller Autographs

NOTE: The information and notices contained on this website are intended as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as medical, financial or legal advice. Copyrights for the creations themselves belong to Thomas Rucktenwald but the copyrights for the subjects and characters, titles and images belong to and are credited to the copyright owners of said items. The articles are from free sources.


Best Value in Creative Artistic Expression

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Doctor Who






Movies & TV




Custom Projects







Welcome To
Thomas Rucktenwald dot Com

A New Concept in Art

Matted Autograph Presentations that make you remember, reflect, and laugh about some things that you have loved from your past, some people that were or are famous, or some classic film, TV show, or event that, for you, is worth that moment of recollection.


A Showcase of Matted Autograph Presentations Created by
Thomas Rucktenwald

Four Showcase Areas on This Site

Doctor Who
The great enjoyment that Thomas had with Doctor Who translated into the first matted autograph presentations. The Gallifrey One conventions in Los Angeles were the first shows where he presented this work. The art shown in this section is available and will likely be shown at an upcoming art show.
Movies and TV
With the success of the Doctor Who product, Thomas has specifically developed matted autograph presentations using movies and TV shows as the theme. These have enjoyed great success at art shows such as San Diego Comic Con. The art shown in this section is available and will likely be shown at an upcoming art show.
Themes, Restaurants, Work Locations, Family
Thomas is, by request, developing art based upon art themes of, decorating restaurants and work locations, and creating custom matted artwork for families and individuals that want that special touch.
The art shown in this section is provided as example work where the prospective client might imagine some possibilities for their own custom development.
A Showcase of Art That is No Longer Available
The art linked to this page is no longer available to the public, either because it has been sold, donated to charity, or is now part of a private collection. None of the items shown through this page is available to the public. It is, however, interesting history.

Check Out What is
- NEW -

The four main areas shown for this site detail product that is available as well as products that are of historical interest, even though they are no longer purchasable.

This is the original. As this site was made, there is no other provider that generates the detail associated with the topic matter. These art creations evoke laughter, smiles, remembrances, recollections, and fun.

Copyrights for the creations themselves belong to Thomas Rucktenwald but the copyrights for the subjects and characters, titles and images belong to and are credited to the copyright owners of said items.

Some highlighted titles below are links to product connections

This site was created solely and wholely as a showcase. Thomas Rucktenwald participates in many art showings and private arrangements. The site was originally created as a location that would highlight the work and allow others to see what could be by what had already been done.

The site also provided credibility and has allowed Tom to enter a number of different art shows.

This website is intended to remain that showcase, displaying a multitude of art, both available now and historical, as well as creative projects.

This site contains many hot links, either text or image, that will allow you to get to a new page. There are 4 major sections of the site and layers below each of those sections. Clicking the title "HOW DO I NAVIGATE THIS SITE" brings you to a portion on this page where both the pictured numbers and the titles are links to the product described by that number, title, and associated description;

The four (4) areas are:
1. Doctor Who
2. Movies & TV
3. Custom Work via Themes, Restaurants, Work Locations, or Home/Family Needs
4. Showcase of Art that is no longer available

There is also a page that features new creations and products, but since it draws from the 4 major pages, it is not listed as a primary destination. It will be commonly used by fans to see what Tom has most recently created. Many of these items are headed to the next convention, so this page will allow fans in that area to quickly see some of the new art that they will see in-person at the show.

Links on each of these pages will take you to named/titled products.

In the past, this website did not allow for direct sales from the website. Tom is still interested in utilizing this site as a showcase only, however, many items shown are offered for sale online elsewhere.

Thomas Rucktenwald has arranged with a new sales site, Incredelicious, to sell a number of the items displayed on the site. The Incredelicious site is located at this link - Incredelicious-Thomas Rucktenwald.

That link will take you the Thomas Rucktenwald main art listing, allowing you to see, in one place, all items listed on the site. Individual items that have been listed for sale through Incredelicious will display that link on the individual page of this site.

We invite your questions or requests. Please contact Tom at

New Offerings and Listing
Tom Rucktenwald is always working on new matted autograph presentations or on custom projects. The new offerings and listings page provides you with the latest in matted autograph and custom presentations.

Many of these will be scheduled to appear at art shows. Some will be available for the public prior to or after a show. Please see the information associated with the new item.

New items will also be listed under their category.

