About Cheap Art

“Our glorious civilization glorifies itself with what it calls high art. Puppeteers have no soul-searching trouble in that respect. What we produce has no ambition to be high art. Low art is what we make and what we want. Not the Fine Arts–the Coarse Arts are what we use.” -Peter Schumann, lecture to art students at SUNY Purchase, 1987

Bread and Puppet’s Cheap Art Philosophy and production was born in 1979 when Peter Schumann and his company and friends filled their old schoolbus with hundreds of small pictures painted on scraps of masonite, cardboard and newspaper, painted slogans and statements about art and Cheap Art, and hung them on the outside of the bus. Then they drove it to neighboring towns and sold the stuff for 10 cents to 10 dollars. Today Cheap Art is practiced by all kinds of artists and puppeteers all over, and continues to cry out: Art is Not Business! Art Is Food! Art Soothes Pain! Art Wakes Up Sleepers! Art Is Cheap! Hurrah! For more on Cheap Art, read the manifestos and essays online via the links below, or order them from the Bread and Puppet Press (cheap!)

Why Cheap Art Manifesto


The What is Cheap Art Book [PDF]


The Radicality of the Puppet Theater [PDF]


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