Journal Article

Eel-traps without Eels

MARY BUTCHER

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 10, issue 4, pages 417-429
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/10.4.417
Eel-traps without Eels

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This paper considers the ways in which artefacts of peasant society have come to be consumed as artworks in the late twentieth century. It takes as its main object for consideration an eel-trap made by then distinguished living basketmaker, David Drew, which was displayed in the exhibition entitled ‘Weaving Willow’ (1993–6). The discussion examines the production and function of the eel-trap within the agrarian economy in England, France and Poland, and the changes they have undergone, the work of David Drew and its place within the world of goods; the role of cultural intermediaries in the validation of changes in consumption; and addresses current debates concerning aesthetic definitions of art and artefact, particularly in the recent work on the anthropologist, Alfred Gell.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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