Studio: international art — 1.1893

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Artistic Houses

the upper part of the walls shown on page
217, or the painted decoration of Stanmore
Hall, so long will great damage be done by
the publication of such " news." We are
all intimately interested in the decoration
ARTISTIC HOUSES. 0f ^e home, and occupy a position in one of
BY J. S. GIBSON, two sections into which householders may be
F.R.I.B.A. roughly divided. First, the few who are wealthy

enough to employ the best talent and procure

AS the value of a picture consists in the the finest materials; and second, the many who
expression of an artist's mind and is have to provide the luxuries of artistic homes
an index of its owner's artistic sympa- by personal labour. It is astonishing how little
thies, so is a beautiful house the mani- personal time and attention is ordinarily devoted
festation of the refinement of its by the majority of us to thinking out the problems
owner's artistic temperament. of home decoration compared to what is cheerfully

It is given to few men to paint pictures or to given to less important matters. The struggle for
walk in the paths of pure art; but the sphere of existence leaves but little leisure, and even that is
home decoration is open to all. The result of curtailed by things outside the circle of art.
personal labour in this direction may be more It is only when such a momentous event as the
interesting than valuable from an artistic stand- occupation of a new house, or the redecoration of
point; as, for example, in the case reported in the the old, arises, that the mind is brought to bear on
newspapers some weeks ago of a philatelist who the subject with results that are often remarkable,
covered the walls of a room with postage stamps. Our minds are moulded so much by our daily
The money value of those stamps was no doubt experiences that these seem to us the right edu-
considerable, but their artistic value, as a wall cative means, and our ordinary surroundings
covering, must be nil; and it is to be regretted appeal to us most strongly by reason of their
that any approving criticism of such an example of familiarity. But unfortunately our surroundings
depraved taste should be diffused amongst an are often the reverse of artistic, and their evil
undiscerning public. effects are most apparent. Chiefly for this reason

For as long as the public will not critically I think it beneficial that we should go out of the
examine the relative merits, as wall coverings, of beaten track and search for a healthier form of
say the finest collection of stamps, compared with artistic development.

such materials as the embossed leather hangings on I am no believer that a thing is beautiful
I. No. 6.—September, 1893. 2I5
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