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Famous Culture Quotes

Updated June 14, 2019 1.3k votes 741 voters 70.1k views

List RulesMust be a famous or well-known quote. Vote for the culture sayings that strongly resonate with you, and downvote any you didn't like.

A list of the best culture quotes and sayings, including the names of each speaker or author when available. This list is sorted by popularity, so only the most famous culture quotes are at the top. The authors of these historic culture quotes are displayed next to each quote, so if you see one you like be sure to check out other inspirational culture quotes from that same writer.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best quotes about culture?" and "What are inspirational culture quotes?"

This list includes notable culture quotes by various authors, writers, playwrights, speakers, politicians, athletes, poets, and more. Vote on your favorites so that the greatest culture quotes rise to the top, as the order of the list changes dynamically based on votes. Don't let your favorite culture sayings get to the bottom of the list.
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  • 1
    120
    46

    No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.

    Mahatma Gandhi
  • 2
    95
    28

    Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.

    Jawaharlal Nehru
  • 3
    105
    38

    Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.

    Albert Camus
  • 4
    76
    26

    Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear, their table-talk, gossip, controversies, historical sense and scientific training, the values they appreciate, the quality of life they admire. All communities have a culture. It is the climate of their civilization.

    Walter Lippmann
  • 5
    36
    20

    That is true culture which helps us to work for the social betterment of all.

    Henry Ward Beecher
  • 6
    21
    6

    Here in the U.S., culture is not that delicious panacea which we Europeans consume in a sacramental mental space and which has its own special columns in the newspapers -- and in people's minds. Culture is space, speed, cinema, technology. This culture is authentic, if anything can be said to be authentic.

    Jean Baudrillard
  • 7
    40
    30

    Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs.

    Thomas Wolfe
  • 8
    20
    7

    A society person who is enthusiastic about modern painting or Truman Capote is already half a traitor to his class. It is middle-class people who, quite mistakenly, imagine that a lively pursuit of the latest in reading and painting will advance their status in the world.

    Mary McCarthy
  • 9
    19
    6

    A man should be just cultured enough to be able to look with suspicion upon culture at first, not second hand.

  • 10
    16
    5

    "The literary artist lends verbal depth to the visual. The visual artist provides visible articulation for the literary."

    Aberjhani
  • 11
    16
    7

    We are like ignorant shepherds living on a site where great civilizations once flourished. The shepherds play with the fragments that pop up to the surface, having no notion of the beautiful structures of which they were once a part.

    Allan Bloom
  • 12
    26
    21

    If everybody is looking for it, then nobody is finding it. If we were cultured, we would not be conscious of lacking culture. We would regard it as something natural and would not make so much fuss about it. And if we knew the real value of this word we would be cultured enough not to give it so much importance.

    Pablo Picasso
  • 13
    15
    7

    Culture, then, is a study of perfection, and perfection which insists on becoming something rather than in having something, in an inward condition of the mind and spirit, not in an outward set of circumstances.

    Matthew Arnold
  • 14
    10
    5
  • 15
    8
    2

    For the rest, whatever we have got has been by infinite labor, and search, and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.

    Jonathan Swift
  • 16
    7
    2

    We know that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day's work at Auschwitz in the morning.

    George Steiner
  • 17
    7
    2

    "'Mixtape' is a very appropriate word to include in the title of Goran Hugo Olsson’s film because it includes a rich mixture of cultural voices. They speak across different dividing lines such as those of haves and have-nots, youth and maturity, black and white, national and global, and the past and the present."

    Aberjhani
  • 18
    13
    11

    High culture is nothing but a child of that European perversion called history, the obsession we have with going forward, with considering the sequence of generations a relay race in which everyone surpasses his predecessor, only to be surpassed by his successor. Without this relay race called history there would be no European art and what characterizes it: a longing for originality, a longing for change. Robespierre, Napoleon, Beethoven, Stalin, Picasso, they're all runners in the relay race, they all belong to the same stadium.

    Milan Kundera
  • 19
    15
    14

    All objects, all phases of culture are alive. They have voices. They speak of their history and interrelatedness. And they are all talking at once!

    Camille Paglia
  • 20
    9
    6

    The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.

    Karl Marx
  • 21
    6
    3

    Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and the sciences and a flourishing culture in our land.

    Mao Zedong
  • 22
    18
    20

    Culture is the habit of being pleased with the best and knowing why.

    Henry van Dyke
  • 23
    9
    9

    Culture is one thing and varnish is another.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • 24
    6
    5

    We Have the Ability to Achieve, If We Master the Necessary Goodwill, a Common Global Society

    Mahnaz Afkhami
  • 25
    11
    11

    It is of the essence of imaginative culture that it transcends the limits both of the naturally possible and of the morally acceptable.

    Northrop Frye
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