Functional Artwork

At the Gibbs Museum in Charleston, they had on display an old sign for a dentist.


Now, back in the old days, the remedy for any painful tooth was to extract it. This left you with a toothless mouth! This dentist commissioned a wood carver to create a sign for his practice that would advertise that he would put your teeth back (in the form of dentures).  

Maddie, an artist and art teacher, has made it very clear that for something to be "art" it must only meet the purpose of being art. If it has any other purpose, then it is that thing and not "art". That being said, it was fun to see how history can look away from the fact that this piece of art was actually a sign board used to attract paying patients to this dentists office and hang it on the museum wall displaying it as "art with a past purpose" even though now it is merely a piece of art.