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THE FIELD OF ART

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PUTTING ART TO WORK FOR THE MASSES to take this step and even to-day stands

"HE democratizing of art by relating alone in this respect. The commission has

its creative powers to the develop- undertaken the task of showing the com

ment of the natural resources of the mon people that art has a dollar-and-cents state is comparatively a new movement for value, and is extremely democratic, dethis country, though in Europe art has been spite misleading appearances. Its sphere a popular, democratic institution, enjoyed of influence has been extended beyond that alike by poor and rich for generations. of creating fine canvases and statuary to Americans have poured hundreds of mil- the development of industries having in lions of dollars of their money into the them latent art possibilities. pockets of European tradesmen in order Seventy-five per cent of the State's poputhat they, too, might participate in the lation is of Old World descent. Most of enjoyment of this far-reaching utilization these people found themselves unable to of art. Now comes an American State with compete with machine-made articles, despite a well-defined programme for the adapta- their superior ability in craftsmanship, and tion of art to the work of developing its have allowed their art instinct to be crowded industries and natural resources, which in out by attempting to adapt themselves to time will add many millions to the wealth the competition of American machinery. of the people.

This accounts in no small way for the huge Rich in the art heritage which has come to sums Americans have been spending annuit from the Old World through the medium ally for goods bearing such trade-marks as of its alien citizens, Minnesota is harnessing “Made in Germany,” “Made in Belgium,” art for the development of the common

or “Made in France," which are guarantees people. This is rather a difficult under- of beauty as well as serviceability. taking, due to the fact that the average Minnesota's greatest resource, in the American has looked upon art as the fad opinion of Maurice I. Flagg, director of the of the excessively rich, or a drawing-room State Art Commission, is her people, and profession, but Minnesota has made appre- the first work of the commission has been ciable progress in this new undertaking. devoted to the development of better ideals The coming of millions of immigrants from and an increased earning capacity among the art centres of the Old World has made the workers in the homes and factories. it possible for the United States to reap the Art has been harnessed and put to work benefit of a splendid foundation for such building more attractive farm homes, planwork, but failure to make use of this oppor- ning attractive lawns and yards for farmers tunity has permitted American industries and city residents, fostering infant industo remain in the background while European tries having in them great art possibilities, manufacturers have reaped the profits of making farm life more attractive for the commercial art. The sudden halt in the young people, and doing the thousand-andflow of European artisans to America has one things which Minnesotans have neggiven the nation an opportunity to take an lected heretofore. Nor has the struggling inventory of its resources in the ranks of artist been neglected, for it is Minnesota's the common people for the first time. aim to foster the fine as well as the com

Ten years ago Minnesota set out to prove mon arts. that art is related to the good of the masses The Minnesota manufacturer is being as well as the classes. It created a State shown how to utilize art in the developArt Commission, a bureau patterned on the ment of his business along broader lines. same lines as the State Bureau of Mines He is now adapting something of the beauty or any other department of State govern- of designs and patterns used in European ment. It was the first American State industries of the same character, improv

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ing the working and living conditions of turer, thanks to the work of the art com-
his workers, and encouraging the individual mission.
stamp of quality and beauty in every article “To study the consular reports of cur-
made in his plant, whether it be clothes- rent trade journals is to realize that art
pins or farming implements. On the other needs no defense as a practical, vital force
side, the farmer is finding that better and in the development of economic and in-
more attractive homes encourage greater dustrial Europe,” said Mr. Flagg in out-
efficiency and content among the members lining the plans of the State Art Bureau.
of his family and his workers. His crops “These foreign trade-marks are being ac-
are being benefited thereby, though the cepted by Americans as guarantees of
average farmer would

beauty and quality, have to laugh if he

and the American pubwere told that art

lic has been willing to could help in growing

pay the price demandbetter and larger crops.

ed. We have had no The working man is

other choice because learning that quality

there has been little or as well as quantity are

no American competidemanded by his em

tion. Not only are we ployer, and that each

willing to pay the price, finished article he turns

but we insist on going out establishes his

abroad for the purpose standing as an artist.

of purchasing. In Flower-pots and shrub

1913 the citizens of bery are taking the

the United States paid places of the tin cans

four hundred millions and dumping spots in

of dollars for enjoying the back yards of the

the beauty side of Euworkers, and there has

rope.” been an increased de

The secret of the mand for paint among

success of the Euthis class of people in

ropean manufacturer an effort to beautify

of china ware is exand improve their

plained in a recent homes. Fatter pay

trade report, which envelopes have been

says that the American the result in every

manufacturer cannot factory where art has been put to work by compete at the present time with the foreign employer and employee.