Doctor Who
The show that started Tom creating matted autograph presentations requires a special space. So many items have been created for this category in the past. So many are being collected now or are ready-to-make. So many are in stock, ready for display or, in some cases, sale.

The Doctor is a hero worthy of legend. He is a man that travels in a machine that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It travels in time and space; it can go anywhere in the universe.

The Doctor is more than 1,000 years old. With age has come wisdom, as well as courage and action. He is the character that kids love and admire and grown-ups pretend to be.

The actors and actresses that play roles in this TV program are normally warm and gracious. Conventions like Chicago Tardis or its predecessors, and Gallifrey One in Los Angeles, allow fans an up-close and personal relationship with the people that made this show come to life. Unlike American actors, British actors and personallities normally answer their own fan mail; it is part of the culture. If one writes to some of the actors, some that are large stars and personalities in the UK, they will write back personal and sometimes lengthy messages including anecdotes about the show. Communication with them is really a joy; meeting them in-person is even better. Tom is blessed to have received several hundreds of autographs from these kind and generous personalities through the years.

Movies and TV Shows
Thomas Rucktenwald builds matted autograph presentations for movies and TV shows that he enjoys. Since this activity is something that he does because he enjoys it, making these movies and programs is a lot of fun.

Tom enjoys Joss Whedon's creations, finding that he is normally ahead of society's demands and desires. Old sci-fi movies are also great fun; the 30's and 50's sci-fi creations are great fun. Classics are normally of interest, but new and creative shows are also fascinating.

Tom is putting more concentration into this area since joining the Comic Con art show. A good balance of product has served very well

Custom Creations, Public Sites, and Work Places
A new area of creativity presented itself within the last year. Tom had been framing artwork for friends and relatives for a few years. In 2012 and 2013, Tom decorated the ICONS Room in San Clemente, CA, a dsplay of over a hundred framed items, many having autographs. The restaurant celebrates iconic people, places, and things that made our life fun and memorable. Every 15 to 20 minutes, your waiter or one of the others would sing a classic tune as a famous singer or personality might sing.

Most recently, Thomas decorated the Nixon Room in the Precinct restaurant. Richard Nixon was a resident of San Clemente and the room was actually the home of much of the memorabilia prior to the formation of the Nixon Museum in Yorba Linda.

Because of work within these two restaurants, Tom has received requests for custom personal/family creations. One request includes an audio system that will reproduce quotes and sayings from family members. A description for this will be on the site soon; a description will allow a potential buyer a greater understanding of the product and quality that can be expected from the end result.

Showcase of Sold, Donated, and Privately Held Items
None of the items shown through this page are available. The history of the items does present some interest to fans and those that might wish to peruse the site.

In some cases, these items can be recreated for a customer. Requests may be honored if supplies of the autographs are available. Tom does keep some stock of autographs that hold future value for other matted autograph presentations. Please ask. Email Tom with any questions or requrests.

Items that are sold are gone. The historical pictures of the item are of interest. In some cases, another matted autograph presentation might be created. However, since each created item is unique, the next matted autographed presentation of the same title will be different than the one pictured in this section.

Thomas Rucktenwald habitually donates these creations to charity auctions. Several thousands of dollars have been raised for charity through the years. In terms of recreating an item with the same title as the original matted autograph presentation, the same holds true as in the items that have been sold.

If you have a particular charity, where an item will assist in a successful charity sale or auction, please email Tom. All requests will be considered, but unfortunately, not all requests can be honored.

Most of the privately held items are owned by Tom or a family member. The likelihood of any of these items becoming available is close to zero. However, times and opinions change. So, Tom encourages communication and requests that you email Tom.


(949) 872-1602


Thomas Rucktenwald holds a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineer and a triple Masters Degree in Acoustics, Music, and Electronics. He co-created a digitally-driven waveform-based music synthesizer as a senior project during his Bachelor degree and created a violin-tone synthesizer with a violin-based electronic controller as a Master' Thesis. The combination of degree topics allowed him gainful corporate employment for his working career.

Tom holds two patents.

He invented automatic harmony generation for electronic musical instruments in 1975. The invention was a boolean algebra based implementation of Johan Sebastian Bach's rules of music theory. Tom was doing a lot of writing and arranging for local bands and the invention was in response to a question asked by one of the musicians that he worked with within the corporation where he was employed.

