Studio: international art — 23.1901

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The National Competition



Without assuming the pose of hope-
lessness towards the popular appreciation
of decorative art, one may wish that a
little more public interest were taken
in the annual display, at the South
Kensington centre, of the work of art
students in all parts of the Kingdom.
Here, in their most adventurous and
experimental stages, are the designers of
the furniture and fabrics, the ornaments
and wearing apparel which to-morrow
will offer us ; among them, surely, are
those who will do something to sweeten
and invigorate the aesthetic life of the
coming generation.

The exhibition which opened at the
end of July comprised the usual propor-
tion of technical studies, and a very
creditable show of works selected for
award under the National Competition
in Design. Much has been said about
the arbitrary conditions imposed upon
these drawings and models by South
Kensington rules, and certainly one of
the least defensible is the intrusion of
the official stamp upon the actual design.
Yet, under discipline which may some-
times chafe the enterprising spirit, there
is ample scope for originality of subject
design for printed muslin by sarah c. v. jarvis (battersea) an(j treatment in a catalogue ranging

from architecture to jewellery and lace.

plays and operas would
not be the paralysing
disease of the dramatic
world. Here is no extra-
vagant or tawdry waste of
monies to produce garish
stupidities, in order that
the groundlings may stare
open-mouthed in primitive
wonder at the thousands
of guineas spent. These
stage-pictures are equally
fitted to large or small
stages ; they are fitted to
reasonable cost; they are
consummately artistic; they
are altogether beautiful.

Haldane Macfall. design for a damask table napkin by may barmby (Scarborough)

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