Style In Furniture

the growth of the organisation ; to tell of the unstinted admiration entertained by its members for the life-work of William Morris ; and to write the life-story of u The Master " himself, is far too colossal a task to be entered upon here. All that I can do is to sum up, as concisely and yet as fully as lies within my power, the cardinal points of the creed subscribed to by this little band of workers who have come so greatly into prominence of late years. They may, I think, be stated as follows:—That the labourer is worthy of his hire. That the artist and craftsman, who create and produce beautiful things, have as much right to be known to the public as the middleman) who, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, could not produce a beautiful thing if he tried, and has no desire to. That both artist and craftsman should be in a position to work under such conditions that they may find actual pleasure in the labour of their heads and hands. That the public should be educated in such a way as to enable it to distinguish between the good and the bad in art and craftsmanship, and so be induced to encourage the one and reject the other. These, so far as I understand them, are the main teachings of the Society, but prevailing conditions always have been, and still are, too strong for them. What are those conditions ? The labourer is compelled to fight for his hire, and not infrequently starves in the struggle to obtain it. If the artist and craftsman make any attempt to bring their names before the public, they do so at their own risk, knowing that it may spell financial ruin to them— the majority of the middlemen see to that. In the great mass of their work, the artist and craftsman are too much engaged in getting it through at a " cutting price " to find pleasure in it—disgust is nearer the mark. Most members of the public prefer to buy the cheap, showy—and nasty, to the cheap, simple—and good. This is a clear statement of the case, and one to which I think, alas, no objection can fairly be taken.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment