Art is an essential part of what it means to be human. But what is art? When did we start creating it? And why do we still need it?
Why are some artists famous and others forgotten? Why are some artworks priceless and others worthless? And in an era where so much art is so hard to fathom, how do we know whether a work of art is any good?
Many artists have tried to re-shape society, using art as a tool for propaganda and protest, to bring about social change, and to improve people’s lives. But can art really make a difference? And where would we be without it?
Artists have always been early adopters of new technologies, but in recent years new technologies have appeared more quickly than ever before. Should we be excited about these dramatic changes, or worried? Are they a flash in the pan, or here to stay?
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James Fox is a Cambridge art historian, writer, public speaker, curator and award-winning, BAFTA-nominated, broadcaster.
James fell in love with art at the age of six and hasn't looked back since. The first person in his family to go to university, he graduated with a starred first in History of Art at the University of Cambridge in 2004.
After completing an MPhil and PhD in the subject, as well as stints at Harvard and Yale, James took up a Fellowship in Cambridge in 2011. He specialises in modern art, British art, and the cultural history of colour.
He is currently Director of Studies in History of Art at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Director of Education at the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park in Canada, and President of the Friends of the Stanley Spencer Gallery.
Convinced of art's huge social importance, James works with museums, schools, charities and the media to engage broader audiences in this most life-enhancing of subjects.