網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

introduction of any desirable system of training. - If it is desirable that drawing shall be taught in all the public schools, it must be done by the present teachers themselves. Walter Smith, who is an admitted authority on this subject, says, decidedly : “ There can be no separate teachers of drawing as a separate subject any more than of writing or arithmetic as separate subjects; but the general teachers themselves must learn and teach elementary drawing to the children in the same way that they learn and teach other subjects. That is how the difficulty has been met in other countries, and it is the only way possible of meeting it here." Recurring to this subject again, he objects to the employment of special teachers to teach the school-children drawing as an “ unmitigated evil.” The children exaggerate the difficulty of learning a study “which is so difficult that their own teachers cannot learn it.” “When a special teacher is employed, it should be as a superintendent to give instruction in drawing to the regular teachers, and not as a direct teacher of children in the public schools.” As to the difficulty of acquiring it," whoever,” says a competent authority, “can learn to write, can learn to draw;" and it has been shown that the teachers of the public schools are very readily qualified to teach the first lessons in drawing. This training is of value to all the children and offers to girls as well as boys opportunity for useful and remunerative occupation, for drawing in the public schools is not to be taught as a mere “accomplishment.” The end sought is not to enable the scholar to draw a pretty picture, but to so train the hand and eye that he may be better fitted to become a bread-winner.

It seems to be generally conceded that the rudiments of drawing can be learned by the child at a very early age and by any child of ordinary capacity. Mr. Walter Smith declares that “it was demonstrated by fair experiment in England in 1852 that about 100 per cent. of school-children could be taught to draw well.” M. Delahaye, director of the professional school at Batignolles, in his evidence before the French commission, says, on this point, “Great importance is attached to the teaching of drawing, so much so that the boys of seven years old commence to learn drawing at the same time that they begin to learn to write." As to the importance of the study, the French imperial commission, in their summary of the inquiry on professional education, say, “Among all the branches of instruction which, in different degrees, from the highest to the lowest grade, can contribute to the technical education of either sex, drawing, in all its forms and applications, has been almost unanimously regarded as the one which it is most important to make common." (Technical Education, p. 208.)

EFFORTS OF EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS TO DEVELOP PRELIMINARY ART

TRAINING.

In Great Britain and in the leading countries of the continent, the governments are making strenuous efforts to train their citizens in all those kinds of knowledge which will make them more skillful artisans and add to the value of their productions. The contests between nations have become largely industrial; and, while the commerce and trade of the world are the prize for which

they contend, the great international industrial exhibitions are the arenas in which they measure their progress and note their deficiencies. It may be worth our while to observe the methods by which they seek to remedy these deficiencies and to judge of their value by recorded results. The effect of the first World's Fair, held at Hyde Park in 1851, under the patronage of Prince Albert, was to satisfy the English manufacturers and people that, in all that related to the application of art, of beauty, to manufactures, they were completely distanced, only one nation, the United States, among the civilized nations being below England in this respect. On this subject, Professor Ware, professor of architecture in the Boston Institute of Technology, bears the following testimony, given in the Papers on Drawing, published by the State-board of Massachusetts in 1870:

“At the Universal Exhibition of 1851, England found herself, by general consent, almost at the bottom of the list, among all the countries of the world, in respect of her art-manufactures. Only the United States of the great nations stood below her. The first result of this discovery was the establishment of schools of art in every large town. At the Paris Exposition of 1867, England stood among the foremost, and in some branches of manufacture distanced the most artistic nations. It was the schools of art and the great collection of works of industrial art at the South Kensington Museum that accomplished this result. The United States still held her place at the foot of the column.”

In England, the moment that this deficiency was realized, the most energetic steps were taken to remedy it, and so wisely taken that the exhibition of 1862 showed such wonderful improvement that a French commission was at once sent over to find out how it had been done; and the city of Paris, upon the report of the commission, began at once to re-organize the municipal art-schools by adopting many of the features of the South Kensington Museum and Training-School for Art-Masters.*

* What is now being done in European countries to advance the interests of industry by elevating the taste and skill of workmen must necessarily be a matter of much interest to us just now, when we are trying to bring our workmen up to the same level. In many parts of Germany, instruction in industrial art in night-classes is gratuitous, as it is here; and almost every important village, even, has classes. In France, the municipal schools are not all of them free, though a few are; and the immediate money-value of art-power keeps the schools always crowded with students.

Perhaps the most important retrospect with regard to French art-education is that which reviews the effects upon them of the English International Exhibition of 1862. The enormous strides which art-education had made in England since the previous great exhibition in 1851, and which was reflected in every object of industrial art displayed in the exhibition of 1862, set the sensitive French manufacturers at work inquiring the cause, fearful that their own industrial-art-supremacy was endangered. A commission, which visited England and examined into the subject with characteristic sagacity, soon discovered the cause of improvement, and paid special attention to the administration of the South Kensington Museum and its TrainingSchool for Art-Masters.

