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and the outline drawing of a hat, or a basket, or a cabinet, or the front of a house. At the present time we all admit that writing is necessary to be taught to every one, and is serviceable in all relations of life, but it, may be shown easily that the power of representing forms by drawing is frequently quite, if not more, needful. And it is equally useful to all classes of the community: to him who orders a house to be built and pays for it, to him who superintends its building, and to him who actually saws and joins the timber or lays the masonry. All would perform their respective parts with greater power and wisdom, and with greater saving of labour, if they all knew what straight lines were, and possessed the power of making them. But how rare is the possession of this simple power! How many landlords in the country are able to draw a plan of the ground which their houses occupy, or to draw the shape of a cupboard they wish to order from the carpenter! How many manufacturers there are who direct the labour of thousands of persons in producing ornamental works, and realize thousands of pounds from them, but are unable to
draw correctly the form of one of their simplest patterns ! Elementary 17. Still we have had Schools of Design working for 14 years to Drawing Schools in: improve manufactures. If the Schools have not fulfilled every expecdispensable tation, is disappointment unnatural when producers and consumers alike to the suo
remain in ignorance ?-I hope I have succeeded in showing that the estaSchools of blishment of the present school and other Elementary Drawing Schools Design. for the benefit of all classes is both a logical and an imperative step towards
making Schools of Design what they were intended to be. First teach the public to know what good art is, and Schools of Design will soon learn how to provide it; but leave the public ignorant, and Schools of Design must be vain.
Besides a manufacturing there is also a moral view to be taken of this question. The efforts of all who desire that the people of this country should acquire a power of perceiving and judging forms correctly should be directed in introducing drawing as a necessary part of instruction into erery school in the kingdom :—this power will also assist them to obtain increased accuracy in all other ways, and therefore become all the more truthful and sensible of God's wisdom.
(2.),Address by Richard REDGRAVE, R.A., the Superintendent of Art.
The object of the meeting of this day is to found a class to provide elementary instruction in drawing--as a part of general education,-and as introductory to the study of ornamental art, -in order to give to all a knowledge of form as a means of expressing their thoughts, and to the
improvement of all classes in a perception of what is really excellent in Public design applied to the things and uses of daily life. Everywhere there is desire for evidence of an awakened desire for art-education on the part of the public; art-education. it is manifest in the meeting of this day ; in the numerous demands for
schools of ornamental art throughout the kingdom ; and the extension of galleries of art; of art exhibitions in London and the provinces, public and private ; in the support of art unions; in the increase of illustrated works; the sale of prints; and, above all, in the increasing number and extensive sale of illustrated periodicals, and those, not merely of a pictorial, but many of them partaking largely of an ornamental character. All this manifests an increasing desire for information on such subjects, and an enlarged appreciation of the decorative and the beautiful; and to guide this
desire aright, both as to the designer and the public, is the office of the All inte
new Department of Practical Art. rested in I will now endeavour to support what has been advanced by the acquiring a General Superintendent; first, to show you how much all are interested power of drawing.
in obtaining a power of drawing as a new language; and then, as the
form and colour of the furniture of our houses, of the utensils we use and the garments we wear, are within the province of design, and, as these aze all more or less ornamented, that they should be subjected to just laws and true principles of design, if they are to be in harmony with the educated taste, the want of which is felt and which is growing around us. Among those exhibitions which have before been spoken of as evidencing the growth of a public appreciation of art, there is one which consists of the works of amateur artists. This, I trust, may give us room to hope that hereafter we shall see amateur draughtsmen, as far at least as the power goes of making a comprehensible drawing of work sought to be performed, in which power even the most educated classes are at present singularly deficient.
I would therefore direct your attention to the primary object of the class about to be formed, which is, to give the student a power of drawing as a part of general education; and there are one or two points connected with this object which I may be permitted to enlarge upon. The first of these Drawing is is, that we hereby obtain, so to speak, another language, another intel- a new lanligible mode of communicating thoughts and explaining things ; having, frake. moreover, this advantage over other languages, spoken or written, that it is universal, that it is almost alike intelligible to all the diverse races of mankind, needing no translation, but at once “known and read of all men.". But there is another and an equally great advantage, which is, that whereas words, spoken or written, even in our mother tongue, often convey but a confused and imperfect idea of things, dealing necessarily rather with generalities than with minute specialities, and requiring long and elaborate descriptions where accuracy is required, drawing supplies us with a power whereby long descriptions and pages of writing are at once superseded, and thus it is a condensed short-hand as well as a universal language; a short-hand, moreover, intelligible equally to him that writes and to him that would read it; useful not merely to the scientific man for his diagrams and illustrations, but in the every-day relations of life. By its means the tradesman or the manufacturer instantly understands and comprehends the wants and wishes of the employer, and as readily conveys them to the workman to execute. The master hereby may instruct his pupil, and greatly aid him in comprehending things, otherwise unintelligible; while the scholar, in his turn, is able to store and treasure facts, where words would fail him, and language is found to be almost useless.