The second invention was the audio receiver for a system called FMX. Tom's invention allowed the receiver to work within a mobile environment.

Tom invented several toys while employed by a large conglomerate that owned 7 toy companies. Because of the competitive nature and conceptual theft problems within the industry, toys were not commonly patented at that time, but created and manufactured under trade secrecy.

During his corporate career, Tom thrived on creating new products by taking what his employer did well and combining it with some concept or technology that was outside the normal sphere of his employer.

As an example, Tom is the grandfather of the HD Radio(R) encryption system, the FIRST fully integrated but distributed encryption system that anticipates worldwide coordinated usage. Any receiver can work with any radio station across the country or across the world. The creation allows for the implementation of a personal radio station, with songs and the playlist generated from your preferences and broadcast programming; it included DVR-like ability to skip ahead. This system also allowed private/member broadcast, where members of an NPR station would not have to listen to the Pledge Drive, and pay-per-listen events and concerts. What if we found that Elvis was still alive? Could Howard Stern return to terrestrial radio with the material that he now uses on satellite?

Most HD Radio usage at the time of this creation was within the home. This creation was intended for the car, where most radio listening occurs today!

The same distributed architecture should be used for broadcast HD TV for mobile applications.

Tom worked for a major Record Company, one that owned two major labels. His work was used for high-speed digital duplication of cassette tapes. He assisted his employer and an architect in the construction of the recording company's new recording studios in NYC.

Tom was an expert in studio recording and digital hard disk recording, the latter being a brand new topic at the time when he was employed in this activity.

Tom owned a small recording studio, Uncle Tom's Cabin, while living in Fairfield County, CT. Primarily aimed at serving local artists, one nationally released and distributed album was recorded there, Richard Brooks "Violin Electric." Outstanding musicians were guests and customers, including rap group Above See Level, singer/songwriter Tom Conlon, and jazz flute player Ali Ryerson.

The studio featured one of the first implementations of digital hard disk recording as well as some top notch studio effects and reproduction equipment. Tom was an adept studio engineer and incredible sound editor as well as a highly skilled music arranger and synthesizer artist.

Tom owns at least 75 copyrights for original music. Implementation of these songs was assisted through the studio, where demos of the songs were created to present to accomplished local music groups. Examples of these recordings still exist.

He is also adept at arranging and often was employed by groups to work on their musical arrangements and improve their "sound." This arranging talent was highlighted in the studio work that he did for other's recordings.

Tom authored a number of articles published in professional trade magazines that serviced the industry where he was involved or employed.

He was frequently quoted by respected publications including Radio World, Billboard, and The Wall Street Journal.

Tom has completed a book entitled "What If It's True." The book is a conversation about God and faith, from the most basic of faith concepts, step-by-step, into some of the most complex. Perhaps, some time later, it will spawn a video/DVD that will partner with the book, and a CD of the music that will be used in the video presentations.

Tom was the primary stockholder of That Great Day, Inc., a business advisory. Tom is a business expert and accomplished public speaker.

His "Build Your Business Plan" workshop has been re-presented with recorded scenarios and vignettes. The recording is presently in postproduction and will be offered as product when completed and approved.

So, it is natural, when looking for a new and creative outlet, that Thomas Rucktenwald would create a new and unique art, matted autograph presentations. While others might matte autographs with a picture, Tom's presentations represent an entire story.

Response to this art is strongly positive. In larger art shows, Tom's work is frequently a top seller. For some conventions, fans are awaiting his arrival to see what he will present at the show.

Tom is pleased to donate to charity. If a charity will benefit from selling or auctioning one of these works, Tom is primarily positive about participating with them.

- OR -

(949) 872-1602


Online and Art Shows

Tom intends to keep the site updated with the latest art created. Sometimes, that is difficult, as often there is a push before an art show. Art created before a show is most often intended specifically for that showing and is not available for purchase online at that time. Should the piece not sell at the show, online availability will follow,

Other pieces are created that are not intended for a specific show. Tom has a significant number of presentations where the raw materials have been collected but the art has not yet been created. Information concerning those waiting in the wings may be contained on the New Offerings Listing page. Tom often requests that fans help to decide in the build priorities.

Items that are available will have a link to the site where purchase may be made. Thomas has a deal with a new online sales site, named Incredelicious. Incredelicious provides links to PayPal payment.

