Institutional theory of art
is a theory about the nature of art
. The theory was first put forward by George Dickie
in his book Art and the Aesthetic: An Institutional Analysis
). Dickie's first attempt to define a work of art reads: "an [original] artifact with a set of the aspects of which has had conferred upon it the status of candidate for appreciation by some person or persons acting on behalf of a certain social institution (the artworld)."
Dickie stated and restated the theory in two books: Art and the Aesthetic: An Institutional Analysis. Ithaca: NY: Cornell UP, 1974. Art Circle: A Theory of Art. Chicago: Spectrum Press, 1997.