Wednesday, October 24, 2007

do you know what it is yet?

According to a poll conducted in 2003:
Nearly half of those surveyed could not identify Leonardo Da Vinci as the painter of the Mona Lisa.

And 7% thought Australian TV presenter and artist [Rolf] Harris had painted Monet's Water Lillies.

The survey, conducted by Encyclopaedia Britannica among 500 people, found 85% could not name Edvard Munch as the creator of The Scream.

British art also caused problems for many, with more than half could not being able to identify the Hay Wain as by John Constable, while one in 10 thought Botticelli had painted David Hockney's A Bigger Splash.

The survey also discovered that 43% of those questioned had never visited an art gallery in their lives, despite 68% of people citing art as important factor in society.
My knowledge of art is pretty good, so I thought I would see how well I did in various quizzes. I got all of the items on the BBC quiz right. I got 6 out of 10 on this slightly more specialised quiz on twentieth-century art; 12 out of 20 on this quiz about the Impressionists; 7 out of 9 on Art Schools 1860 - 1900. Not bad, as the questions were quite abit harder than just identifying who painted The Scream or the Mona Lisa. But even if Brits know nuffink abaht art, I hope (probably naively) that they'd do better than this on questions about current affairs.


The Silver Eel said...

The video of stupid Americans is perhaps slightly unfair as one can always get hold of idiots anywhere. There's no way of knowing if the selection shown is representative, though I suspect that it is. But I do find it truly shocking that one interviewee did not know what had happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that another did not know if America had even been in the Vietnam War.

The film director Lindsay Anderson went onto the streets of London in the early '90s with photos of leading members of the cabinet and found that most people couldn't even identify the Chancellor (at the time of filming, either Norman Lamont or Kenneth Clarke, hardly forgettable faces, either of them).

Yvonne said...

The video of stupid Americans is perhaps slightly unfair as one can always get hold of idiots anywhere.

True, and there's a reply video showing some British idiots.

It is very scary, though!

Jarred said...

As an American, that video frightened me.

Granted, I vaguely recall there were one or two questions asked that I'd personally have had trouble answering, which was mildly troubling to me in itself.