Patronage: Wikis

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Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings or popes have provided to musicians, painters, and sculptors. It can also refer to the right of bestowing offices or church benefices, the business given to a store by a regular customer, and the guardianship of saints. The term derives from the Latin patroness, the formal relationship between a Patrons and his Clients.

In some countries the term is used to describe political patronage, which is the use of state resources to reward individuals for their electoral support. Some patronage systems are legal, as in the Canadian tradition of allowing the Prime Minister to appoint the heads of a number of commissions and agencies; in many cases, these appointments go to people who have supported the political party of the Prime Minister. As well, the term may refer to a type of corruption or favoritism in which a party in power rewards groups, families, ethnicities for their electoral support using illegal gifts or fraudulently-awarded appointments or government contracts.

Contents

Arts

From ancient world onward patronage of the arts was important in art history. It is known in greatest detail in reference to pre-modern medieval and Renaissance Europe, though patronage can also be traced in feudal Japan, the traditional Southeast Asian kingdoms, and elsewhere—art patronage tended to arise wherever a royal or imperial system and an aristocracy dominated a society and controlled a significant share of resources. Samuel Johnson defined a patron as "one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help".[1]

Rulers, and very wealthy used patronage of the arts to endorse their political ambitions, social positions, and prestige. That is, patrons operated as sponsors. Some languages still use the term mecenate, derived from the name of Gaius Maecenas, generous friend and adviser to the Roman Emperor Augustus. Some patrons, such as the Medici of Florence, used artistic patronage to "cleanse" wealth that was perceived as ill-gotten through usury. Art patronage was especially important in the creation of religious art. The Roman Catholic Church and later Protestant groups sponsored art and architecture, as seen in churches, cathedrals, painting, sculpture, and handicrafts.

While sponsorship of artists and the commissioning of artwork is the best-known aspect of the patronage system, other disciplines also benefitted from patronage including those who studied natural philosophy (pre-modern science), musicians, writers, philosophers, alchemists, astrologers, and other scholars. Artists as diverse and important as Chrétien de Troyes, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson all sought and enjoyed the support of noble or ecclesiastical patrons.[2][3] Figures as late as Mozart and Beethoven also participated in the system to some degree; it was only with the rise of bourgeois and capitalist social forms in the 19th century that European culture moved away from its patronage system to the more publicly-supported system of museums, theatres, mass audiences and mass consumption that is familiar in the contemporary world.

This kind of system continues across many fields of the arts. Though the nature of the sponsors has changed—from churches to charitable foundations, and from aristocrats to plutocrats—the term patronage has a more neutral connotation than in politics. It may simply refer to direct support (often financial) of an artist, for example by grants. In the later part of the 20th century the academic sub-discipline of patronage studies began to evolve, in recognition of the important and often neglected role that the phenomenon of patronage had played in the cultural life of previous centuries.

Politics

Political leaders often have at their disposal a great deal of patronage, in the sense that they make decisions on the appointment of officials inside and outside government (for example on quangos). Patronage is therefore a recognized power of the executive branch. In most countries the executive has the all americans right to make many appointments, some of which may be lucrative (see also sinecures). In some democracies, high-level appointments are reviewed or approved by the legislature (as in the advice and consent of the United States Senate); in other countries, such as those using the Westminster system, this is not the case. Other types of political patronage may violate the laws or ethics codes, such as when political leaders engage in nepotism (hiring family members) and cronyism such as fraudulently awarding non-competitive government contracts to friends or relatives or pressuring the public service to hire an unqualified family member or friend.

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United States

In the United States during the Gilded Age, patronage became a controversial issue. Democrat William Magear Tweed (April 3, 1823 – April 12, 1878), sometimes erroneously named William Marcy Tweed[4] and known as "Boss Tweed," was an American politician who ran what is considered to be one of the most corrupt political machines in the country's history. T Tweed and his Tammany Hall cronies ruled with absolute power over the city and state of New York and they played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York. At the height of his influence, Tweed was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railway, the Tenth National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel.[5]

Tweed was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1852, and the New York City Board of Advisors in 1856. In 1858, Tweed became the "Grand Sachem" of Tammany Hall. He was elected to the New York State Senate in 1867.

Tweed was convicted for stealing between $40 million and $200 million[6] (based on the inflation or devaluation rate of the dollar since 1870 of 2.7%, this is between 1.5 and 8 billion 2009 dollars) from New York City taxpayers through political corruption. He died in the Ludlow Street Jail.

When James Garfield became president, he appointed corrupt men to several most offices (despite the appointment of the clean 'stalwart' Chester A. Arthur to the role of Vice President, which represented a compromise within the Republican Party). This provoked the ire of the Stalwarts. Charles J. Guiteau, a Stalwart, assassinated Garfield in 1881, six months after he became President. To prevent further political violence and to assuage public outrage, Congress passed the Pendleton Act in 1883, which set up the Civil Service Commission. Henceforth, applicants for most federal government jobs would have to pass an examination. Federal politicians' influence over bureaucratic appointments waned, and patronage declined as a national political issue.

