What Are the Classifications of Art?

Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Fine arts, visual arts, plastic arts, performance arts, applied arts and decorative arts are the major classifications of the arts. Several of these classifications have sub-classifications associated with them.

When one speaks of “the arts,” the fine arts are often assumed. Some of the sub-classifications under fine arts include drawing, painting and sculpturing. People use different media to create these arts. For example, charcoal, crayon, pastel, pencil and chalk are all examples of media that are used to create drawings.

Visual arts includes disciplines like photography, videography and animation. Whereas some types of art stand on their own, visual art is often part of a product, such as a book, magazine or movie.

Plastic arts are more about how objects can be molded than it is about plastic. Clay, stone, plaster, wood and paper all may be used to create plastic arts. Origami, the practice of folding paper into shapes and objects, is an example of this kind of art.

Decorative arts refers to jewelry, ceramics and other items that are embellished by ornaments and other designs. Performance arts are most evident in the theater. Ballets, operas and plays are all part of this classification. Applied arts involve a person adding design elements to functional objects. Computer art and interior design are examples.