Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Walter Crane Dictionary


(The) Arts: If I may have succeeded in making out a case for the arts now called Decorative and Applied —though "there is but one art." (CDA, Preface)
(...) to follow the clue for themselves, and especially to think out further the relation of art to labour and to social life (Ibid.)
(...) Art is not the mere toy of wealth, or the superficial bedizen- ment of fashion, not a revolving kaleidoscope of dead styles, but in its true sense, in a vital and healthy condition, the spontaneous expression of the life and aspirations of a free people. ( CDA, The Architecture of Art, p. 15)
(...) The higher, the richer, the fuller the life, the happier and more harmonious its conditions, the higher and more varied and beautiful will be the forms of its expression in art. (CDA, Ibid, p. 17)

Arts and materials: (...) to realize that that art is not necessarily the highest which is always in the clouds, but, indeed, that all kinds of art gain in character and beauty in proportion as the ideas they express are incarnate as it were—inseparable from the particular materials in which they are embodied. (WM, On the Study and Practice of Art, p. 114)

Beauty: I know no better definition of beauty than that it is "the most varied unity, the most united variety." (CDA, The Architecture of Art, p. 6)
(...) The sense of beauty may be stunted, but Nature cannot be altogether suppressed under the most perverse social conditions. (Ibid.)

Cheap art: The advocates of cheap art, of art for the homes of the people, are apt to forget that the price of cheap art, like the price of all cheap labour, means the cheapening of human lives. (CDA, Art and Social Democracy p. 141)
(...) The advocates of cheap art, of art for the homes of the people, are apt to forget that the price of cheap art, like the price of all cheap labour, means the cheapening of human lives. (Ibid. p. 142)

Commercialism: But commercialism, which seems now so triumphant, carries the seeds of destruction in its own bosom. (CDAArt & Commercialism, p. 139)
(...) This will seem a hard saying to such as are accustomed to believe that the accumulation of riches and the welfare of art go hand in hand. But let us look around us. Of course the spirit of commercialism does produce startling results upon art, if not in it ; and it is a wolf quite capable of seeing the advantage of sheep's clothing. (CDAThe Architecture of Art, p. 9)
(...) But again it is in danger from a new tyranny in that unscrupulous commercialism, which is not less dangerous because less tangible, and not less despotic because it is masked under the form of political liberty. (Ibid. p. 12)

Losing beauty to commercialism: It is a strange commentary upon that industrial commercial progress which has been the subject of so much congratulation ... we are losing our sense of beauty, our artistic feeling, and capacity for imaginative design ; that our daily work is losing, or has lost, its interest and romance... (CDAArt & Labor, p. 59)
(...) that we are paying a heavy price for this lob-sided progress of ours in the loss of beauty without and happiness within; and that that very cheapening of commodities, which is often regarded as such a blessing, means the cheapening of human life and labour; and we are apt to forget that the cheapest necessity of life may be dear enough if one has not even the cheap symbol of exchange for it (CDAArt & Labor, p. 63).
(...) Even in the art-world, and among the very cultivators of beauty we detect the canker of commercialism. The compulsion of the market rules supply and demand, and the dealer becomes more and more dominant. (WM, Modern Aspects of Life,  p. 217

Commercial pressure: (...) but I am inclined to think commercial pressure and hurry is heavier upon him. Thought is all-powerful, but there is no time to think ; fancy and imagination might play about the humblest accessory, but there is no time to play ; and all work, or rather uncertainty of work, and no play makes Jack a dull boy. (CDAThe Architecture of Art, p. 19)

Common life: (...) We should aim at a condition of things which would not keep beauty at a distance from common life ... no artist should be satisfied with such a cold relationship. (CDA, The Architecture of Art, p. 14)
(...) it is necessary that there should be something like a common life. We have no common life, because we have no life in common. Art is split up into cliques, as society into classes. Art should know neither. (Ibid. p. 15)
(...) Indeed, art itself is essentially a social product, intimately associated with common life. (CDA, Art Under Socialism, p. 75).
(...) as for art, like the wrestler, it always gains new vigour every time it touches the ground —the ground of nature and common life. (Ibid, p. 81)