The city of Paris, always ready to advance art, appointed a commission in 1863 to examine and draw up a scheme for re-organizing the municipal art-schools and suggest some plan by which the whole system of instruction could be improved. The report of this commission contained, among other details, the following recommendations :

" The holding of annual examinations for granting diplomas to male and female professors of drawing, and to whom alone the city-schools should be intrusted.

Drawing to be made obligatory in all the public schools, whether for boys or girls.”

The French imperial commission in 1865, in their report, after proposing oral lectures for the instruction of apprentices and workingmen, say, “that drawing, with all its applications to the different industrial arts, should be considered as the principal means to be employed in technical instruction." Referring to the fact that drawing has been heretofore so generally taught in France, they attribute to this the superiority of a large portion of the manufactures of the country. They thus describe the efforts made by the English government:

“The Universal Exhibition of 1855, and especially that of London in 1862, have clearly shown the results which England has already obtained from the immense efforts-among others the establishment of the splendid museum at Kensington—she has made, ever since 1852, to deprive France of that superiority in the works of industrial art which the first exhibition of 1852 has proved to be indisputable. Soon after this exhibition, the most competent judges in England, far from refusing to acknowledge the pre-eminence of our artists over theirs, pub. licly proclaimed it; and, with the promptitude and active energy peculiar to their nation, they set about diffusing through all classes of society a taste for drawing and the arts, not only among workingmen and artists, but also among the general public. * * * *

“Everybody knows the magnificent Art-Museum at South Kensington, for the founding of which the science- and art-department has collected from all quarters masterpieces of every kind, at a total expense to the state of not less than a million pounds sterling since 1852. Besides this outlay for first establishment, the art-department has a yearly grant of eighty thousand pounds sterling.

“By the extent of the resources placed at the disposal of this special and new department, created for the purpose of enabling English industry to compete with ours, an opinion may be formed of the importance rightly attributed in England to the participation of the art of design in all industrial productions. * *

“England is not the only rival of French industry which has recognized its superiority with regard to works which require the aid of art and taste. Germany, moved by the same sentiment, has organized, since 1852, at less cost, but perhaps with as much uccess, drawing. schools of different degrees. In all the practical schools and in the polytechnic institutions, the teaching of drawing holds a prominent place.” (Technical Education, pp. 196, 198.)

They also report upon the condition of technical education on the continent. They find that drawing is generally taught in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Bavaria, and Würtemberg. As showing the extraordinary attention given to drawing in this small kingdom, they remark:

“Drawing also forms part of the instruction given in the normal school for primary teachers, so that they may be able hereafter to teach their pupils the first elements. *

“ Thus there have been established in the kingdom of Würtemberg more than four hundred drawing-schools; and this organization, which does not date back more than ten years, has already led to very decided improvements in the manufactures of the country.” (Technical Education, p. 207.)

SPEECH OF MR. COLE, GIVING THE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN OF THE SOUTH

KENSINGTON MUSEUM.

While the notes already given show the immediate effects of the English efforts to make up for the deficiencies in art-manufactures and present a view of the activity in the European countries in relation to technical education, especially showing the importance they give to the teaching of drawing to children, the following extracts from a speech recently delivered at the annual meeting of the Henley School of Arts, “On the origin and work of the Depart

ment of Science and Art and on the future of the South Kensington Museum;" by Mr. Cole, who has been in charge of the museum from its foundation, furnish a brief history of the origin, growth, and present state of the system of art-education in Great Britain by the person best qualified to speak upon the topic. I regret that want of space prevents my giving the whole of this admirable statement:

“After congratulating the art-students of Henley, whose school had the proud distinction of ranking fourth in merit in competition with 122 schools of art in the United Kingdom, he remarked that this eminent position was due to their good works, produced by means of a comprehensive and national system of science and art applied to productive industry, the establishment of which the nation owed to the wise foresight of the late Prince Consort. That system provided for the instruction in science and art of all classes of people, offering to all different steps of instruction by means of elementary and special schools, the circulation of examples, and public museums forming an essential part of the whole. The system, although allied with state-aid, was a purely voluntary one. It had existed for twenty years; had taken root in the country and in our colonies; and was imitated in Europe and in the United States. The demand of the people for this instruction in science and art had increased annually until it now reached the cost of about a quarter of a million a year. And this increase, as Mr. Lowe told the House of Commons before he was chancellor of the exchequer, (a laugh, ] was

the great merit of it.' * * * * In 1847 there were only twenty local art-schools, most of them oppressed with debt and difficulties. There was no elementary drawing taught in schools for the poor and no public attempts were made at scientific instruction. There was no training-school for teachers in either art or science and the total number of pupils in all the art-schools did not exceed 5,000. There were no museums of an industrial character. The great exhibition came in 1851. * * * The exhibition made Prince Albert alive to the urgent necessity in his adopted country for better technical instruction. At the close of the exhibition, he persuaded Lord John Russell, the prime minister, to authorize an attempt to reform the schools of design, and in 1852 Earl Granville (the then vice-president of the board of trade) invited him (Mr. Cole) to try for one year what he could do with those schools. In a month or so Lord Derby came into office and Prince Albert enlisted his sympathies. One of the first recommendations which he (Mr. Cole) made to his immediate chief, Mr. Henley, was that the artisans of the country should be offered help in learning geometrical drawing. Adam Smith had made the same suggestion one hundred years before, but it had never been acted upon. So little was the subject understood that Mr. Porter, the eminen statistician, then secretary of the board of trade, opposed the advice. He did not think it the duty of the state to help carpenters to learn geometrical drawing. Mr. Henley decided to the contrary, and now there were thousands of artisans who had to thank Mr. Henley for his sagacity. (Cheers.] *

