Studio: international art — 30.1904

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Glasgow School of A rt

and, in his passing away, many, like myself, will
chiefly mourn the loss of a valued friend.

William Scott.


Again the Club which derives its name from
the Glasgow School of Art has filled the spacious
galleries of the Royal Institute of the Fine
Arts in Sauchiehall Street with its annual show;
and this year the occasion had been looked
forward to with some renewal of interest and lively
anticipation on the part of the annual critic, born of
the knowledge that some first-fruits might be con-
fidently expected to result from the change of
organisation. This year, also for the first time in
its history, the school, and the Club as a part of
the organisation of the school, exhibited together ;
and thus a complete cycle of the work of the
school for twelve months was made possible.
The change of official administration took place
some eighteen months ago, when the school was
handed over to the Scottish Office, and thereby
made independent of the Board of Education.

National competition, grants, red tape and other
complicated legislative machinery, which it is not
too much to say has retarded art education, with
its foolish restrictions and its cut-and-dried rules—
methods such as these, that take no account of
personality, might be in keeping with a purely
scientific school; but in art, especially in design,
personality and individual feeling are the
chief things, and yet how often we see students
prematurely strangled with red tape, and the free ex-
pression of their ideas checked by a dull, mechanical
routine, prescribed by those who fail to see that
it is the letter only which is teachable, and that too
great insistence upon the letter kills the spirit.

If students are fed on Italian arabesques or
Gothic diapers, on dead, fossilised patterns, who
can wonder if little vitality is found in their work ?
Nothing is denied to well-directed labour; nothing
is to be obtained without it, yet industry alone
can only produce mediocrity, and mediocrity in art
is not worth the trouble of industry. The only
tendency of these methods here commented upon
seems to be to lure those students to persevere who
have no chance of succeeding, and to deter those
who have a chance from benefiting from the strong
bent and impulse of their natural powers.
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