This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Readers of a magazine like, from time to time, to get an inkling of special features of interest provided for their delectation, and I may mention a few in connection with Arts and Crafts. First of all, let me say that the design for the special medal to be awarded to the winners of honours in our prize art competitions has been decided on, with the valuable assistance of Professor Lanteri, of the Royal School of Art, and that it will be found worthy of an educational medium of the importance of this magazine. The best students in the modelling classes at South Kensington - and that means some of the cleverest artists in the kingdom - were invited to submit designs, and from these a very beautiful composition has been selected for the obverse of the medal; the reverse will be our familiar device on the cover of the magazine. Symbolised, respectively, by a seated draped female figure, and a seated male figure with his implements by his side, "Arts" and "Crafts" are depicted as contemplating together the Art of the Past, represented by a figurine which is held in the maiden's extended hand. I may add that the sculptor has engaged his models and is already at work. In a month it is hoped that the clay model, complete, will be ready for casting in the ultimate gold, silver, and bronze, and that we shall be able to show a reproduction of it in the September issue of this magazine.
A second item of interest to our readers will be that Sir Charles Holroyd, keeper of the Tate Gallery, has written for the next issue of Arts and Crafts an article on the art of Alphonse Legros, addressed especially to art students. The illustrations for the article will include a hitherto unreproduced etching by the Professor, and a study in black chalk of the Head of an Old Man, and a portrait sketch in black chalk of Signor Cantoni, the official cast-maker for the Royal College of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum, neither of which has hitherto been published. Other features of the magazine, of hardly less importance, will be announced next month.
" In the Queen's Palace, Earl's Court, will shortly he found a room in the Botticelli style, containing carved or pastel reliefs and lovely vignettes." - A Sunday Paper.
" The Botticelli style !" Whatever can that be, in relation to furniture ? And " pastel reliefs ! "
Ye gods, what are they ?
Among the many encouraging letters I have received from art masters, from all parts of the kingdom, there is none perhaps more suitable for publication than the following from Mr. Butterfield, for it contains a very interesting item of information: -
Geneva, Chez l'Ecole des Arts Industriels, June 25, 1904. Dear Sir, - I beg to offer you my congratulations, and wish every success to your venture. There is plenty of room for such a magazine as "Arts and Crafts, and it will give me great pleasure to help as much as possible.
It may interest you to know that the West Riding County Council of Yorkshire sent fourteen art masters to the above school (which is, I believe, the best of its kind in Europe) to study methods and organisation of craft work. We have been here since May 16, and remain until July 2. I need not tell you how we appreciate the generosity both of the W.R.C.C. and the authorities of Geneva for giving such a splendid opportunity of improving our knowledge of craft work, and I have no doubt it will be the means of giving an impetus to the work in the North of England. The authorities here have received us most kindly, and given every opportunity possible to get thoroughly acquainted with their work. We are all working as pupils in various crafts as well, and I hope at some future date to have an opportunity of submitting some further information about it.
T. C. Butterfield, Head Master of School of Art, Keighley.
The picture Mr. Butterfield presents of fourteen English art masters working as craftsmen in a foreign land, so as the better to qualify themselves to instruct the youth of their own country is one of the most stimulating things in connection with the arts and crafts movement that I have heard for many a day. The idea is worthy of the best traditions of the old masters. All honour, too, to the West Riding County Council. Such a body of men are, indeed, an honour to their country.
The gentleman in charge at the Legros Exhibition in Albemarle Street asked me, the other day, if I could tell him the difference between a drawing in gold point and a drawing in silver point. Several visitors had inquired, he said, and he had had to confess thai he could not tell them. The distinction is a line one and of such recent discovery that no one need be ashamed of not knowing it. Professor Legros himsell was the first to employ the gold point, and he told me that he had adopted it because he found that drawings he made with it did not oxidise on coming in contact with the atmosphere, as some of those did which he had made in silver point. So far as I can see, the quality of the line is identical. 1 doubt, indeed, if it would be found to differ much from that of the old-fashioned metal-pointed stylus that used to be given with a sixpenny pocket memorandum book of enamelled paper. The principle, of course, is the same.
When Whistler, forty-seven years ago, was a poorly paid draughtsman in the service of the United States Coast Survey, he lived in Washington with the strictest economy. " His quarters," says a New York paper, "were a barren attic, the walls and ceilings of which he covered with sketches of all kinds in charcoal and pencil. If this attic is still in existence and unchanged, as attics usually remain for generations, the owner of the house ought to cut out the sketches and preserve them. He has a distinguished precedent for this in the parsimonious but appreciative host who dined the great Meissonier one day, and cut out from the table-cloth a sketch the artist drew on it in a moment of abstraction."
Black Chalk Study. By Professor Alphonse Legros.