trade-mark. The American product lacks The incorporation of art into the work of quality, says this report, because we do not the manufacturing plants and industries of have the right kind of clay and do not put America will in time serve to wean the av- beauty into our designs. erage American away from the shopping Americans are apt to boast of the imcounters of Europe to his own stores and mensity of their wheat and corn crops, but shops, as he will find that he can obtain the only a few years ago the value of the insame beauty and quality for which he has dustrial art products of France exceeded been going to Europe to pay the foreign that of a bumper American wheat crop. merchant fancy prices. When that time Having been awakened somewhat by the comes the trade-mark “Made in America” European war, the American manufacturer will have attained something more of world- has been entertaining a vision of a better wide significance, inasmuch as it will have and wider market for his products. He has opened new markets and channels of trade begun to realize that he must begin to study which have been swamped with European the art side of his business if he is to engoods. The vision of an American trade- gage in the commercial scramble into which mark with other distinguishing marks than the starved European industries will plunge the sign of the dollar is one which is begin- at the end of the war. The love of beauty ning to appeal to the far-sighted manufac- —whether it be on canvas, in woman, or

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Pillow lace.

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Venetian and duchess laces made by German and Bohemian women of Minnesota under

leadership of Minnesota State Art Commission.

in the manufactured article—is inherent in thousands of women who came from Vienna
the Spanish-speaking nations of South and Old World art centres as are found in
America, a fact which has been ignored too Sweden, Norway, Bohemia, Russia, and
long by the American industries. This is central Europe. Because of inability to
the first attempt by any State to lend con- find a worth-while market for their fine
crete assistance to the exporter who has laces, these women had allowed the industry
designs on the South American trade. On in which their mothers and grandmothers
every hand there is plenty of evidence that were engaged to die out with them or to
the American public is to be treated to an become commercialized in a cheap fashion.
awakened national conscience as far as the The women in the smaller towns had formed
development of art in industry is concerned. the habit of exchanging their laces for gro-

At some time not far distant Minnesota ceries and other supplies, receiving only
plans to build a great art school, which will meagre credit for their handiwork. The
be founded on the idea of making art the result was it soon deteriorated in quality
common possession of all the people. The and quantity. They saw no reason for
art commission will serve as a clearing- spending their hard-earned money to buy
house for the fine and industrial arts, stand- new patterns from their old homes, and
ing ready to find a market for everything lace-making became almost a lost art
worth while produced by Minnesota artists, among the younger women, especially those
whether they be painters or brickmakers. born in this country. One day Director
Just now the commission is lending its as- Flagg dropped off a train at New Ulm, a
sistance to the preparation of programmes quiet little town overlooking the Minne-
for civic gatherings, an extensive educa- sota River, in search of latent industries
tional programme being conducted with the into which he could inject new life with
aid of the State club-women.

art as the medium.
A concrete illustration of how art has To the foreign-born women of the town,
been put to work in Minnesota is the lace- once a well-known lace-making centre, he
making industry among the foreign-born made the proposition of State aid, which
women. There are in Minnesota many aroused new aspirations and hopes. Di-

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rector Flagg promised the aid of the State tion for a campaign to encourage the build-
in obtaining better grades of materials and ing of better homes on the farms of the
more attractive patterns from the Old State. Fifty leading architects of the State
World art centres, providing the women competed for the honors, and those who
would agree to re-engage in the lace-making failed to win presented their ideas to the
business in their homes, as they did before State free of charge. The commission,
coming to America. The commission prom- with this wealth of material, made arrange-
ised to find a market for better-qualitied ments to make it available for the use of
laces, and later collected samples of the every farmer home-builder in the State.
best work of these women for a State ex For a fee of three and a half dollars, which
hibition. The department-store buyers and barely covered the cost of blue-prints, any
women fanciers of laces were surprised citizen of the State is able to obtain a com-
to find that such artistic laces were being plete set of any of these fifty plans.
made inside the State and became inter More than one hundred thousand copies
ested in the new industry. The result was of plans of Minnesota's model farm home
that everything of merit was snapped up by have been circulated around the State, and
department stores and well-to-do women. the entire world, in fact.
Cash prizes were also awarded to the makers The Minnesota model farm home vas
of the best designs, and with the money designed chiefly for the farmer's wife, who
received from this sale most of the women has been the most neglected individual in
sent to their old homes for the more costly the nation until recent times. Every com-
patterns and materials and began making fort and convenience enjoyed by the city
even more beautiful laces. The women of housewife has been transplanted to the coun-
one small colony cleared one thousand dol- try, and the farm wife no longer works in a
lars in one winter season by working a few dingy, dark, inconvenient home which makes
hours each evening at lace-making, and a poor comparison indeed when set up along-
their profits have increased each year as side the average big red barn on the farm.
the demand for these domestic laces has Another campaign was inaugurated to
continued to grow.

