Thursday, June 11, 2009

See any cracks within a theory...

Would you consider Galenson’s theory about the two geniuses completely logical? Are there only two major types of creators in the world? Review chapter three, especially from the reading 9/10 section, and argue whether or not he succeeds in defining this argument’s possible limitations. If he is correct, how so, or is there a major crack that can rip his theory apart?


  1. Good question, Devon. Galenson's theory does have a flaw in that it polarizes artists. However, in later writings by him (which we did not look at in class), he comes out and says that a hybrid can exist.

    Personally, I prefer the absolute of OM/YG because it helps to think about the larger issue of eminence and creativity holistically, rather than reverting to the notion that everyone is a hybrid of OM and YG. I think artists can be a bit of both, but for categorization and analysis (i.e. art historical application on the broadest level), one has to start somewhere with a categorization and then move forward.

  2. As with any theory, Galenson’s OM/YG theory is destined to be challenged and there is always the possibility of it being negated by some other theory. However, I think the likelihood of Galenson’s theory being disproved entirely is minimal for the simple reason that he has presented extensive research and data that supports his hypothesis.
    When it comes to the possible limitations of Galenson’s argument, I personally believe that Galenson’s explanation of the OM/YG artist categories as a “spectrum of approaches” as opposed to polar opposites drastically aided in easing the reader’s hesitancy to accept the theory. By creating the subcategories of “extreme” and “moderate” within the two approaches, Galenson created leeway (in a sense) for artists whose proper categorization may be ambiguous.
    What did somewhat aggravate me though was Galenson’s statement following the thorough explanation of the moderate-extreme spectrum, which read that “more work remains to be done before the continuum described here can be used with confidence (55).” To me, this read as a cliffhanger, trying to instill in the reader motivation to read the next book by Galenson.
    Overall, I have to assent to Galenson’s theory given his methodical explanation and extensive data to support his hypothesis. However, I do agree with Dr. Decker in saying that this theory will likely be built upon and possibly revised as time progresses.