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• A • 1919 • D • 

TIME, ROLLING BACK THE GATES AND BIDDING US LOOK INTO THE YEARS 
TO COME, HAS NEVER IN TWO CENTURIES OF AMERICAN ART HELD US WITH 
SO HIGH A PROMISE AS AT THIS MOMENT ON THE THRESHOLD OF 1919. 

WE COME, HAVING AS A PEOPLE KNOWN THOSE THINGS WHICH ALONE CAN 
KNIT STRANGE RACES AND VAST CONTINENTS. WE HAVE BORNE TOGETHER, 
AND WE HAVE BEEN MADE ONE. WE HAVE SHARED OUR EMOTIONS WITH 
ONE ANOTHER. POETRY HAS BECOME AN EXPRESSION OF THE EXALTED HOUR. 

WE HAVE WITH HONOR CARRIED OUR SHARE IN A GREAT WAR, AND IN 
DOING SO WE HAVE MADE FINE CONQUESTS OF OURSELVES. WE HAVE LAID 
HOLD OF UNSUSPECTED POWERS AND SWIFTLY TURNED THEM, UNIFIED, TO 
THE ACHIEVEMENT OF GIGANTIC ENDS. WE HAVE BORNE DOWN AN ENEMY 
WHO WAS MORTAL, BUT WE HAVE BORNE ALOFT, WITH GROWING CON- 
VICTION, IMMORTAL PURPOSES. HAVING BEEN A WORLDLY PEOPLE, WE STILL 
MARVEL AT THE TRIUMPH OF OUR FAITH IN OUR IDEALS. 

IN OUR EXTREMITY WE HAVE INVOKED NOT ONLY ALL OUR CRAFTS BUT 
ALL OUR ARTS. WE HAVE TAUGHT OUR SOLDIERS TO SING. WE HAVE 
MADE PAGEANTS AND PROCESSIONS OUR MEANS OF ADDRESSING THE MUL 
TITUDE. WE HAVE ARRAYED OUR TOWNS AND OUR COUNTRYSIDES IN 
FLAMING PICTURES. WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT THE IMAGINATION OF 
OUR PEOPLE HAS THE POWER OF RESPONSE, AND UPON THIS, AS UPON A 
MIGHTY ORGAN, WE HAVE PLAYED OUR BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC. 

IS IT TOO MUCH TO BELIEVE THAT EVEN NOW A SEASON IS UPON US IN 
WHICH "THE OLD VINE OF ART" WILL BLOOM— AND BEAR— AGAIN ? 



THE roots of the old vine of art ingredients, instead of seeing them as 
strike deep and spread far. outlooks on life or distillers of it. As 
Sculpture and painting may be our development has progressed we have, 
the blossom and the fruit ; architecture it is true, come more and more to regard 
is the stem from which these depend ; but these ingredients as desirable, but we still 
the sustenance of the old vine is drawn failed to grasp them as forces, as instru- 
from the sweet earth itself through a ments of more complete living, as our 
myriad of tiny fibrils, the esthetics of European friends (even the peasants) 
every day, through which the plain have long since done. This is probably 
people retain their habit of loving the because we have grown without the con- 
beautiful and of requiring it. stant reminder which ancient monuments 
Broadly speaking, our national sin afford of the essential humanity of our 
with regard to the finer things of life race and because we have had our esthetic 
has been a sin of isolation. We have feast in the great uncultivated natural 
been prone to relegate our art — and even environment which has been ours to sub- 
our culture and our religion — to partial- due. The latter is a condition on which 
lar classes of people or places or days, the esthetic sense doubtless tends to 
We have regarded "the finer things" as vegetate and go to seed. 



BULLETIN OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO 




HAND-COLORED PRINT — BY FURUYAMA MOROSHIGE, C. 17*0 

THE SEVEN GODS OF GOOD FORTUNE SAILING INTO PORT ON NEW YEAR'S DAY IN THE TAKARA-BUNE, 

OR TREASURE SHIP, CARRYING A CARGO OF CRYSTAL BALLS — THE MAGIC GEMS THAT SATISFY 

ALL DESIRES — AND BALES OF RICE, THE SYMBOL OF WORLDLY PROSPERITY 



But art is on the whole a moral 
proposition, and as such it knows no 
bound of time or place or person. Art 
is an attitude toward production. Pro- 
duction is a peculiarly clear-cut form of 
conduct itself. Production without a 
recognition of the possible ideal, without 
a regard for that universal longing which 
outreaches the irreducible minimum of 
necessity, is not a wholly sincere, not a 
wholly conscientious, form of conduct. 
"A great industrial nation without an 
industrial art" can, after all, be great in 
bulk only. When practically every in- 
dustrial and commercial nation in the 
world excepting ours has long seen the 
light on this subject, it would be a per- 
ilous thing to venture forth with our 
wares upon the Seven Seas without a 
new reckoning. 

But the new reckoning is being taken. 
Business is taking an in'tiative in the 



matter and turning to the art museums 
and the art schools for co-operation. 
The thing is felt in the home: the 
best attended lectures in the art museum 
are those in which a discussion of the 
furnishing of the home is offered. In 
other words the new art awakening, 
which must ultimately lead to greater 
sculpture and finer painting, if such are 
our need, is beginning at the roots — in 
the everyday arts that touch all the 
people. For art is democratic in its 
growth. As public opinion, in the last 
analysis, determines the course of a 
democracy, so the recognition of the 
universal desire that outreaches necessity 
sweeps upward with cumulative force — 
like that of the wave of green that we 
call a vine — and having this force, the 
force of life itself, it cannot but burst 
forth when its time comes, in undreamed 
of fragrance and beauty over the land.