interest citizens living in villages and subur-
Perhaps the most encouraging feature of ban communities in building more artistic
the attempt to put an Old World industry homes, and contests were held to obtain
on its feet in Minnesota is the interest model village and suburban homes which
being taken in their mothers' work by the could be built by the average man without
young girls of New Ulm, and other centres stretching his purse to the breaking-point.
of foreign-born people, who preferred careers Later, similar contests resulted in the adop-
as bundle-wrappers and cash-girls at pre- tion of model farmyards and landscaping
carious salaries in large department stores plans for city homes.
to following the old-fashioned business of There is hardly an occupation or calling
making laces at home. These young women in Minnesota into which art cannot reach
began to find they could make more money out and better conditions, in the opinion
at home making laces and that lace-making of the commission, and gradually public
had been a recognized instead of a despised indifference and scepticism to the develop-
industry. The result has been that fewer ment of a common, every-day art is disap-
young women are leaving the small towns pearing. Had the Minnesota farmer been
for the cities. The addition of hundreds told a few years ago that art could increase
of young women to the lace-making colonies the value of his corn crop he would have
has justified the faith of the art commis- laughed the informant to scorn. But when
sion in believing that this home industry he began building better and more comforta-
could be conducted quite as profitably in ble farm homes, he found his farm-hands
Minnesota as in Europe.

and his own sons and daughters more conMinnesotans have been shown other prac- tent to remain on the farm, and all were tical ways in which art can be put to work more willing workers. And the discovery for the public good. Four years ago the that two ears of corn were growing where commission inaugurated a contest for the one grew before is the surest evidence that best design for a rural home to cost no more art is coming into its own, on the farm, at than three thousand five hundred dollars least. And there is the place where it has complete, hoping thereby to lay the founda- been most needed. O. R. GEYER.

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came

BY ALEXANDER DANA NOYES IN the rapidly moving panorama of the and after the loan subscription, declined no less than the startling diversity of the extremely weak, though prices events themselves, diverts public in- of many stocks had already Why Stocks terest with great suddenness from one fallen to the lowest figures in Declined

quarter to another—the de- a decade. The Italian déThe Great feat of Cadorna on the Aus- bâcle naturally emphasized the downSuccess of Our Second trian front

almost ward movement, but it began before War Loan exactly at the moment of Mackensen had attacked Cadorna. the immensely

successful As the traditional index to an ecosubscription to our second War Loan. nomic situation the fall on the Stock These two occurrences might seem at Exchange excited wide discussion. Prifirst glance to be singularly unrelated. marily, there was no doubt that the Yet at least one motive for the concen- movement was occasioned by sale of trated attack of the Central Powers on stocks, by investors as well as speculathe Italian army was knowledge that tors, in connection with the war taxation. the full resources of the United States The very heavy taxes on rich individuals would presently be engaged on the side of and prosperous corporations made it on its allies. If the Italian disaster showed the one hand prudent for some large the need of the unreserved employment capitalists to convert a part of their inof those resources, so the response to vestments into cash, and on the other the war-loan offering showed our own hand—as with the $122,000,000 set people's mood in regard to the providing aside by the United States Steel Corporaof those resources.

tion out of six months' earnings, to proThe second Liberty Loan, for which vide for the “excess profits tax”—they only $3,000,000,000 had been expressly diminished the surplus of such comsolicited by the Treasury, witnessed an panies available for dividends. Neither oversubscription more remarkable, from result was in any sense disastrous, but every point of view, than that of the both created pressure on the Stock $2,000,000,000 loan of June. In the Exchange. vigor and enthusiasm of the campaign for the general public's subscription, as IN

IN these respects the stock-market well as in the actual results, this great movement merely reflected the conoperation stands out already as a land- ditions known to every one beforehand mark in our financial history. It was and arising from the programme of war evidence both of our people's capacity expenditure adopted by our government. to finance the war and of their willing- The favorite estimate of $21,ness to do so. It is possible that not less 390,730,000 for actual ex- Influence of

Our War than 10,000,000 separate subscribers par- penditure in the fiscal year

Expenditicipated in this remarkable demonstra- ending with next June was tures and tion, as against the 7,000,000 of the last an exaggeration. A sub- Taxes British war loan, the previous high record. stantial part of this was

made up of authorized disbursements for T was a noteworthy incident, and per- purposes which could not possibly be

plexing to some observers, that the performed in a single year, and an even New York stock-market, both during larger part consisted of loans to be made

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