Shipping is via UPS Ground. Tom has had a primarily great experience with UPS, as they are normally very careful. The art is framed and the frame has glass. All items are double-boxed, with the inner box providing a cardboard covering over the artwork. The outer box normally provides a space of at least 2 inches on each side; packaging and styrofoam supports provide structure. Tom has shipped many times using this method and this has been successful. Should any damage occur, repairs will be made. All shipments are insured.

Tom does participate in Art Shows at conventions. A list of the conventions is behind a link at the top of the site entitled "Art Shows." The Adobe Acrobat document should be up-to-date.

Tom participates in shows that are primarily in the Los Angeles to San Diego, CA area. If you have additional suggestions or would like to promote his participation at another show or in another area, please email Tom.



(949) 872-1602



All offerings are comprised of planned and organized art, including but not limited to autographs, where appropriate, pictures, items and remembrances, matted together to create a display. Every aspect is carefully planned and then created. Each item, even when the topic matter is the same, turns out somewhat different, so each created items is unique.

All autographs are authentic. Tom is particular and meticulous concerning authenticity. He is a member of the Universal Autograph Collector Club, an organization that swears by honesty and authenticity. We will never knowingly include a fake into one of our art pieces.

Every item is backed with our guarentee. If it is not right, or if it is not authentic, we will refund your purchase. Every item should have either our listing and certificate on the back or the certificate from the original provider, or both included with the item. As the creator of the art, we stand behind each piece and we take responsibility.

As may be pertinent, a Certificate of Authenticity may be present from a provider. In many cases, an autograph has been obtained in person; in some cases, it was received through the mail. Knowing the authentic signatures of the personalities included in the presentation is our business and we back that with documentation and/or our assurance.

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding
Making this artwork and including autographs that are authentic means that we have the connections and the acquired knowledge to back what we create. Dealing with others means that we attempt to assure their credibility as well. Often, there is a story that goes with each item. We try to attain that information and use it wisely. We understand the business of autographs, and while there are those that would provide less, we steer clear of any of that because we understand how those are presented and why.

Personal Interaction
Thomas Rucktenwald spent his entire business and corporate career in the entertainment field. He met many famous people and obtained autographs from several of them.

Tom also is a regular convention attendee and meets famous people at those events.

There is a culture and ettiquette in requesting a signature. Tom is sensitive to that and as a result, the sincere and honest approach to famous people is often well-received.

Your Choice
For those that are looking at this site, we invite your feedback and participation. Please write or call. Please purchase with confidence, knowing that our knowledge and honesty are included with each matted autograph presentation made.

We want you to enjoy this art. Laugh, muse, reflect, and remember those things that you enjoyed about the topics and subjects of the art that we make.


REVIEWS & Testimonials:
What People are Saying About Thomas Rucktenwald...


"I was extremely happy with the matted autograph presentation that I purchased. The art fit the wall and decor of my home; it exceeded my expectations. Visitors often comment and compliment the work, sometimes sharing their recollections of the show and their experiences. I intend to buy again in the future as I have some additional space set aside for the next purchase."


"I never expected that I would buy art work at a convention, but I saw this piece and had to have it! It was my favorite episode from my favorite show, Doctor Who. Thomas Rucktenwald had boxes that allowed me to protect the art for the journey home. I am very impressed with the art as well as the artist's preparation for my purchase."


"I have never seen any artwork quite like this. The detail and care in putting something like this together blows my mind. It must have taken forever. I am a big Joss Whedon fan. The matted autograph presentation that I purchased had all the major stars that were in the show along with character pictures that told the story. This was well worth the money that I spent. I love this!"


Any Questions? Please give us a call: (949) 872-1602

Please let us know what your questions are, how we can help you. Remember, we are only a phone call or an email away.



From Wikipedia

Art is a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities; this article focuses primarily on the visual arts, which includes the creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media. Architecture is often included as one of the visual arts; however, like the decorative arts, it involves the creation of objects where the practical considerations of use are essential—in a way that they usually are not in a painting, for example. Music, theatre, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature and other media such as interactive media, are included in a broader definition of art or the arts.[1] Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences, but in modern usage the fine arts, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, are distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the decorative or applied arts.

