My introduction (ongoing, as I’m slowly picking my way through the book and savoring each sentence) to Coomaraswamy has been through his book Christian & Oriental Philosophy of Art, a slim collection of essays put out by Dover Press. The first essay in the collection, which I believe was actually the original title of the book on its first printing, “Why Exhibit Works of Art?”, avoids the compartmentalized thinking about visual arts so endemic in contemporary art “discourse” and presents instead a fully fleshed out philosophy of Being. That sounds like heavy lifting but, being a traditionalist in the best sense of the word, Coomaraswamy knows that others—Aquinas, Plato, Confucius—have already done most of the grunt work themselves. As he witheringly puts in the essay, “It should be one of the functions of a well organized Museum exhibition to deflate the illusion of progress.” ...
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor