The Studio yearbook of decorative art — 1919

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URING the past four years every sphere of human activity has
been affected by war and the destructive influences that follow
in its train. The tragedy that has spread devastation among the
hills and valleys of France, and the lowlands of Belgium, has had
its counterpart in the business of the world which, in normal days, oc-
cupies men’s minds and gives opportunity for their labour. The chain of
events has been broken. Now that a lasting peace is in sight, the time is
ripe for fashioning the scheme of everyday things in a new way and a
better manner than prevailed formerly. The task of setting in motion
again the machinery that gives impetus to the arts and pursuits of peace
has been called “reconstruction” alike by Statesmen and the Press. Al-
though the process will not bring the millennium, nor will an El Dorado
rise from the ashes of war, every human being and every branch of ac-
tivity will be affected by new conditions. Reconstruction is the popular
theme of the moment, and if the ideas implied by this word are carried
into practice, great results will be possible in the fruitful time that is to
follow the barren days of war. Many of the false trappings and super-
fluities of life have disappeared during four dark years. The sequence of
events has cleared the way for
action. The time for well-di-
rected effort is here, but long
days and nights of thought and
toil can alone bring harmony to
the channels of the world’s
Foremost among questions need-
ing immediate solution is the
provision of dwellings for
workers. The unusual condi-
tions of the past few years have
brought many subjects, once
deemed of little or no import-
ance, into great prominence.
Dislocation in the labour world,
of raw materials, and
nitration of industrial
effort on war measures, have all
contributed to the problems that
exist to-day. And though the
housing question was always a a bay-window (page 48)

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