Art may be characterized in terms of mimesis (its reflection of life), expression, communication of emotion, or other qualities. During the Romantic period, art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science".[2] Though the definition of what constitutes art is disputed[3][4][5] and has changed over time, general descriptions mention an idea of imaginative or technical skill stemming from human agency[6] and creation.[7]

The nature of art, and related concepts such as creativity and interpretation, are explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.[8]

Creative Art and Fine Art

By a broad definition of art,[7] artistic works have existed for almost as long as humankind: from early pre-historic art to contemporary art; however, some theories restrict the concept to modern Western societies.[9] The first and broadest sense of art is the one that has remained closest to the older Latin meaning, which roughly translates to "skill" or "craft." English words derived from this meaning include artifact, artificial, artifice, medical arts, and military arts. However, there are many other colloquial uses of the word, all with some relation to its etymology.

In medieval philosophy, John Chrysostom held that "the name of art should be applied to those only which contribute towards and produce necessaries and mainstays of life." Thomas Aquinas, when discussing the adornment of women, spoke on this restriction in terms of ethics: "In the case of an art directed to the production of goods which men cannot use without sin, it follows that the workmen sin in making such things, as directly affording others an occasion of sin; for instance, if a man were to make idols or anything pertaining to idolatrous worship. But in the case of an art the products of which may be employed by man either for a good or for an evil use, such as swords, arrows, and the like, the practice of such an art is not sinful. These alone should be called arts."[10] Aquinas held that art is nothing else than "the right reason about certain works to be made," and that it is commendable, not for the will with which a craftman does a work, "but for the quality of the work. Art, therefore, properly speaking, is an operative habit." Aristotle and Aquinas distinguish creation from the related habit of prudence.[11]

The second, and more recent, sense of the word art as an abbreviation for creative art or fine art emerged in the early 17th century.[12] Fine art refers to a skill used to express the artist's creativity, or to engage the audience's aesthetic sensibilities, or to draw the audience towards consideration of the finer things.

Within this latter sense, the word art may refer to several things: a study of a creative skill, a process of using the creative skill, a product of the creative skill, or the audience's experience with the creative skill. The creative arts (art as discipline) are a collection of disciplines which produce artworks (art as objects) that are compelled by a personal drive (art as activity) and convey a message, mood, or symbolism for the viewer to interpret (art as experience). Art is something that stimulates an individual's thoughts, emotions, beliefs, or ideas through the senses. Artworks can be explicitly made for this purpose or interpreted on the basis of images or objects. Although the application of scientific knowledge to derive a new scientific theory involves skill and results in the "creation" of something new, this represents science only and is not categorized as art.

Often, if the skill is being used in a common or practical way, people will consider it a craft instead of art. Likewise, if the skill is being used in a commercial or industrial way, it may be considered commercial art instead of fine art. On the other hand, crafts and design are sometimes considered applied art. Some art followers have argued that the difference between fine art and applied art has more to do with value judgments made about the art than any clear definitional difference.[13] However, even fine art often has goals beyond pure creativity and self-expression. The purpose of works of art may be to communicate ideas, such as in politically, spiritually, or philosophically motivated art; to create a sense of beauty (see aesthetics); to explore the nature of perception; for pleasure; or to generate strong emotions. The purpose may also be seemingly nonexistent.

The nature of art has been described by philosopher Richard Wollheim as "one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture".[14] Art has been defined as a vehicle for the expression or communication of emotions and ideas, a means for exploring and appreciating formal elements for their own sake, and as mimesis or representation. Art as mimesis has deep roots in the philosophy of Aristotle.[15] Goethe defined art as an other resp. a second nature, according to his ideal of a style founded on the basic fundaments of insight and on the innermost character of things.[16] Leo Tolstoy identified art as a use of indirect means to communicate from one person to another.[15] Benedetto Croce and R.G. Collingwood advanced the idealist view that art expresses emotions, and that the work of art therefore essentially exists in the mind of the creator.[17][18] The theory of art as form has its roots in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and was developed in the early twentieth century by Roger Fry and Clive Bell. More recently, thinkers influenced by Martin Heidegger have interpreted art as the means by which a community develops for itself a medium for self-expression and interpretation.[19] George Dickie has offered an institutional theory of art that defines a work of art as any artifact upon which a qualified person or persons acting on behalf of the social institution commonly referred to as "the art world" has conferred "the status of candidate for appreciation".[20] Larry Shiner has described fine art as "not an essence or a fate but something we have made. Art as we have generally understood it is a European invention barely two hundred years old.”[21]