Political patronage- on a low-level and when not entangled in financial means- is not inherently unseemly. In the United States, the U.S. Constitution provides the president with the power to appoint individuals to government positions. He also may appoint personal advisers without congressional approval. Not surprisingly, these individuals tend to be supporters of the president. Similarly, at the state and local levels, governors and mayors retain appointments powers. Some scholars have argued that patronage may be used for laudable purposes, such as the "recognition" of minority communities through the appointment of their members to a high profile positions. Bearfield has argued that patronage be used for four general purposes: create or strengthen a political organization; achieve democratic or egalitarian goals; bridge political divisions and create coalitions; and to alter the existing patronage system.[7]

See also Spoils system.

Russia

Perhaps the largest use of patronage was in the struggle for power in Russia between 1924 and 1929. Joseph Stalin used patronage to appoint many Stalinist delegates to his Politburo and Sovnarkom in order to sway the votes in his favour. Although there were other causations for his rise to power (including the roles of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and Trotsky), patronage no doubt helped him become leader of the USSR in 1929.

Charity

Charitable and other non-profit making organisations often seek an influential figurehead to act as patron. The relationship often does not involve money. As well as conferring credibility, these people can use their contacts and charisma to assist the organisation to raise funds or to affect government policy. The British Royal Family are especially prolific in this respect, devoting a large proportion of their time to a wide range of causes.

Commercial

Sometimes consumers support smaller or local businesses or corporations out of loyalty even if less expensive options exist. Their regular custom is referred to as 'patronage'. Patronage may entitle members of a consumers' cooperative to a share of the surplus or profit generated by the coop, called a patronage refund. This refund is a form of dividend.

Sports

In the same manner as commercial patronage, those who attend a sporting event may be referred to as patrons, though the usage in much of the world is now considered archaic — with one notable exception. Those who attend the Masters Tournament, one of the four major championship of professional golf, are still traditionally referred to as "patrons," largely at the insistence of the Augusta National Golf Club. This insistence is occasionally made fun of by sportswriters and other media. [8] More famously, CBS, which broadcasts the tournament, ran afoul of Augusta National management when Jack Whitaker referred to the patrons as a "mob" during a playoff between Billy Casper and Gene Littler. Augusta co-founder Clifford Roberts had Whitaker banned from commentary duties in following years, though he was restored to work years later to replace another commentator who had fallen ill. [9] In polo, a "patron" is a person who puts together a team by hiring one or more professionals. The rest of the team may be amateurs, often including the patron himself (or, increasingly, herself).

Ecclesiastical

Catholic

Patronage of Our Lady

The liturgical feast of the Patronage of Our Lady was first permitted by Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 6 May, 1679, for all the ecclesiastical provinces of Spain, in memory of the victories obtained over the Saracens, heretics and other enemies from the sixth century to the reign of Philip IV of Spain. Pope Benedict XII ordered it to be kept in the Papal States on the third Sunday of November. To other places it is granted, on request, for some Sunday in November, to be designated by the ordinary. In many places the feast of the Patronage is held with an additional Marian title of Queen of All Saints, of Mercy, Mother of Graces.

The Office is taken entirely from the Common of the Blessed Virgin, and the Mass is the "Salve sancta parens". The Greeks have no feast of this kind, but the Ruthenians, followed by all the Slavs of the Greek Rite, have a feast, called Patrocinii sanctissimæ Dominæ etc., or Pokrov Bogorodicy, fixed on 1 October, which, however, would seem to correspond more with the Catholic Feast of the Scapular.

Anglican

See main article Parish

In the Church of England, patronage is the commonly-used term for the right to present a candidate for the benefice of a particular parish.

Notes

  1. ^ Quoted in Michael Rosenthal, Constable, London: Thames and Hudson, 1987, p. 203.
  2. ^ F. W. Kent et al., eds.,Patronage, Art, and Society in Renaissance Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987.
  3. ^ Cedric C. Brown, Patronage, Politics, and Literary traditions in England, 1558–1658, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1993.
  4. ^ "William Magear Tweed (American politician) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/610865/William-Magear-Tweed. Retrieved 2009-11-17.  
  5. ^ Ackerman, Kenneth D. (2005). Boss Tweed. New York: Carrol & Graf Publishers. p. 2. ISBN 0-7867-1686-X. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=nzMoAc-iew0C&dq=boss+tweed&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=MegtesiEzO&sig=IMhTobW2YefK1CmQDDLEvxZdjP0&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=14&ct=result#PPA2,M1.  
  6. ^ "Boss Tweed", Gotham Gazette, New York, 4 July 2005.
  7. ^ Bearfield, Domonic A. (January/February 2009). "What Is Patronage? A Critical Reexamination". Public Administration Review (Oxford, UK: Blackwell) 69 (1): 64–76. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6210.2008.01941.x. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121580351/PDFSTART. Retrieved 2009-08-19.  
  8. ^ Davis, Seth: The difference between patrons and fans, Golf.com, April 6 2007.
  9. ^ Chirkinian, Frank: My Shot, Golf Digest, September 2003.

Sources and external links

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Simple English

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

Generally, patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege and often financial aid given by a person or an organization. It can also refer to the business given by a regular customer, and the guardianship of saints.

In some countries the term is often used to describe the corrupt use of state money and goods to benefit groups, families, ethnicities or races in exchange for votes. These patronage systems are different depending on the area in which they are practiced.

The term comes from the Latin patronatus.

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