DesignImitation only requires industry, but design demands inventive power. Design might be defined as the constructive sense controlled by the sense of beauty. (Ibid. 33)

Division of labor in art: (...) but with all our industrial organisation, subdivision of labour, and machine production, we have destroyed the art of the people, the art of common things and common life, and are even now awakening to the fact. (CDA, Applied Arts and their relation to Common Life p. 108)
(...) the art of the people, hand in hand with everyday handicraft, inseparable from life and use — that spontaneous art of the potter, the weaver, the carver, the mason, which our economical, commercial, industrial, competitive, capitalistic system has crushed out of existence by division of labour. (CDA, Art and Commercialism, p. 127)

Drawing: The best test of power or accuracy of observation is drawing, and power of drawing is the basis of all art, which might in all its varieties be described as different kinds or degrees of drawing; what is painting but drawing in colour and tone? -- Walter Crane, (CDAArt and the Commonwealth)

Imitation (the danger of): At the present day, when, speaking generally, all forms of graphic art seem to owe their existence to the primary object of imitation of the more superficial, temporary, and accidental aspects of nature ; there would seem to be some danger of forgetting that art has properly any other or loftier function. (CDAThe Architecture of Art, p. 20)
(...) Imitation only requires industry, but design demands inventive power. (Ibid. p. 33)
(...) Much ability certainly, much energy, much industry, but wasted for the most part upon objects and subjects either unrewarding or repulsive, and squandered in aimless, and therefore inartistic imitation. (Ibid. p. 37)
(...) Again it may be objected, is not the business of painting then to imitate ? I answer, only a part of the business, and only in so far as imitation contributes to expression, whether of beauty, or thought, or story, or phase of nature, in which it ceases to be merely imitation. (CDA, Imitation and Expression in the Arts, p. 159)
(...) the narrowing of his interest to the imitation of facts — tends, as we have seen, to the limitation of his dramatic or poetic interest. (Ibid. p. 167)

Merging of the arts: Now the severance of the artist and the workman — the craftsman — and the dismemberment, and absorption of the latter to a large extent by machinery, have had results incalculably injurious to art. (CDA, The Prospects of Art under Socialism, p. 75)

Quality: The spirit of art, imagination, romance, and the sense of beauty may inspire the smaller accessories of life as they may the larger. It is not a question of size or quantity, it is a question of quality. (Ibid)

The poster: I mean the pictorial poster, which might be said to be the most original flourishing and vigorous type of popular art existing, and the only popular form of mural painting. (WM, Art and the Commonwealth, p. 253)

The strength of art associations: All the crafts which they specially address themselves to teach and cultivate are, after all, entirely dependent for their interest and value upon vigour of design and vital expression, and this cannot suddenly be forced into existence by artificial heat. It is a power of slow development and is nourished from all sorts of sources, and is as many sided as life itself, being in fact only another form of life. You can lead a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink. (WM, English Revival in Decorative Arts, p. 68)
(...) Let a band of artists and craftsmen associate together, and, working quietly, make to themselves and all whom it may concern things of beauty and utility ... there is a growing desire for these things as a relief from the dreary monotony of ugliness... (CDAArt & Commercialism, p. 136)
(...) The perception of the essentially social character of the arts that minister to daily life, and the dependence of design and handicraft upon effective cooperation among groups of workers have drawn craftsmen together, and has led in some sort to a revival of guilds. (WM, The Socialist Ideal, p. 93)

List of Walter Crane texts

CDA, Archive Org.  The Claims of Decorative Arts
WM,  Gutenberg Org. From William Morris to Whistler, Papers and Addresses on Art

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