Throughout the history of humankind, art has always been created both inside and outside of structures of government and management. From cave paintings to state propaganda, from renaissance to baroque to contemporary, art benefits from patronage and exposure, from public service and private interests. But it cannot be limited or permanently pegged to any of these single motivations. In fact, since the formal study of art history began in the late nineteenth century, the study of art has been a way of discovering a history of human civilization not always written by warlords and victors, but rather through the materials created by artists and artisans—that is, by the people themselves.
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