The question: What is art? can be answered in several quite distinct ways. One may seek to define a concept of art by identifying its necessary and sufficient conditions; presenting a definition, constructing a philosophical theory, or offering a statement of a work of art. Alternatively, one may eschew the inherent difficulties in presenting a definition of sufficient comprehensiveness, and answer the question by reference to one or more distinctively artistic qualities, such as beauty or form, which are claimed to differentiate works of art, as such. A third approach, and the one which I propose to adopt, is to interpret our preliminary question ontologically: How, and in what sense, do works of art exist? After this ontological question has been addressed I believe that we will then be in a position to consider the related question: What is valuable about art? A consideration of artistic value, and its importance to the ontology of art, will be the subject of Ch 4. I hope to demonstrate that, taken together, the following ideas concerning the ontology and value of art offer a distinctive way of conceiving art which avoids many of the problems of artistic definition in contemporary aesthetics (fully discussed in Hänfling, 1992: 1-40).