International studio — 18.1902/​1903

Page: CIII
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/international_studio18/0191
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
0.5
1 cm
facsimile
^772^7i(?<37% 5*/%<^7<? 7 77//^

ATIONAL SCULPTURE
SOCIETY EXHIBITION.
Sculpture is a branch of art to which as
a ruie scant justice is done in exhibitions. Indeed,
the Nationai Scuipture Society of this country, is, I
beiieve, the only separate organization of scuiptors
existing anywhere, and it is oniy in certain exhibi-
tions arranged by it that scuipture has been dis-
piayed without the usuai adjunct of paintings. Our
society gave an exhibition some years ago in the
Fine Arts Buiiding, New York, when a beautiful
effect was produced by the formai use of greenery,
but it was not hnanciaiiy successfui. Accordingiy
this year the Sculpture Society joined forces with
the New York Fiorists' Ciub and organized an
eiaborate dispiay in the Madison Square Garden.
Unfortunateiy, the Fiorists' Ciub, being primariiy
a commerciai affair, has its own views of what an
exhibition shouid be, and they are not in the iine
of artistic arrangement, but merely represent the oid-
time, country-fair method, of massing iarge clumps
of fiowers together in a manner as far from nature
as from art. Moreover, being responsibie for the
iion's share of the expenses, they naturaiiy mo-
nopoiized a iarger part of the exhibition space, and
set an impressof commonnesson what was intended
to be a very unusuai combination of Horai effects and
scuipture. That the resuit, from the point of view
of its intentions, came near to being a faiiure must
not be imputed to the Scuipture Society. Com-
promises were inevitabie, and frorn the necessities of
the case, they bore with greater heaviness against
the scuiptors. But what under such disadvantages
they contrived to accomplish, shouid be an en-
couragement to further efforts, unhampered by
aiiiances.
The Nationai Sculpture Society has a considerabie
mejnbership of iaymen. It has demonstrated on
more than one occasion, for exampie, in the case
of the civic demonstrations attending the Dewey
reception in New York, that it is a very vitai body
with plenty of initiative. It ought not to be im-
possibie, therefore, nor prohibitiveiy difhcuit for it
to obtain such substantial backing as to warrant in
the future a perfectly independent exhibition. Or,
rather, one that shaii be independent of adventitious
assistance ; for there is another art with which its
exhibitions might be reasonabiy and advantageously
associated, and that is the work of the iandscape
architects ; of those specialists whose art is confined
to the planning and laying out of parks and formal
gardens as weii as of those architects who suppie-

ment their designing of country houses with the
arrangement of the accompanying grounds. In no
country more than ours is so rnuch thought being
given to formal gardening or so much money being
expended thereon; and it is a subject that attracts
not oniy the thought of the expert, but the interest
aiso of the pubiic.
Therefore, it does not seem beyond expectation
that men of rneans couid be found to stand behind
such an exhibition as we have in rnind, especiaiiy
as the exhibition itseif might conceivably be made
to pay its own expenses, at ieast. We know how
beautiful a dispiay couid be achieved by coopera-
tion of the scuiptors and iandscape gardeners, and
if to this were added the attractions of good niusic
and the opportunities for Society to enjoy its after-
noon tea or yiuMW dinner in such agreeabie sur-
roundings, the affair under the management of a
shrewd business manager migiit be made a hnan-
ciai success. Nor is there anything cheap or sordid
in such a suggestion. Many of us have enjoyed
just such unions of art and nature, of materiai and
aesthetic satisfaction, in Itaiy ; why not, therefore, in
New York? Such a scene, produced in the Madi-
son Square Garden, might be made to create the
iiiusion of the reai thing, and at the same time be
a most deiightfuliy instructive iesson upon the reia-
tion between scuipture and formai gardening, and a
suggestion aiso of the way to enter into the enjoy-
ment of such union. It wouid be fuii of incentive,
in fact, towards a more out-of-door way of taking
our pieasures in great cities.
The exhibition consisted very iargeiy of exampies
of monumentai or memoriai scuipture, the branches
of the art in which the conditions of American iife
have offered the greatest opportunities ; but it was
not wanting also in some very interesting works of
the imagination. Most notabie among the iatter
were the exampies by George Grey Barnard and
Soion H. Borglum ; the one an ideaiist, the other
primariiy a reaiist, yet not so far apart in feeiing as
these terms wouid indicate. For they very weii
may be, and in the present comparison are, differ-
ent aspects of the same artistic quality. Mr.
Barnard's work, while in its inception it may be
inspired by an idea, clings close to nature in its
expression; whiie Mr. Borgium's, aithough it wouid
appear to be prompted by the ciosest intimacy with
facts, interprets thern in so iarge a way as to prove
that they have iaid hold of his imagination. The
difference is, perhaps, mainly one of the ways in
which different minds wiii travel towards a corre-
sponding goai, in this case the piastic realization
ciii
loading ...