The World is Wide Enough: The Fine Arts and Popular Culture

The fine arts have always enjoyed a special status in high society. For centuries anybody who was anybody had at least one oil painting of themselves or their families hanging in their parlor. Today many of these wonderful works have found their way out of the private homes of the wealthy and into public institutions, where they are viewed by millions of people every year. Some have even become iconic in their own right; the Mona Lisa, which once hung in the bathrooms and bedrooms of French rulers and was seen only by a select few is now everywhere, from coffee mugs to t-shirts to yes, even tennis shoes. A work created for the elite is now a pop culture touchstone. It may be difficult to ima