Save the Art! Activity

This is an activity from the Ethics and the Arts summer program in which you have to pick which works of art you want to save and which you will leave behind to be destroyed.  After you have completed the activity, there are reflection questions to prompt further discussion.
We have included a list of works of art to pick from for the activity, but feel free to create your own list!


The world is going to end in 10 minutes and you are tasked with choosing which works of art to bring on the ships to the moon colony and which to leave behind. (The list of artworks you must pick from is here)

The first ship leaves in 6 minutes. It can hold 4 works of art, and will definitely make it to the moon colony.

The second ship leaves in 10 minutes. It can hold 3 works of art, but might not leave in time.

The other 5 works of art must be left behind.

Each piece of art that makes it on a ship must have a “reason ticket” – i.e. an explanation of why it deserves to be on the ship.

“Save the Art!” activity from the Ethics and the Arts summer program

Reflection Questions

How did you go about deciding which artworks to save or not save?

What did this activity make you wonder about?

What works of art not on this list would you want to save?

What makes a work of art valuable?

Is all art valuable in the same ways? 

How should we be evaluating art as good vs. bad?