Then, again, the course of study necessary to acquire correctness of eye Improves and precision in delineating form, has a further valuable bearing on the pergeneral education, since it greatly stimulates and improves the perceptive faculties. faculties, and induces correctness of general observation, and more clear and definite knowledge of things. The student is not only provided with another medium of explanation, but his verbal descriptions even will be clearer than those of one who has not been so trained ; for, as it is impossible to draw any object correctly without a minute and careful examination of its structure and surface, and its relation to other objects, it must follow that his power of observation and of comparison is strengthened, and becomes more precise, and his perceptions sharpened and rendered more inquisitive ; 80 that facts, often overlooked by others, are brought tangibly before the mind of the scholar exercised in the studies we are about to inaugurate. I may perhaps be permitted to glance at another Induces the inducement to these studies, in the happiness that is sure to arise, not studerer
. only from the acquisition of knowledge, but from this very improved and enlightened power of observation, which opens to us pleasurable perceptions of beauty, symmetry, order, and structure, not only in the skilled works of our fellow men, but more especially in those of our great Creator. Such being a few of the advantages which a knowledge of drawing gives to one and all, it is needless to attempt to impress up you further its
value as a part of General Education. I say General Education, for as we have fortunately arrived at an age of the world when it is thought necessary that all should read and write, I trust, for the reasons I have stated, the time is coming when it will be felt necessary that a knowledge of drawing should, as far as possible, be imparted to every man. And
here it may be necessary to remark shortly upon one or two exceptions Objections which have been taken to such studies. Some there are who deny that all answered.
are capable of being taught to draw; while, on the other hand, soine
technical means for its expression, as drawing, painting, or modelling. Inventive These latter are in themselves, inasmuch as they are imitative, only meand mecha-chanical, as purely so as reading or writing ; and this suggests the error defined. of those who think that education in these elementary studies will produce
a host of artists; no more, it may be replied, than the general spread of reading and writing has filled the land with authors, since the inventive mind must in both cases be added to the expressive means. This leads us to the real value of widely-extended instruction; it is to form an audience fitted to understand, in the one case, the true author, whether poet, historian, or dramatist; in the other, the true artist, the poet in another tongue, in the language of beauty and ideality, the Ornamentist, the Painter, or the Sculptor. To educate such an audience is one of the first duties of the new Department of Practical Art; preliminary even to the duty of educating designers in the principles of true taste; for it were indeed worse than useless to improve design without an instructed public to appreciate it; to call into existence works of chaste and refined excellence and beauty, whilst the public, grovelling in profound ignorance, are unable to appreciate them; loving rather the coarse and tawdry finery which surrounds us on every side and wherever we turn, and which is made marketable from the want of that very education which it is our duty to endeavour to supply, and to which we
are here this day to give the first impulse. Drawing
Having said thus much on the classes about to be formed, as to the use must be ac- of the knowledge of drawing which is to be acquired in them as a part of qualification general education, I must now refer to them in connexion with “Orna
mental Art,”—with those more advanced schools of which they tend to Schools of form a part, the Schools of Ornamental Art throughout the country. Ornamental Art. The object of all such schools is, in the first place, to "afford an oppor
tunity of acquiring a competent knowledge of the fine arts, as far as the same are connected with manufactures,;" to enable our designers and manu,
facturers, by the instruction therein obtained in the principles of beauty, and the skill to embody those principles, to add beauty to utility,—to adorn and decorate the useful. With this view the studies, even of the most elementary classes, such as are now about to be opened, bave a special direction, and are based on Practical Geometry, and, to a certain extent, on ornamental forms. But while this is necessary from the very nature of the schools, as partly introductory to schools of ornamental art, it is also most satisfactory to find from long experience that even as a means of training the hand and eye to do their duty, this is the best and most speedy method. In Practical Geometry is found the law of all forms, the con- Practical structing skeleton of all ornament, and the source of proportion and Geometry symmetry; and, having laid a foundation in this study, the long flowing law of all lines, the symmetrical curves and balanced quantities of ornament, are forms. excellently fitted to form the hand to freedom and educate the eye; and it may with certainty be said, that one who has passed successfully through the geometrical and free-hand section of these schools will find but little difficulty in mastering the power to delineate any other forms. But here I must impress on the student the necessity of patience and of steady The study perseverance at the first outset of his labours. Ornamental forms, and of graceful what are called the skeleton lines of ornament, those balanced and principal ornament curves which regulate the due distribution of details, and are the con- gives freestructing or governing forms, are the first examples placed before the dom of hand. students. They require to be patiently and accurately copied until certainty is obtained; and as no secure progress can be made if these are imperfectly understood or insufficiently mastered, all would do well to be diligent in conquering the difficulty at the outset, that their after progress may be easy and satisfactory. As well may the carpenter who cuts his tenon-cheek awry, or shoulders it out of the square, hope that his framing will be true and “out of winding,” as the ornamental draughtsman who neglects or distorts these constructing forms, expect that his drawing will be correct, or his ornament perfect. In this class the first elementary difficulties are to be mastered. The student then must be patient to overcome them here, so that if, in course of time, he seeks to obtain further instruction in the higher schools, he may not be found wanting in those qualities which can alone secure success; and all may be assured that if the time they are detained at elementary studies is or appears to be long, their progress will from this cause be more satisfactory and secure. The Examples examples in this class which have been selected for them to copy have been
give an apselected for beauty of form, and many of them from the finest specimens preciation of ancient ornament; they contain some of the choicest elements of beauty, of the
beautiful. such as elegance of line, proportion, and symmetry of parts with variety of detail, added to just and beautiful distribution of quantities; and their * study will improve the sense of the beautiful, while they are fitted to give power of hand and correctness of eye.