"South Kensington became the center of science- and art-instruction throughout the United Kingdom, and it would interest the meeting if he contrasted the working of the department of 1852 with that now going on. In 1852 there were only 20 art-schools, with 5,000 students, paying £2,600 in fees; now there are 122 schools, with 22,800 students, paying £24,800 a year in fees. *

“There was then no teaching in schools for the poor; now 194,500 children were taught drawing. There were then no night-classes for artisans; now there were 538 classes, with 17,200 students. *

“In 1872 the South Kensington Museum was visited by upwards of 1,156,000 persons; its art-library was used by 19,750 students and its educational library by 15,360 persons-clergymen, teachers, and others interested in elementary education, coming from all parts of the country to consult it. (Cheers.] The museum had circulated, without accident, through local exhibitions, upwards of 5,400 paintings, objects, diagrams, &c., which were visited by more than 604,000 persons. It has lent to local schools of art for study upwards of 1,300 objects and 2,100 books, prints, &c., relating to fine arts. *

“People were still apt to look at museums as mere collections of things rare and curious ;' things for learned people only, for rich people only, for dilettanti only. The Prince Consort and his followers looked at them from a different point of view: the point of view of science and art applied to productive industry. What did the architect do who wanted to learn his profession ? He looked at buildings. What did Flaxman do when he applied himself to pottery? He studied Greek pottery. What did Herbert Minton do to enable his manufactory to compete successfully with Sèvres ? He collected and studied the masterpieces of Sèvres. Why was Mr. Phillips, the jeweler, trusted to set jewels with good taste? Because he studied the ancient and mediæval models. 'What gave Pugin his reputation for Gothic metal-work but his study of mediæval models ? What had created a trade in majolica in this country but the Soulages collection? What had given the Craces, and Jacksons, and Grahams, and Gillows, and Hollands their reputation for furniture, but their knowledge of ancient examples? It was simply savage ignorance and priggish pedantry not to recognize the absolute necessity for examples of art easily consultable by the public who were consumers, by the manufacturers who were producers, and by artists and artisans who were students. [Hear ! hear!] Where were they to consult them, if not in public museums? Why was the Frenchman more apt at industrial art than the Englishman? Because for a century he had had his free museums in Paris and in every other large town. [Hear! hear!] And public museums were necessary for science as well as art. Collections of diagrams, of educational apparatus, and of specimens of natural history were indispensable to the managers of schools and teachers. Where was there any collection except in the South Kensington Museum ? Why did the admiralty have a museum of the models of ships? Would mechanical science be in its present state if our engineers could not consult the example of their predecessors? The fact was that, if museums were not educational, they were of very limited value. * *

“The advantages possessed by the South Kensington Museum were that it was open on three days of the week until 10 o'clock at night. The student could consult the art-library and educational library by showing his school-ticket or he might get admission for a week for 6d. He could draw any object he saw; he could eat what he pleased; he found every object labeled, and was told what the nation had paid for it. He found chairs and benches in plenty to sit upon and he could wash his hands if he wanted to do so. He found the lighting perfect; everywhere he could see appropriate, new, and unobtrusive decorations. *

“The buildings were cool in summer and of equal warmth in winter. He could breathe reely and get no headache. He could look at the jewelry and the priceless gems lent by the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Devonshire and Mr. Beresford-Hope, without disturbing or boring a very learned keeper. The spirit of the place had always sought to attract the public, its paymasters, to come as often as possible, and to give them a hearty welcome.”

In addition to the account of the working of the South Kensington Museum and schools, given by Mr. Cole, the following brief statement of the methods of the English system of art-education will be found of interest :

“In England the same stages of study are common to both the national training-school and the local schools of art; and from the fact that the masters of the provincial schools are all trained and examined and receive their diplomas upon the same course as they afterward give instruction to their pupils in, only of a much more advanced grade, there is a general similarity in the works of all the schools and harmony in the national system. This systematizing of art-study is made more certain by the annual examinations of the schools in every grade of study, with the same tests for each grade in every school throughout the country; and this unification extends even to holding the annual examinations at the same hour in all the schools of the United Kingdom. The building-up of this system has taken many years to accomplish; the schools of design dating from 1836, when the government established the head school at Somerset House in London and several provincial schools. The distinct features, however, of the English scheme date only from the year 1851; and the details have been wrought out and consolidated by successful experiments since that time. The adminis. tration is in the hands of the department of science and art of the committee of counc.) on

« 上一頁繼續 »