Letter: Art for the many

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RICKY HANDS (letter, 16 March) and I can agree that education, culture and experience are all invaluable when assessing works of art. But these qualities are no longer the preserve of an artistic elite. They are increasingly available to any of the general public who own a TV set or radio or who read books and newspapers. He also forgets that the initial derision heaped on, for example, Impressionism came as much from established art "experts" as the public. We only remember the minority of far-sighted critics who recognised that a major artistic movement had begun.

His comparison with engineering is interesting. Of course, an engineer is better equipped than a member of the public to ensure an aeroplane or car performs its main task of safe transportation. However, after the basic engineering framework is determined, public opinion, taste and aesthetics are at the forefront of subsequent considerations. That is called design.