Finally, I may remind you, that, since learning to draw is acquiring a The end new language,-a new means of expressing our thoughts, and only a aimed at in
these premeans,--there is a period when the inventive powers, the thoughts them- liminary selves, of such as continue to study with a view to becoming ornamentists, studies. are to be called forth, stimulated, and directed; and in the higher Schools of Ornamental Art, as well as in the Museum, the Library, and the Lectures of this Department at Marlborough House, these aids to invention will be found in the Museum the student will see the best and choicest thoughts of others embodied and carried into actual execution. In the Library, and illustrated works therein, he will find the record and description, in the art language he has learnt, of those works which we are unable otherwise to possess; and he will do well to remember the remark of Sir Joshua Reynolds on this subject :-“Invention,” says he, “is one of the great “ marks of genius; but if we consult experience we shall find, that it is by " being conversant with the inventions of others we learn to invent, as by
" reading the thoughts of others we learn to think.” Such acquaintance with other men's thoughts the Museum and Library are calculated to supply, and in the Lectures the student will have explained to him the laws of harmony and combination, which are the grammar of this new language, and the principles which are to guide and direct the ornamentist in the application of his acequired art to the purposes of the manufacture and the means, the processs, and the powers of the manufacturer ; while, in the class rooms he will be aided and instructed in applying the knowledge he has acquired, and the thoughts which have been awakened and fostered, into actual practice.
All this, however, requires long and persevering labour. In regard to far higher things we are told, that it is " by a patient continuance in welldoing we must "seek for glory and honour,” and the same course is necessary as regards earthly emulation; and it is one of the great excellences of art, that, nourishing, as it does, the love of beauty, order, and perfection, it is so far the enemy of vice that he who would succeed in it must cultivate his mind, and strive to improve his general intelligence and information, making him at the same time a better workman, a better artist, a better member of society, and a better man.
Benefits of art-knowledge.
Committee of Council on Education, Council Office, Sir,
Downing Street, 18 August 1852. In reply to your letter of the 28th ultimo, and its enclosures, I am directed to renew the expression of the readiness with which the Committee of Council will contribute all the assistance in their Lordships' power towards effectuating the object of the Board of Trade in the formation of classes for instruction in elementary drawing.
You will see, from my letter dated 3 April 1851, that my Lords have already furnished the Board of Trade with a list of all the schools under the inspection of Her Majesty's Inspectors of schools in those places where the Board of Trade has established schools of design.
In the same letter my Lords have adverted to the fact that their powers are very much limited to those of recommendation.
They have published the correspondence with the Board of Trade in the Minutes (vol. 1. of 1850-1), and they are disposed to think that, if the managing committees of the local schools of design were severally instructed to communicate with the managers of the schools under Government inspection in the same places, and to bring under their actual notice the offer made, in your letters of the 30th of December 1850 and of February 1851; by the Board of Trade, for the gratuitous instruction of schoolmasters and the supply of apparatus, extensive advantage would be taken of the proposal
My Lords are disposed to think that the plan of gratuitously instructing schoolmasters at the school of design, and then supplying them with the means of teaching (what they may have learnt) in their own schools, is more likely to succeed than that of sending round a special instructor in drawing to the several schools at a fixed charge.
At any rate, my Lords would recommend that the former proposal should not be withdrawn, even if the second be added to it.
It might be a question, hereafter, what effect my Lords might give, in the examination of apprenticed teachers before payment of their annual stipends, to that passage in their Lordships' Minutes of 1846 which encourages proficiency in drawing, in those localities where their Lordships had been certified that due facilities for such proficiency were within reach of the school.