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Smitli, the State Director of Art-Education, was appointed director of the school, by whose advice a very able corps of instructors was sccurcd.
Notice of the proposed opening of the school having been given in the newspapers of the principal cities of the State, on thic Gth of Novem· ber, 1873, the candidates for allmission assembled for examination at
the rooms assigned to the school. The whole number examined was seventy-seven, and of this number seventy were admitted as students.
It was found that a large number of persons who were ansious to enjoy the advantages offered by the school, were totally unaware of the examination, and in response to frequent applications, a subsequent examination was hell, of thirty-nine persons, of whom thirty-seven were admitted; making a total of one hundred and seven students, of whom thirty-nine were men and sixty-eight were women. The rooms provide:l affordel seats to only seventy-two stuclents at one time.
The Design of the School. This school is intended as a training school, for the purpose of qualifying teachers and masters of industrial drawing. It is the first institution of the kind established in this country. It is an essential clement in that system of agencies which the government of the State is putting into operation for the purpose of diffusing art-culture, not only as an indispensable constituent of a competent general education, but as a means of enabling our manufacturers to compete successfully with the manufacturers of Europe. The material prosperity of the State depends chiefly upon the profits of its manufactories. That these profits might be immensely augmented, by the application of a higher artistic skill, is no longer doubted by any well-informed person. The artistic skill hitherto employed in this country, has been, for the most part, derived from foreign countries, because no adequate means of developing it has existed in this country.
Its specific aim, at present, is to prepare teachers for the Industrial Drawing Schools of the State, who shall also be able to direct and superintend the instruction in this branch in the Public Schools. In the future, it will be necessary to provide for high skill in technical drawing and high art-culture, but the immcdiate pressing demand is for teachers who know the clementary subjects thoroughly well, and can teach them intelligently and successfully ; anl this demand the school will aim primarily to supply, by providing, at the outset, training in the elementary subjects, making it as complete and practical as the circumstances will permit.
Cinditions of Admission.-An examination in freehand drawing will be held at the opening of the school, of all candidates for admission, and those only who show an aptitude and some proficiency in elementary drawing will be admitted. The number of students will be, necessarily, limited, preference being given to the teachers of drawing actually employed in the Public Schools, and in the inilustrial crening classes in the State, the complement being made up of the most promising of the candidates, resident in the State, who declare thcir intention to become teachers of drawing; or, in case of deficiency in tlie number of these classes of students, other persons, whether residents or non-residents, will be admitted, on the payment of a reasonable tuition.
The Course of Instruction.—The term industrial drawing includes both instrumental and freehand drawing. The course of instruction stated in general terms has the following range of subjects :
The first includes elementary drawing only, for which, when the diploma works have been completed, and the examination satisfactorily passed, diploma A is given.
“Three other diplomas represent the subjects of Painting, Industrial Sculpture, and Instrumental Drawing. Thus the whole curriculum of the school will be,
“ A. Elementary subjects.
“For each of which branches a diploma is issued, and for proficiency in all, the degree of Art-Master should be given.”
The curriculum requires four years for its completion.
Eximination and Diploma.--For permission to be examined for a diploma, the student will be required to submit class exercises, the subjects being described in the list of diploma works. These drawings and paintings are to show whether the student possesses the manipulative skill necessary to teach drawing. If the works pass examination, the student will then be allowed to offer himself for the diploma examination, which will be held at the end of the session. This examination having been passed, the student will receive a diploma, testifying to his scientific and artistic qualifications to give instruction in clementary drawing. A student failing to pass an examination in any subject, may present himself again at a future examination, those subjects already passed being recorded in his favor ; but he will not receive the diploma of the school until all the subjects of examination have been passed.
The Progress of the School. The principal embarrassment under which the school has labored, has been a want of commodious rooms. From the beginning its quarters have been far too circumscribed. The number of students the first year was one hundred and thirty-three, nearly double the number which the rooms could properly accommodate. The attendance increased the second year to two hundred and thirtynine, and additional rooms were taken at No. 24 Pemberton Square · The third year the attendance was more than three hundred, and the
school was so much crowded as to make its removal to more commodious quarters a necessity. The school is now located at No. 28 School Street. The number of students for 1876, the fourth year of the school, is four hundrel and forty-two.
Classes are now pursuing studies in each of the four divisions of the course. In these first years of existence, the school cannot display the character of its courses of study, or the skill of its instructors, for its students come to commence the study of art, rather than to perfect their knowledge.
It is a great fact that an art-training school exists in this State, whose curriculum and aims are as thorough as those of any European school, the subjects of study being somewhat new; and that this school is limites in its success only by hindrances which tiine and the increasing value of skilled labor must inevitably remove.
The school is beginning to make its influence felt over a broad area, and every year must increase its influence. The school displayed at the Centennial Exhibition, at Philadelphia, a complete illustration of the subjects of study pursued in the school, during the four years' course in its four classes; and this formed a fitting climax to the full exhibition of industrial drawing as carried on in Massachusetts. This collection was largely visited at Philadelphia, where it was regarded as the only complete art-educational exhibit in the buildings. The Visitors, in their last report, say that the condition of the school is eminently satisfactory. A building adapted for all the different branches of study taught, is its greatest want.
Visitors from 1871-1876 :
John D. Philbrick. Phillips Brooks. Gardiner G. Hubbard. A. A. Miner.
Joseph White. Henry Chapin.
Director of the School. Walter Smith, . . , State Director of Art-Education, Mass.
Professors. Prof. William R. Ware. Prof. S. Edward Warren. Prof. C. D. Bray Prof. Lucas Baker.
Prof. Walter Smith.
BOSTON LATIN AND ENGLISH HIGH SCHOOLS.
BY JOHN D. PHILBRICK, LL.D.,
LETTER TO DR. HENRY BARNARD. SIR: – You are pleased to honor me with a request for a letter about the new edifice in Boston, for the Public Latin and English High Schools, to be published in the International Series of your " American Journal of Education.”
Remarkable coincidence! Just a third of a century ago, at your request, I furnished for your great pioneer book on school-house building — with the title of " School Architecture; or Contributions to the Improvement of School-houses in the United States" – a description of the Quincy School-house in Tyler street, Boston, which had been built for the grammar school then under my charge as master, — the first building of the type which, in its essential features, has since been adopted for graded public schools throughout the country. No one can tell, I believe, to whom the credit of the plan of the Quincy School-house was directly due. Not to me certainly ; but that school-house was the first in the construction and furnishing of which I had any voice. You come again now to ask me — after the close of my long career, demanding continual efforts for improving school accommodations — to furnish you with an account of the last school building with which I was officially concerned, and the one upon which I bestowed the most thought and labor during my superintendency; the building which is, without question, by far the best specimen of school architecture in the country, — the first conspicuous example of a new type, which is, I think, destined to be adopted no less generally than has been the case with the Quincy School type, the three essential characteristics of which it has, namely, an adequate school-room for each teacher, an assembly hall large enough to seat all the pupils of the school, and a separate desk and chair for each pupil.
It affords me special satisfaction to comply with your request for a sketch, historical and descriptive, of this remarkable building,