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

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Art as a Means of International
Understanding

By Frederic Allen Whiting, President Ihe American Federation of Ar(s

The arts are a natural means of international Interpretation, for the
truly creative artist—no matter what may be his medium—must express
through his work something of his time and of the reaction of himself
and his neighbours to the conditions surrounding them. The artist
frequently leads his fellows—expressing in visible form a feeling or a
protest which others in the Community may have sensed vaguely, but
without the clarity of thought which leads to expression. I rather thinkthat
in the present decade in Europe, and to an even greater degree in the
United States of America, the handicrafts and little theatre have perhaps
led the other arts in voicing the spirit of their times and their discontent
with historic forms.

Certainly the designers for advertisers and the manufacturers of objects
susceptible to design, have vied with each other in this country in their
effort to keep ahead of the times and to, although perhaps uncon-
sciously, interpretour times to us. In this case, however, one wonders if
the advertiser, through the artist, is not consciously creating a point ot

Yvonne Marx-Eckart, Munich • Engraved decorative glass
▼ Graviertes Zierglas

Creative Hands
No. 735

Phot. Gubisch, München
Prof. Adalbert Niemeyer • Ceramic ▼ Keramik

view which by its very reiteration and insis-
tence will almost inevitably be taken as an
expression of national feeling—whereas it
is only the expression of ideas which the
manufacturer is paying the advertiser to put
into our minds.

Be this as it may, the fact remains that an ex-
pert and careful description of the paintings,
scu Ipture,ad vertising art,printing,handicrafts
of ßavaria, for instance are one of the effect-
ive means of telling those of us who may not
frequently visitthat country, what itislike, what
Bavarians think about and do; what forms of
beauty seem to them vital and interesting
to-day; and this is true of any other country
whose people have art forms of their own
which are not imitative or entirely derived
from other times or other people.
And so we welcome "Creative Hands" which
will bring to America this record of Bavaria
and its handicraft workers.
The American Federation of Arts has been
a consistent supporter of every effort to bring
about a fuller realization of art as an agent
of international understanding and good
will. Art presents no barrier of language. In
an important work of art the creator is lost

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