I grew up in southern Ohio near Cincinnati, and after college moved to New York City where I first attended an Aesthetic Realism seminar. I was electrified by the honesty & scholarship of the speakers, and what they were saying about art and life. On this site is some of what I’ve learned that changed my life.
What Is Aesthetic Realism?
Aesthetic Realism was founded in 1941 by the great American poet and critic Eli Siegel. It’s education, logical and kind, about the world and the human self, our hopes and possibilities. Aesthetic Realism answers, as never before, the questions every person has by being alive—about ourselves, love, work, people, about our hopes and despairs, and more.
The Principles of Aesthetic Realism
These principles stated by Eli Siegel are the basis of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism. It is my careful opinion they are true, and urgently needed by humanity for the world to be safe, kind, truly civilized:
1. The deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis.
2. The greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it….Contempt can be defined as the lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it.
3. All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.
It was through studying these principles in exciting Aesthetic Realism consultations and classes, and later having the honor to study with Eli Siegel, that I became wider, deeper, happier, and a much kinder and more useful person! My best possibilities were brought forth, encouraged, strengthened. I believe everyone deserves to know and study Aesthetic Realism, and that the world urgently needs this universally true education. I recommend Self and World: An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism, and many other works about Aesthetic Realism in the Online Library.
And I recommend the magnificent international journal The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known (TRO) published every two weeks:
“The Art of Responding to Value”
TRO #2108 begins serializing the vitally important lecture Eli Siegel gave in 1970, Criticism Is the Art of Responding to Value. Ellen Reiss writes in her commentary to this issue: “Each of us, Aesthetic Realism explains, is a critic all the time, of everything we meet…. If we buy one product rather than another, we’re responding to what we consider their value….In another field: many a woman who had seen a man as a hero of love, later came to see him as a complete heel: she was likely wrong in both instances, but in both she was ‘responding to value.'” read more
Many of the articles I’ve written and presented publicly in Aesthetic Realism seminars are published on this site. They’re about my life, questions I heard and things I learned that enabled me to change, as well as about notable, courageous women and how their lives show the immense universal value of Aesthetic Realism.