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mechanical kind of drawing about it; but so there is in the production of hieroglyphics; so there is drawing in the writing of the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin, the English, or any other language containing symbolical characters. Constructive drawing - that is, the drawing of plans, elevations, sections, etc. - has no place in primary schools.
Those who place constructive drawing first in order, have mistakenly supposed (1) that working-drawings are necessary or at least desirable for the construction of simple objects; (2) that this kind of drawing prepares the way for drawing the appearances of objects; and (3) that it is a convenient medium through which to express the facts of form.
The answer to all this is as follows: (1) Children cannot make workingdrawings of objects that they cannot fully conceive beforehand, in which case they can make the objects without the drawings. Constructive drawings are not needed by the person who makes them. (2) The facts of form are not necessary for pictorial drawing. Indeed, they stand in the way of the child's progress in this direction. In object-drawing, it is not the facts of form that the student needs so much as the facts of appearances. Facts of form mislead him at every turn. They induce him to make his ellipses too round, and the angles of rectangular objects too nearly like right angles. In object-drawing all is illusion: what is long may appear short; what is horizontal may appear slanting, or even vertical; and what is curved may appear straight; a line may appear as a point, a plane may look like a line, it
may look like an unlimited number of other planes different from itself; and a solid look like a plane, or an unlimited number of other planes, different in appearance from any plane the solid may contain. Hence, when one would draw an object that is before him he need not ask what it is, nor even what is its real shape, but what does it look like? The chief business of the teacher of object-drawing is to get the student to forget, for the time being, the fact that the circle is round, or that the square is square, and get him to see appearances as he did when an infant; in other words, to help him to regain his power of believing what his eyes reveal to him. (3) Again, the facts of form never are and cannot be expressed by drawing. For instance, the facts of a cube are as follows: six equal square faces; twenty-four plane right angles; twelve edges; eight triedral angles. The conventional plane-and-elevation, or working-drawings, consist of only two squares, containing only eight plane right angles and only eight edges. But even if all the above facts could be drawn out on a flat surface, their relations, which is the essential fact of a cube, cannot be expressed by drawing.
Constructive drawings, including orthographic projection, isometric projection, cabinet projection, etc., are nothing more than conventional languages; not so difficult to learn perhaps as Greek, but nevertheless they must be learned before they can be read or written.
Where then do the facts of form find expression ? Not in drawing, but in making and modeling. The facts of a cube or any other solid can only
be expressed in three dimensions. It is in clay-modeling that the child should express synthetically the facts of form that it has learned analytically from seeing and handling the type solids.
To the careful and philosophical observer, then, it must be evident that the true method of teaching drawing and form-study to little children, has not yet been evolved or methodically arranged; or if so, that it has not been presented to the public. It is just as evident, however, that we are about ready for it. These extreme notions about trying to teach drawing entirely from solids are already showing their weakness, and we shall soon be ready to try a medium course between the methods of ten years ago and the present; a course that shall be truly educational and truly industrial; and one that can be taught by the ordinary teacher, and learned by the mediocre pupil.
Let us in a few paragraphs try to outline such a system of drawing. The true method, we think, will follow the natural order of development that we have already laid down:
1. The Making or modeling of real objects in three dimensions, beginning with the type solids, the sphere, the cube, and the cylinder.
2. The Decoration of real objects, and the drawing of designs as well as the invention of them.
3. The Representation of objects pictorially.
Under each of these departments the work must be both analytical and synthetical, as both of these processes are required for complete knowledge.
Under the first head, the making of objects, the analytical process will consist in studying the geometrical type solids as wholes, and finding out by touch and sight their component parts. The synthetic side of the work will consist in modeling and making these and other solids in three dimensions, in clay, wax, putty, paper, wood, etc. Here there will be ample scope for the discovery, application and expression of the facts of form. Under this head no drawing, properly so called, is needed, nor can it be used to advantage by little children.
Under the second head, the decoration of objects, the analytical side will consist in the observation, analysis and comparison of beautiful objects, figures, and historical ornament. The synthetic side will consist in making only a number of designs of various kinds sufficient to fix in mind the general principles of good taste in ornament. It is here that drawing finds its proper beginning, such drawing being usually in two dimensions only.
The outcome of the decorative department of art study will be —(1) the cultivation of the taste of the whole people so as to desire the beautiful in all their common surroundings; and (2) the development of the few geniuses necessary to supply the demand for beauty in the household. This is a far more desirable and a more practically industrial result than can ever be achieved by the constructive or plan-and-elevation drawing.
Under the third head, the Pictorial Representation of objects, the analytical side will consist in the discovery and analysis of the facts of appearances. The synthetical side will require just enough practice in drawing from objects to fix in mind the general principles of perspective, optics, and chromatics. The result of the work of this department will be the general appreciation of the fine arts by all the people, and the development of those who have genius or talent into artists.
41-N. E. A.
If the preceding general principles are correct, as we believe they are, we are ready to understand the place and the purpose of drawing in form-study. The beginning of form-study should be from the solid, and it should proceed from wholes to parts; from the solid through surfaces, angles, and lines, to points; it is essentially analytical. On the contrary, drawing is inherently synthetical; it must proceed from parts to wholes.
Again, the object of form-study from solids is to excite thought, to find mind, to recognize purpose and design. The purpose of drawing, if it is to be educative, is to express thought, ideas, mind. Ideas or thoughts about what? All kinds of thoughts cannot be expressed by drawing. What class of thoughts should we attempt to express by drawing? Evidently thoughts about space, or limited portions of space. Limited portions of space must have relations to other limited portions; that is position. What is the proper visible expression for location or position? A dot, or a point.
