As part of the business of everything being made a commodity, the shop window has taken the place of the altar-piece and the painting. Tens of thousands look into these windows and wonder. Here are the modern still-lives and the modern heroes and heroines. The function of the shop-window tableau is really the same as that of sculpture for the Greeks, or frescoes for the Italians of the Renaissance. These works appealed because they embodied the hopes, the ideals, the potentiality of most of the people who looked at them. Today there is only one common ideal, created and fostered by commerce: it is the principle that Only what you haven’t yet got is worth having.
— John Berger, A Painter of Our Time: A Novel
(the book was published in 1956. Right before Andy Warhol began experimenting with putting paintings he made for shop windows into galleries.)