Or possibly arts vs. crafts, depending on your viewpoint. I get kind of surly on the topic, myself.
(Still got nothing IRL - in real life - to blog. This is one of my favorite topics to kick around with art majors and other folks who know art history, and I can't believe I've never dumped it here, so off we go.)
For most of human history, the concept of art that we have now - as some kind of exclusive, mystical creation that only the select, talented few could create - didn't exist. It was all considered a craft. Mosaic for your palazzo? Fresco for the temple? Ceramics for your kitchen? All produced by craftsmen, who apprenticed like all other crafts from metal working to carpentry to glass making. You hired a guy to tile your floor or paint your walls the same way you hired anyone else. There were contracts and everything. We've still got some contracts from paintings done in the middle ages, and they even spelled out what pigments were to be used. The consumer/patron dictated everything, and the painter shut up and painted it.
By the 1500s, painters such as Leonardo Da Vinci got fed up with being craftsmen and began arguing that they were Artists, and what they did was a Great Skill and tried to get their abilities listed among the great topics for study in University - at the time, geometry, music, rhetoric, and astronomy. (I assume the Leonardo argued that Art was a branch of geometry.) Sculptors (who were often also painters at the time) got in on the act, arguing THEY were also Talented, too. And before long, they had their way, and painting and sculpting were considered High Arts and everything else got shuffled off into a dark corner and called a craft, implying craftsmen were nothing but interchangeable workers and one did the same job as another.
And here things sat, philosophically, until the 1800s.
(Incidentally, when I hear the term "High Art" I think of marijuana and assorted other... substances. Because they've gotta have chemical assistance to REALLY think painting and sculpting are the only arts.)
In the 1800s, the world industrialized. And there was the inevitable backlash to industrial production, that is mostly lumped into something called "The Arts and Crafts Movement". If that sounds vaguely familiar, it should. It spawned William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright and Art Deco and Art Nouveau and - personal opinion, this last - modern fashion design, especially haute couture. As well as the modern approach to design in most industries, and a host of other things.
The position of the Arts and Crafts Movement stated that art was not limited to paint and sculpture, and implied that ANYTHING could be an art, if the proper amount of care was given, and creativity applied (which I and I think most other people agree with in this era). Then they blew it by only paying attention to specific disciplines and ignoring many others.
Most of the movers and shakers of the movement were socialists, and one of their goals was to provide useful (useful - I love these guys, even if they blew it), beautiful things for the average home. Then they blew it again by having such high production standards and unreasonable manufacturing requirements (everything made entirely by hand with the best possible materials), that the cost of their products was beyond the budget of most of the everyday people they claimed they designed for (though the rich were happy enough to snap them up). The vast majority of them treated their workers well; I will give them that. In fact they were a big influence on later workers' rights movements.
But it was a good start. Even if they ignored knitting. They insisted that anyone could produce a useful, beautiful home, yet the only kits they provided for women to actually DO that, was for embroidery. (William Morris' wife and daughter were both expert embroiderers. Coincidence? I doubt it.) Blew it again.
So, even though they blew it in a lot of ways, the Arts and Crafts Movement did sort of break down the "High Art" walls and get some respect for disciplines other than painting and sculpture, though some of the snobbier museums and curators have yet to get on board with the idea. Most people who aren't snobs will agree that ANYTHING can be art, if enough care, attention to detail, and creativity are lavished on it.
On a good day, knitting can definitely be art.
For fun, links to some other art that isn't high. (It'll pass a drug test!)
Architecture. (I remain a fan of what I think of as 'non-square buildings', in other words, modern, usable spaces that aren't in a freaking box.) The link goes to Casa Batllo by Antoni Gaudi, but the web site contains photos of all kinds of other cool stuff.
Ceramics. Humanity's been making cool-as-hell stuff from clay ever since the stone age. I've discussed this before. If that's not art, I'll eat it. (The first link goes to Kyocera, the company that made my ceramic knife. A better link for a total world overview is probably the second one to my own blog post, or the Wiki article.)
Textiles. Knitting was developed for a practical purpose, so even knitted art is usually fairly practical. (Sorry, but it's true. A jumper can be art, but it's still something you wear.) Some other textiles, particularly laces and tapestries, were ALWAYS art, if you ask me. Here are other links that are cool, since we're all fiber-heads. Chinese, Ottoman, Macedonian, Oriental Carpets, American Quilts, and, well, you get the idea.
I was gonna also put in links to glass making, blacksmithing/metallurgy, book making and illustrating, and a couple others, but I'd be here all day. So I'll quit now. But I think we all agree, the only High Arts are in people's heads - with or without chemical assistance.