While not always true...generally, art is 'valued' based on aesthetic value (there are great images, paintings, drawings, etc. and there are poor ones), craft (how good is the quality, how difficult to craft (this may get to the digital vs. analog debate) and historical value (i.e. what tools were avail then, was the technique, craft, imagery ahead of its time?). What I see, is very few 'educated' art viewers....in these respects. Mind you, I am not trying to be 'snobby', but some have no clue as to the difficulty of the craft, the creativity necessary for the aesthetic and the historical impact. No, I don't believe photography as an art is dead, quite the contrary. I think art in and of itself, is dying...as a result of education. Art taught in schools is on the decline and has been.

It's interesting to me as I have attempted various forms of art, or viewed others at their craft (my wife is a jeweler, for example, metalsmith), ie. become more educated....I have gained a greater appreciation of the work as art! Once you begin to appreciate and understand what it took to, for example, make that photograph (how, what materials, creativity of the image itself, etc.) you can begin to place more value on it as an art form, imho.

Now, for an entirely different matter.....collecting art and value thereof....

I watched a famous painter (whales, dolphins) known for painting on large buildings...charging $1250 for a 'unique' work, a painting, (16x20 paper) signed by the artist....and he would paint it right in front of you! Took him about 5 minutes....and you got to pick your animal (whale or dophin, basically).....one color, black. And he sold DOZENS...good for him, I have no problem with it....but Art? Value? I.e were you buying the piece itself, or a piece of the artist.....This can be a slippery slope....