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ence; the state must have time to materialize, and, as Buckle says, “as long as every man is engaged in collecting the materials necessary for his own subsistence there will be neither leisure nor taste for higher pursuits;" but, the prosperity of a state once assured, the mind relaxes its strenuous endeavor and that beneficent and instructive hunger for beauty makes itself felt. Then the artist and the artistic artisan come to the front; the state demands them and develops them, and their growth reacts again upon its prosperity, giving it an impulse from within—the best pledge of vitality, the most substantial evidence and enduring monument of civic or territorial importance. Naturally, as yet, Nebraska has no art history. That may begin with an organized art life--a life that does not hang every hour on the verge of extinction; but Nebraska has art possibilities, and happy will it be for the state, if, in the year 1988 the task of preparing for your society a chronicle of art growth in our midst, be one somewhat onerous. To no other source could art culture look with more confidence for sympathy and encouragement than to such an association as is here represented; an association whose avowed object--to rescue from oblivion the little beginnings of great things, to the successive steps which have led on to the results we see-prepares it to realize the significance of the little beginnings of to-day and to have faith in them. Few besides students of history are aware how important and how practical this matter of art culture is. In the different states of our union where it has prominence, an accident, rather than any deliberate action on the part of the people, has generally thrust it forward. Thus Cincinnati has become a conspicuous art center through the bequests of Longworth, Springer, and West. Around the splendid gifts of Corcoran at Washington, Walters and Peabody in Baltimore, Mr. Fred Layton in Milwaukee, Rogers in Buffalo, are already crystalizing schools of design. The St. Louis school of fine art, the most highly organized school of our country, is however, an example of what persistent and determined endeavor may do. This school has been contemplated as an essential part of Washington university for twenty-five years, and the bequest of Wayman Crowe of a two hundred thousand dollar building was the first of a series, which, most judiciously expended, have made the institution a power in the city and in the state.

This power, being interpreted, means home production of home decoration; it means a “ace of powerful designers for art and manufactures;” it means rivalry with other centres and artistic com. petition; it means, in short, commerce-not, as now, the exchange of raw material, but material stamped with the thought of man, its value thereby augmented an hundred fold.

They are not dreamers, they are practical men who see beautiful forms in common iron, in rough quarried stone, in wood and glass and steel, in our textures and draperies, in our fire place tiles and house furniture.

In search of such articles, in artistic form, the wealth of the state will go out, and invariably will'find them grouped around the source of their strength--some school of design, some art academy-as palms round the springs of the desert. Are not such institutions, then, worth cherishing at home? The East has its scores of private galleries, some of them, like the portrait gallery in the Wentworth house, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, dating back a couple of hundred years; but what the West cannot purchase, perhaps it can produce.

A wise and discriminating judge recently said that "the expenditure of fortunes for paintings which go to private galleries is not so healthful a sign of interest in art as the unselfish activity in behalf of art education, which is now to be noted in the West but not in the East." I believe that the Greeks had no private galleries; the master-pieces of art were there the possession of the state: cities, as such, were the purchasers of single pieces of statuary.

For a private man to claim the ownership and exclusive enjoyment of a creation of Phidias or of a creation of Æschylus would be an equal impertinence. -The Greek understood that art is an education, and as such a necessity; and instead of repressing it and doing all he could to confine the knowledge of it to a few, he displayed his master-pieces in every public building, square, and avenue, where they were the common property of all, the well as the rich, the uneducated as well as the educated; and so it came to pass that the people learned through daily contemplation of the best art, to discriminate between what is true and what is false in art.”

We Americans need to cultivate that same generous policy. With

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William Morris we ought to say, “We do not want art for a few any more than education for a few or freedom for a few.” If the national government would regard the importation of foreign works of art as educational material and levy upon them, where imported for private enjoyment, not a meaningless tax on money value, but a real claim, in behalf of the people, on their educational valuenamely, the enforcement of public exhibition so many days in the year

-the art 'atmosphere would cease to be so rarified, would soon lose its crudity. Works of art should be welcomed to our country as are intelligent emigrants, there should be no admission fee; but, like the peoples who crowd to our shores, they should be required to play their part in the development of our race. As it is, there is a duty of 25 per cent. on photographs and engravings, of 55 per cent. on plaster casts, and of 30 per cent. on works of foreign artists; and “thus the American artisť is protected from the advantage of acquaintance with the richest store houses of information regarding his art.” But the horizon is brightening. We are told that by a recent treasury decision secured by Mr. Henry Marquand, pictures painted before 1700 are now admitted free as “antiquities. Thus master-pieces of renaissance art, to obtain which all other nations will make almost any sacrifice, will not, at least when the rare opportunities to secure them come, be kept from landing here by our custom house.

