The teaching of Art! Well, to begin with, you cannot teach it. You can teach certain methods of drawing and painting, carving, modelling,construction,what not - you can teach the words, you can teach the logic and principles, but you cannotgive thepower of original thought and expression in them.

Of course a man's ideas on the subject of teaching necessarily depend upon his general views of the purport and scope of art.

Is Art (1) a mere imitative impulse - a record of the superficial facts and phases of nature in a particular medium? or, is it (2) the most subtle and expressive of languages, taking all manner of rich and varied forms in all sorts of materials, under the paramount impulse of the selective search for beauty?

Naturally, our answer to the question what should be taught, and how to teach it depends upon our answer to these questions. But the greater includes the less, and, though one may be biassed by the second definition given above, it does not follow that the first may not have its due place in a course of study.

The question, then, really is, what is the most helpful course of study towards the attainment of that desirable facility of workmanship, that cultivation of the natural perception, feeling, and judgement in the use of those elements and materials in their ultimate expression and realization of beauty?

And here we have to stop again on our road, and ask what is this quality of beauty, and whence does it come?

Without exactly attempting a final or philosophical account of it, we may call it an outcome and efflorescence of the delight in life under happy conditions. The history of art and nature shows its evolution in ever varying degree and form, constantly affected by external conditions, and modified by place and circumstance, following, in the development of the sensibility to ideas and impressions of beauty, through the refinement of the senses and the intellect, much the same course as the development of man himself as a social and reflective animal.

As we cannot see colour without light, neither can we expect sensibility to beauty to grow up naturally amid sordid and depressing surroundings.

To begin with, then, before we can have art we must have sensibility to beauty, and before we can have either we must have conditions which favour their existence and growth. We must have an atmosphere. A condition of life where they come naturally, with the colours of the dawn and the sunset; where the common occupations are not too burdensome, and the anxiety for a living not too great to leave any surplus energy or leisure for thought and creative impulse; where the cares of an empty life, and the deceitfulness of riches do not choke them; where art has not to struggle, as for very life, for every breath it draws, and ask itself the why and wherefore of its existence.

Sketch for Figure Composition.

Sketch for Figure Composition.

"Frederigo Barbarosa."

By lancelot Crane,


Royal College of Art: Painting

School under

Prof. Gerald


Royal Col-lege of Art: Painting and Life School under Prof. Moira

Time Study.

Time Study. By H. Parr

For art is not an independent accidental unrelated phenomenon, but is the result, as we find it in its various manifestations, of long ages of growth, and co-operative tradition and sympathy.

Time Studies of Figures in Action

Royal Col-lege of Art: Painting and Life School under Prof. Moira

Time Studies of Figures in Action. By H. Parr

Seeking beautiful art, organic and related in all its parts, we turn naturally to places and periods of history which are the culminating points in such a growth. To Athens in the Phidian age, for instance; to almost any European city in the Middle Ages; to one of our own village churches, even, where the nineteenth-century restorer has not been; to Venice or Florence in the early renascence, rather than to modern London or Paris. But even limiting ourselves to our own day we have got to expect far more from the man who has worked from his youth up in what we call "an atmosphere of art," even if it is only that of the modern painter's studio, than from a mill hand, say, trained to some one special function, perhaps, in some process of machine industry, whose life is spent in monotonous toil and whose daily vision is bounded by chimney-pots and back-yards.

A pinch of the salt of art and culture at measured intervals, will never counteract the adverse and more prominent influence of the daily, hourly surroundings on the eye and mind. It is hopeless if one hour of life's day says "yes," if all the other twenty-three say "no " continually.

Our fundamental requirements then, are a sympathetic atmosphere, a favourable soil and climate for the raising of the seed of art in its fullest sense; which means, practically, a reasonable human life, with fair play for the ideas and senses, and good for the drama of the eye. To how many is this now possible?

Time Studies of Figures in Action Royal College of Art:

Time Studies of Figures in Action Royal College of Art:

Painting and Life School under Prof. Moira

Royal Col-lege of Art: Architectural School under Prof. Beresford Pite

Design and Plan of a Domed Church. By A. E. Martin

Design and Plan of a Domed Church. By A. E. Martin

Of The Teaching Of Art 20Royal College of Art : Design School under Prof. Lethaby

Royal College of Art : Design School under Prof. Lethaby

Design for Tapestry. By E. W. Tristram