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Studio: international art — 10.1897

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Studio- Talk

Bridge Road, and School Lane : on the right is,
perhaps, the most successful group of cottages on
the estate, the block with five gables (page 182).
Another illustration (page 181) shows a group of
dwellings in Bolton Road.

"With the exception of the first few blocks, the
whole of the village has been erect jd by the work-
men on the estate, under the general supervision
of M. R. Nickson, without the doubtful aid of the
general contractor. The result of this is seen in
the careful workmanship and the attention to detail,
which bear the impress of careful thought. The
cases in which the detail is unsuccessful are not
due to any lack of good work and material, but to
a failure of this or that architect to realise and
respect the general harmony of the whole village.
An instance of this is seen in the block nicknamed
the Cathedral block—an imitation of Shakespeare's
House, and also in the front of the New Offices.
With the exception of these anachronisms, this is,
down to the present, the most successful attempt
to arrange the social life of the worker on a more
reasonable basis.

From this last and brief description of the
modern village can be traced analogies that
exist between the primitive institution and the
later development. The central governing power
has passed from the church and clergy into the
powers that organise industry. The village inn
has become the club, and " Ye Shoppe" but a
means of supplying the village with products manu-
factured in other districts. The position once oc-
cupied by the cleric is slowly becoming monopolised
by the school teacher, and the villager, instead of
serving the manorial lord or master, is called to
his daily work by the unwelcome " steam buzzer."

These lines have been written not so much for the
purpose of comparing the old with the fairly
successful modern village, but to suggest that from
this idea of semirrural life, already in embryo in the
modern state, may grow up, out of the needs of the
present time, a domestic architecture correlative to a
social condition, pleasant and in close contact with
nature. It would not be difficult, if space permitted,
to support this idea from a number of modern
authors, the keynote of whose writings is a return
to the country, a closer contact with the woods,
the valleys and hills, the trees and the soil : only
from such surroundings is it possible to conceive of
the beautifying of mill, factor)', village, and work-
men's dwelling. The conditions of modern life
are not opposed to restheticism provided the sub-
ject be approached in a right spirit.

G. L. Morris.



(From our own Correspondents.)

LONDON.—The Spring Exhibition of
water-colour drawings held by the
Dudley Gallery Art Society was on the
whole quite up to the average of its
immediate predecessors, that is to say,
it included a small number of fairly good works, a
great many commonplaces, and seme productions
that would have had little chance of appearing any-
where else, and might have been omitted with ad-
vantage from the Dudley Gallery show. Of the
things that were worthy of attention the best were
the landscapes and sea pieces by Mr. Claude Hayes,
Mr. D. Green, and Mr. R. Wane, three artists who
can always be depended upon for clever handling
and agreeable colour ; and some of the lady artists,
like Miss Margaret Bernard, Miss Rose Barton, and
Miss Mead, showed a reasonable amount of success
in the use of their materials. The bulk of the ex-
hibition consisted, however, of productions that
hardly called for detailed notice, because they
showed comparatively little intention to be anything
else but mere reflections of what has already been
done by other people of greater skill.

This same fault of imitation was the one weak-
ness of the joint exhibition held at Messrs. Graves's
gallery by Miss E. Stewart Wood and Miss Annette
Elias ; but in this case the imitation was made in-
teresting by the technical skill employed in carrying
it out. Both ladies are artists of capacity, and
therefore the fact that they should have elected to
base their style upon that of a contemporary artist
of much repute seems to be a matter for regret.
Miss Stewart Wood has certainly the power to choose
subjects worth painting; she has a sense of har-
monious colour, and skill much above the average
in draughtsmanship and handling. Her best quali-
ties were shown in such canvases as The Reed
Cutters; Matty Fields d Flowering Clover Gay, with
its elaboration of detail and pleasant relations of
colour; A Flood in the Orchard, notable especially
for its sound drawing of the trees ; and The Garden
of Sleep, which was excellently sunny and fresh.
With the ability to do so much under the present
conditions of her work, Miss Stewart Wood ought
to distinguish herself in a direction more definitely
her own.

Miss Elias showed, perhaps, more individuality
in her contributions to the exhibition : and she
proved herself possessed beyond question of a
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