This concession is worth much, yet the general status is not so good as in 1878 when the tariff indiscriminately on paintings and statuary was only ten per cent. ad valorem.

Things being thus, private collectors heavily taxed and permitted to immure from the knowledge of neighbor and fellow citizen art creations whose influence should be felt throughout the communitywhile in Italy every prince throws open the doors of his picture gallery once or twice a week-an added responsibility rests upon corporations, societies like your own, institutions like our state university, colleges, academies, schools, seminaries, municipal corporations. For, toward them, the attitude of the government is as liberal as the most exacting could desire. Under articles classed free from duty in the tariff act of 1878, as also the revised tariff of '82 and '83. we read: "All works of art, collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, sciences or manufactures, photographs, works in terra cotta, Parian, pottery or porcelain, and artistic copies of antiquities in metal or other material, hereafter imported in good faith, for permanent exhibition at a fixed place by any society or institution established for the encouragement of the arts, or science, and not intended for sale nor for any other purpose than is hereinbefore expressed, * * * shall be admitted free of duty.” This provision has, as yet, produced little effect, for institutions have not applied their wealth in these directions, individuals have done so. When the reverse becomes true will begin the art education of the masses of our people. In 1824, more than sixty years ago, Edward Everett called attention to the fact that republics have done the most for art. “The cost of Giotto's tower was at the rate of $300 for each superficial foot, equal to five millions old currency or, estimating the relative value of money, twenty-five millions." It has been worth all that to Florence. Painting was the language of Venice and of the Netherlands. The Athenians applied to monumentalizing the city the revenues of the Delian Confederacy--some 9,000 talents, or ten million three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, when, according to Leake, the equivalent of one thousand talents was capable of obtaining as much art and labor as two or three times that sum at the present time, since a family of four could subsist on one hundred dollars per annum. Our own republic is now struggling with a problem, unique at least in modern history. What shall be done with the enormous surplus in our treasury- -a surplus which will amount June next to the sum of one hundred and forty millions (140,000,000). Shall the tariff be wholly abolished, or shall smoking be enforced? Would that the spirit of Athens or Florence could enter into the councils of our rulers. It might suddenly occur to them that we need national institutions such as lands, less favored in a pecuniary sense, glory in. Institutions in Washington like the British Museum and National Gallery, repeated on a smaller scale in each state capital; museums of casts, academies after the pattern of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, free to all whom nature has made the elect--institutions belonging to the people and where the people can enjoy the actual treasure which money only represents.

Allow me to quote a fragment of conversation in point between Mathew Arnold and Cardinal Antonelli. They are speaking of


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public schools. Antonelli says, “Illiterate as the Italian population is said to be, yet if you mix with the people at any festival and listen to their criticism of what they see-e brutto, e bello--you will find their criticism to be almost invariably right. And a people of whom that can be said must surely be allowed to have a certain sort of education.” “I (Arnold) thought of the stolid insensibility to

. ugliness—the inability to discern between good and evil where the beautiful is concerned which so easily besets our Anglo-Saxon race, and I acquiesced in what the Carlinal said. And at the same moment there rose to my memory the admirable sentence of a Moravian schoolmaster in the 17th century, John Comenius, 'to train generally all who are borů men to all which is human.' Surely to be offended by ugliness, to be delighted and refreshed by beauty is eminently human; just as--on the other hand-it is a proof that our humanity is raw and undeveloped if we confound the two together or are indifferent to them. For we are then in bondage,' as Goethe says, “to the common and inferior,' out of that bondage we are to rise, and to know that however general it may

be around us, it is not less a bondage and an evil.” Has the state of Nebraska any concern in the attitude of our general government towards these matters? Certainly, since our government is representative. Let the constituencies demand from their representatives intelligent action. The American race is not restricted to the Anglo-Saxon element. Many peoples jostle each other in our thoroughfares. The very nations to whom belong the great artistic traditions have colonized vast tracts of our land. The French, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Flemish, the German, the Italian. Their blood already mingles with the Anglo-Saxon and gives it deeper color, gives it quicker action. And to us are coming from those older civilizations every year throngs of citizens.

Is it too much to hope that out of the healthful friction produced by the mingling of many gifted peoples as citizens of a common country, a spark of diviner fire shall be kindled than has yet blazed upon the world? The world at least, forbodes it, expects it of us. Let us give ourselves the chance. If it be not in us to outstrip others, we still desire to have an intelligent knowledge of the subject and of ourselves. We want to know what is in us, and none too soon shall we now demand theʼmeans of doing this. The nation, as a nation, is certainly moving towards this

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