Charity And Art

By: Melville Jackson | Posted: 24th February 2011

In the modern world when we use the word "charity", we usually mean the giving of help to those who are in need, perhaps in the form of money, food, clothes or medicine, free services or some other kind of aid. However the word "charity" carries a much more important sense as well. It was derived from the Latin "caritas", which means preciousness, dearness, high price, and in Christian theology this word was used in order to describe an unlimited loving-kindness to all others.

When we hear the words "an unlimited loving-kindness to all others" our first association is probably a religious one. Yet it need not be this - the more relevant aspect is that it is something that can become a part of our lives. And art, in its turn, is the part of our life that gives us beauty and a feeling of contact with something unreal, unapproachable, with something from another world. So it is no wonder that art is often connected to philanthropy.

Art charity auctions are held nearly every day, in one place or another, and the money from these is generally donated to helping towards the needs of the charity in question. Galleries and museums sometimes take part, while art collectors donate their artworks to help reach charity targets. Assistance and volunteering help is also part of art charity as a whole.

English novelist Mary Anne Evans (pen name George Eliot) wrote "One must be poor to know the luxury of giving" and this is really true. Charity does not mean giving only money, we can give our time, our attention or any other way to show that we care. Artists are not the wealthiest people in the world, in general, but they have open to them many ways to help others - they can give their artworks, organize free shows, and found charitable foundations.

There are lots of people and places all over the world that need our help, and charity is one option to change the situation. In August 2010 a new campaign, The Giving Pledge, was begun by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, in order to encourage the wealthiest people in America to make a commitment to give most of their money to philanthropic causes.

But even an ordinary person can show "a loving-kindness to all others" and today giving a donation is as easy as falling off a log. You don`t even need to leave your house - you can go online and surf for online charity auctions or you can even donate money to support the development of a particular field of activity or to help a specific person. You can sign up to a volunteer organization or simply send emails to your friends and family about existing problems, asking for their help. And when you want to buy a piece of art, consider going to a charity auction, because you know there that you are benefitting the wider world when you acquire your painting.

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Tags: bill gates, clothes, warren buffett, artworks, pledge, museums, art collectors