Sculptures, cave paintings, rock paintings and petroglyphs from the Upper Paleolithic dating to roughly 40,000 years ago have been found, but the precise meaning of such art is often disputed because so little is known about the cultures that produced them. The oldest art objects in the world—a series of tiny, drilled snail shells about 75,000 years old—were discovered in a South African cave.[22] Containers that may have been used to hold paints have been found dating as far back as 100,000 years.[23]

In Byzantine and Medieval art of the Western Middle Ages, much art focused on the expression of Biblical and religious truths, and used styles that showed the higher glory of a heavenly world, such as the use of gold in the background of paintings, or glass in mosaics or windows, which also presented figures in idealized, patterned (flat) forms. Nevertheless a classical realist tradition persisted in small Byzantine works, and realism steadily grew in the art of Catholic Europe.

Renaissance art had a greatly increased emphasis on the realistic depiction of the material world, and the place of humans in it, reflected in the corporeality of the human body, and development of a systematic method of graphical perspective to depict recession in a three-dimensional picture space.

In the east, Islamic art's rejection of iconography led to emphasis on geometric patterns, calligraphy, and architecture. Further east, religion dominated artistic styles and forms too. India and Tibet saw emphasis on painted sculptures and dance, while religious painting borrowed many conventions from sculpture and tended to bright contrasting colors with emphasis on outlines. China saw the flourishing of many art forms: jade carving, bronzework, pottery (including the stunning terracotta army of Emperor Qin), poetry, calligraphy, music, painting, drama, fiction, etc. Chinese styles vary greatly from era to era and each one is traditionally named after the ruling dynasty. So, for example, Tang Dynasty paintings are monochromatic and sparse, emphasizing idealized landscapes, but Ming Dynasty paintings are busy and colorful, and focus on telling stories via setting and composition. Japan names its styles after imperial dynasties too, and also saw much interplay between the styles of calligraphy and painting. Woodblock printing became important in Japan after the 17th century.

The western Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century saw artistic depictions of physical and rational certainties of the clockwork universe, as well as politically revolutionary visions of a post-monarchist world, such as Blake's portrayal of Newton as a divine geometer, or David's propagandistic paintings. This led to Romantic rejections of this in favor of pictures of the emotional side and individuality of humans, exemplified in the novels of Goethe. The late 19th century then saw a host of artistic movements, such as academic art, Symbolism, impressionism and fauvism among others.

The history of twentieth-century art is a narrative of endless possibilities and the search for new standards, each being torn down in succession by the next. Thus the parameters of Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, etc. cannot be maintained very much beyond the time of their invention. Increasing global interaction during this time saw an equivalent influence of other cultures into Western art, such as Pablo Picasso being influenced by African sculpture. Japanese woodblock prints (which had themselves been influenced by Western Renaissance draftsmanship) had an immense influence on Impressionism and subsequent development. Later, African sculptures were taken up by Picasso and to some extent by Matisse. Similarly, the west has had huge impacts on Eastern art in the 19th and 20th centuries, with originally western ideas like Communism and Post-Modernism exerting a powerful influence on artistic styles.

Modernism, the idealistic search for truth, gave way in the latter half of the 20th century to a realization of its unattainability. Theodor W. Adorno said in 1970, "It is now taken for granted that nothing which concerns art can be taken for granted any more: neither art itself, nor art in relationship to the whole, nor even the right of art to exist."[25] Relativism was accepted as an unavoidable truth, which led to the period of contemporary art and postmodern criticism, where cultures of the world and of history are seen as changing forms, which can be appreciated and drawn from only with irony. Furthermore the separation of cultures is increasingly blurred and some argue it is now more appropriate to think in terms of a global culture, rather than regional cultures.

Forms, Genres, Media, and Styles

The creative arts are often divided into more specific categories, each related to its technique, or medium, such as decorative arts, plastic arts, performing arts, or literature. Unlike scientific fields, art is one of the few subjects that are academically organized according to technique [1][dead link]. An artistic medium is the substance or material the artistic work is made from, and may also refer to the technique used. For example, paint is a medium used in painting, and paper is a medium used in drawing.

