Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly — 1912 (Heft 39)

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D. Lloyd in the Evening Post:
Mr. Stieglitz has arranged an exhibition of children’s work in the galleries of the Photo-
Secession, No. 291 Fifth Avenue. Drawings, water colors, and pastels by little masters aged two
to eleven have been selected with an eye for variety of style and habits of expression. Mr.
Stieglitz was impressed with the dictum of some of the radical painters who have formerly
graced his walls that the artist should look out upon his world with the eyes of a child. Ob-
viously impossible, said the pragmatical Mr. Stieglitz, unless you are a child. This was so true
that it seemed worth testing. Now nobody is sure whether Mr. Stieglitz is making game of the
radicals or not, and even he may not be quite certain about it. Altogether a terrible state of
affairs! Meanwhile, the childish drawings make an extraordinarily delightful show. If any
one ever before had the thought of grouping the work of several children side by side and noting
the individuality betrayed therein, we have failed to hear of it. The idea would be a fruitful
theme for sermonizing; but a visit to the exhibition has somewhat the effect that the visits of
Christmas, past, present, and to come, had upon Scrooge.
Mr. Harrington in the N. Y. Herald:
Every goose was a swan when we were young, but what is the object which Alice Campbell
drew in the pride of her two years and six months’ apprenticeship to life. Her drawing is on the
line at the exhibition of the drawings and paintings of children of from two to eleven years of
age which is being held in that nursery of genius, the rooms of the Photo-Secession, No. 291
Fifth avenue.
Mr. Alfred Stieglitz, who is the foster parent of artistic possibilities in this country, had
longed to know if the post-impressionists, the followers of Matisse and such, really were child-
like in their attitude toward picture making.
Miss Alice Campbell, only two and a half years old, drew a curly looking thing which
seemed to have an eye. It is designated as a swan going over the waves. It might be one of
any number of things, but this is the official verdict. Alice in this painter land grew further
away from the aboriginal idea as she grew older, and when she was eight she had lost much of
the freshness of her style. Now, at the age of eleven, she paints just like an academician. So
does the baleful influence of the old fashioned art blight and destroy.
There is a realistic representation of a pushcart in charge of a swarthy son of Hellas, and
strange to relate, the infantile mind has featured most the signs denoting the number of cents
required to buy apples and oranges.
One of the young artists saw a painting by Mr. Max Weber and made one just like it—
only better. Others got glimpses of deep orange ships floating on seas of indigo blue.
Mr. Stieglitz has room for only a few of the work, and already he has stacks of infantile art,
some of it made with match sticks or crayon on wrapping paper. Fond parents are still bringing
in sheaves of the achievements of their prodigies. The exhibition is of interest as showing how
children untrammeled by tradition would really paint and draw.
In the N. Y. Sun:
Alfred Stieglitz has carried out his idea of an exhibition of drawings by children, and these
drawings are now shown at the Photo-Secession Galleries. They are the work of children who
have had no instruction whatever. The age of the eldest child represented is eleven years and
that of the youngest is three years. Such an exhibition is of peculiar interest just now, when
apropos of the post-impressionist movement, one hears so much of the naive and childlike atti-
tude in art, and the necessity of freeing art from sophistication and dogma. Remarkably decora-
tive are some of these attempts, and from the naive freshness and beauty of these drawings one
may draw many a text, both artistic and psychologic.
Elizabeth Luther Carey in N. Y. Times:
At the galleries of the Photo-Secession we have come down to the real thing at last. Draw-
ings by children ranging from two years old to eleven are hung on the walls, and we are invited
to note the decorative tendency of the young idea and the significant simplicity of the essential
line of a swan with water rippling about. That, at least, is our reading of the rapid hieroglyph.
Others have seen in it the essential line of a nose with a beard rippling below it, but we cling to
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