Bayerischer Kunstgewerbe-Verein [Editor]
Kunst und Handwerk: Zeitschrift für Kunstgewerbe und Kunsthandwerk seit 1851 — 81.1931

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Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/kuh1931/0062
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Creative Hands
No. 735

THE ENJOYMENT OF ART IS A BIRTHRIGHT

BY RICHARD F. BACH

The enjoyment ot art is not an exotic pastime; it is not ex-
pensive; it is not unusual. It is among the daily but none the
less important things of life. We have to aid us two great
agencies, the museum of art and the störe. One preserves
the fine things of other days, the other offers in fascinafing
variety the designs, good and bad, of the throbbing present.
In the first we can trace the finger of time slowly moving
through the centuries, recording the major changes of human
thought. In the second we can follow as on a barometer
the scintillations of passing fads, the superficial foibles that
crowd the novelty counters, as well as the deep-stirring
reactions of war, the tightening up of business recessions,
the sturdy effort toward better design in all the arts. Our
home environment can rarely carry pictorial signiflcance, yet
it expresses as truly our hopes, weaknesses, conditions of
life and ideals. This it does not only in the kinds of materials
used and the mode of their handling, but by virtue of art, of
design. So it behoves us to take an active interest in their
appearance, in the way in which these materials and types

Director of Industriell Relations, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

of construetion have been manipulated to attain expression
in design. Out of this will come a real enjoyment which
should be a cultural gain.

As you look at artistic records of the past remember that
they are the work of human hands, that behind them lies
a story of ambition satisfied, hope deferred, ideals crushed,
empires founded, lives made rieh, souls destroyed, or men
made famous. That is the human side of art. These designers
of the past sought art not only in temples and public places,
but in the home, whether that was a palace at Versailles, a
mansion in Florence, a brick-front house in New Amsterdam,
or a cottage at Nantucket. Put art on a human basis and
you will find it a logical thing to think about.
The Standards which the museum of art suggests and the
factory emulates in modern things are displayed for us in the
störe, which is in fact another museum. Here every commercial
advantage is sought, to be sure, but at the same time every
effort is put forth to aecommodate the taste of a captious and
inarticulate public. If in the störe you are careful in your

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