International studio — 50.1913

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A New Art School

L_\ There is no doubt that the world
1 V needs art as it needs religion; that

art is a great force underlying the
ideals and expression of our common being; that
in some form or other it permeates life, whether
it is recognized or not, and influences in a thousand
ways our daily acts. In the building of a city,
the furnishing of a home or the buying of a hat.


But the question one is tempted to ask in these
days of art student exhibitions, is whether the
kind of art taught in our largest and best known
art schools is of such a kind that it can serve a
large public good as well as a private pleasure.
Without in any sense criticising the excellent
standards of achievements attained by the few,
the prize winners, the honorable mentioned and
the exceptionally talented, it is a self-evident
inference that the majority of these two thousand
or more art students in our midst fail to become
the great artists they hope to be and that after
the devotion of precious years, perhaps at great
personal and family sacrifice, during which they
have acquired mainly a fairly creditable tech-
nique, they fail to “makegood” either in a notable
output, or more serious still, in their ability to
earn a living.
I am not referring here to the various art
schools of applied design which are doing ex-
cellent work, but rather to the schools where life
drawing becomes almost an end in itself and
where success is measured by ability to draw the
human figure, matching tone for tone in realistic
imitation. The result may be seen in the thou-
sand of yards of wall space covered by unlovely
drawings of the nude, or more or less well painted
studies in our annual exhibitions.
We know the success of the few, but where
do the failures hide and what becomes of their

buried hopes? Let us trust that in the case of
the young women, many exchange the fascina-
tions of the brush for the more natural if more
commonplace experience of domestic life.
Be that as it may, we are now concerned with the
more practical subject of a preparatory art train-
ing that by opening more doors to the young
student will enable him to have a larger choice as
to the kind of art that best fits his talent and his
limitations. It is with this purpose in view and
with the desire for establishing a more rational
basis of culture that a plan which long has been
in the mind of Dr. Felix Adler is to be put into
operation next Fall at the Ethical Culture School,
namely: The development of an art school which
shall have for its object special training in the
arts and which shall also include courses in
English, Physics, Chemistry, Music, one modern
language and physical training.
The art course will be the major subject. Two
hours or more a day will be given to the theory
and practice of design, to drawing from objects
and life in black and white or color and to some
form of handcraft. The other subjects will be
treated largely from the standpoint of their art
relationship and reaction. For instance, during
the first year the art course will include the study
of form and color and the principles of design;
the handcrafts will be pottery, basketry and the
study of primitive textiles.
English and History will be intimately con-
nected with the development of primitive peoples

and their civilization and with the beginnings of
language. Chemistry and Physics will be con-
cerned with the study of clays, glazings, pigments
and with the processes of firing, enameling,
etching. An important feature of this plan will
be frequent visits to the Metropolitan Museum
of Art, to current exhibitions and to the im-
portant potteries, textile industries, glass works

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