An art form is the specific shape, or quality an artistic expression takes. The media used often influence the form. For example, the form of a sculpture must exist in space in three dimensions, and respond to gravity. The constraints and limitations of a particular medium are thus called its formal qualities. To give another example, the formal qualities of painting are the canvas texture, color, and brush texture. The formal qualities of video games are non-linearity, interactivity and virtual presence. The form of a particular work of art is determined by the formal qualities of the media, and is not related to the intentions of the artist or the reactions of the audience in any way whatsoever as these properties are related to content rather than form.[26]

A genre is a set of conventions and styles within a particular medium. For instance, well recognized genres in film are western, horror and romantic comedy. Genres in music include death metal and trip hop. Genres in painting include still life and pastoral landscape. A particular work of art may bend or combine genres but each genre has a recognizable group of conventions, clichés and tropes. (One note: the word genre has a second older meaning within painting; genre painting was a phrase used in the 17th to 19th centuries to refer specifically to paintings of scenes of everyday life and is still used in this way.)

The style of an artwork, artist, or movement is the distinctive method and form followed by the respective art. Any loose brushy, dripped or poured abstract painting is called expressionistic. Often a style is linked with a particular historical period, set of ideas, and particular artistic movement. So Jackson Pollock is called an Abstract Expressionist.

A particular style may have specific cultural meanings. For example, Roy Lichtenstein—a painter associated with the American Pop art movement of the 1960s—was not a pointillist, despite his use of dots. Lichtenstein used evenly spaced Ben-Day dots (the type used to reproduce color in comic strips) as a style to question the "high" art of painting with the "low" art of comics, thus commenting on class distinctions in culture. Pointillism, a technique in late Impressionism (1880s) developed especially by the artist Georges Seurat, employs dots to create variation in color and depth in an attempt to approximate the way people really see color. Both artists use dots, but the particular style and technique relate to the artistic movement adopted by each artist.

These are all ways of beginning to define a work of art, to narrow it down. "Imagine you are an art critic whose mission is to compare the meanings you find in a wide range of individual artworks. How would you proceed with your task? One way to begin is to examine the materials each artist selected in making an object, image video, or event. The decision to cast a sculpture in bronze, for instance, inevitably effects its meaning; the work becomes something different from how it might be if it had been cast in gold or plastic or chocolate, even if everything else about the artwork remains the same. Next, you might examine how the materials in each artwork have become an arrangement of shapes, colors, textures, and lines. These, in turn, are organized into various patterns and compositional structures. In your interpretation, you would comment on how salient features of the form contribute to the overall meaning of the finished artwork. [But in the end] the meaning of most artworks... is not exhausted by a discussion of materials, techniques, and form. Most interpretations also include a discussion of the ideas and feelings the artwork engenders."[27]

Skill and Craft

Art can connote a sense of trained ability or mastery of a medium. Art can also simply refer to the developed and efficient use of a language to convey meaning with immediacy and or depth. Art is an act of expressing feelings, thoughts, and observations.[28] There is an understanding that is reached with the material as a result of handling it, which facilitates one's thought processes. A common view is that the epithet "art", particular in its elevated sense, requires a certain level of creative expertise by the artist, whether this be a demonstration of technical ability, an originality in stylistic approach, or a combination of these two. Traditionally skill of execution was viewed as a quality inseparable from art and thus necessary for its success; for Leonardo da Vinci, art, neither more nor less than his other endeavors, was a manifestation of skill. Rembrandt's work, now praised for its ephemeral virtues, was most admired by his contemporaries for its virtuosity. At the turn of the 20th century, the adroit performances of John Singer Sargent were alternately admired and viewed with skepticism for their manual fluency, yet at nearly the same time the artist who would become the era's most recognized and peripatetic iconoclast, Pablo Picasso, was completing a traditional academic training at which he excelled.

A common contemporary criticism of some modern art occurs along the lines of objecting to the apparent lack of skill or ability required in the production of the artistic object. In conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" is among the first examples of pieces wherein the artist used found objects ("ready-made") and exercised no traditionally recognised set of skills. Tracey Emin's My Bed, or Damien Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living follow this example and also manipulate the mass media. Emin slept (and engaged in other activities) in her bed before placing the result in a gallery as work of art. Hirst came up with the conceptual design for the artwork but has left most of the eventual creation of many works to employed artisans. Hirst's celebrity is founded entirely on his ability to produce shocking concepts. The actual production in many conceptual and contemporary works of art is a matter of assembly of found objects. However there are many modernist and contemporary artists who continue to excel in the skills of drawing and painting and in creating hands-on works of art.

The Purpose of Art


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