We may reason in another way. The alphabet of graphic expression, which includes painting, consists of dots, lines, figures, light, shade, and color. The last analysis of any or all of these when studied as forms, is a point, which may be represented by a dot. The point, then, is the extreme limit or the end of all form-study; while the dot, which represents the point, becomes the first step in the synthetic process of form-study by drawing.
Again, Nature herself suggests the dot as the beginning of synthetic work. When she would create or build up organic life, she begins with a cell, a germ, an egg, a seed, a central point, if you please, and sends out radiations from it upward, downward, sidewise.
Having now found a starting-point for drawing proper, we are ready to carry the pupil synthetically through dots, lines, figures, light, shade, and color. Perhaps some one will now say this is the method of procedure pronounced a failure in the early part of this paper. But what we now propose is not the same as that previously condemned. We now propose to use the elements of drawing not only to express thought, but in such a way as to stimulate thought. How can this be done? Suppose the child has a slate or a piece of paper; he is asked to place a dot at the center of it. If now he is asked to place a dot a certain distance above the center, he generally has a spontaneous thought to place a dot the same distance below, left and right of the center. If, however, the thought is not spontaneous, he sees the propriety of it when it is suggested, and is pleased with the result. A similar method may be pursued with lines and figures of all kinds, as is shown in almost any of the practical exercises known in the schools.
ART EDUCATION THE TRUE INDUSTRIAL EDUCATIONA CULTIVATION OF ASTHETIC TASTE OF
W. T. HARRIS, CONCORD, MASSACHUSETTS.
We have heard much said on the subject of industrial training in recent years. It would seem that there is no educational subject that occupies the mind of the public more extensively at the present time. There is, however, not an entire agreement among its agitators as to the exact nature of the education demanded for industry. It is the object of my paper to assist in clearing up this question of the best form of training for profitable work in the industries.
One will concede at the start, that tool-work is valuable as industrial training; and that especially the course of study and work in the manualtraining school is valuable because it teaches how to manufacture tools and machines of all kinds, and thereby gives the laborer a sort of command over the instruments of industry that assists him very much in his struggle for excellence in the fields of labor.
Still more valuable must we regard the study of natural science, and especially of applied mathematics, in the laws of matter and motion. It furnishes the theory of all machinery and of all production of supplies from nature.
Besides this, we may claim that general education is of the utmost importance, opening as it does the powers of thought and observation, giving each laborer an insight into human nature, and fitting him for logical thinking on all subjects; fitting him alike to lead others and combine them in extensive undertakings, and likewise to serve faithfully and intelligently other leaders, when the case requires. This general education is indeed indispensable to the citizen and to the best quality of industrial people.
But ästhetic education — the cultivation of taste, the acquirement of knowledge on the subject of the origin of the idea of beauty (both its historic origin and the philosophical account of its source in human nature), the practice of producing the outlines of the beautiful by the arts of drawing, painting and modeling, the criticism of works of art, with a view to discover readily the causes of failure or of success in æsthetic effects — all these things we must claim form the true foundation of the highest success in the industries of any modern nation. The dynamic side is needed; but invention of the useful does not succeed in controlling the markets of the world. A nation with its laborers all educated in their taste for beautiful forms will give graceful shapes to their productions, and command higher prices for them. The graceful shape and the proper ornamentation charm the purchaser, and he willingly pays a higher price for the beautiful article of usefulness, if it is made by an artist, than if it is made by a mere artisan.
On another occasion I have called attention to the backward state of Swedish education in æsthetic art. Sweden is the leader in the manualtraining movement, but her educators have not yet seen the importance of developing correct taste among the laborers as a condition of industrial success. Accordingly we find that ingenuity is increasing to some extent in that country, but that there is no improvement in the artistic finish and ornamentation of their goods. Clumsy shapes and incongruous ornament are the characteristics of Swedish goods. Other nations do not want such ugly shapes in sight, and do not buy them. To have ugly utensils perpetually in view gradually works degeneration in one's taste. The figures of our commercial reports show that we import raw materials from Sweden, but do not buy their manufactures. In the official report of commerce and navigation of the United States for 1881, the imports from Sweden and Norway are reported as pig iron, $111,176; bar iron, $517,959; old and scrap-iron, $114,883; total, $744,018. But of manufactures of iron and steel, only $111,749 are reported. It is surprising to note that we imported wood manufactures from them only to the small amount of $137, while we imported rags for paper manufacture to the amount of $39,090— but no manufactured clothing to speak of! The same year Belgium sent us wood manufactures to the value of $118,146, or nearly one thousand times the value of the same item from Sweden and Norway!
In 1851, at the World's Exposition in London, it became evident that English industries were not of such a character as to compete with those of France and Belgium. Prince Albert, wise and thoughtful as he was, set about a deep-reaching system of education that should correct the national defect, and recover the prestige of British arts and manufactures. The South Kensington Museum was established, and day and evening art schools set up in all manufacturing centers. The museum placed at its foundation a collection of works of art showing the history of art, its beginnings, its high-water marks, and its fluctuations. On this basis instruction was given in those forms of ornamentation that the world has pronounced beautiful. There began from this time a gradual rise in the taste of the English workman; from being an artisan pure and simple he began to be an artist. England has gone forward rapidly in the direction of producing works of taste, and her useful manufactures, heretofore made without reference to beauty, have improved in tastefulness of design and execution.
The establishment of a great national art gallery, the Louvre, and the studies of French savants in the canons of good taste, had long before revolutionized French manufactures, and given France the supremacy in the world-market for goods that command high prices and ready sale.
Taking hint from England, we have had in this country something of the fever for education in art, especially in the lines of industrial drawing.