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Excerpt from Art and Labour: A Reprint of Two Articles
Fortunately people are artists who know it not bootmakers (the few left), gardeners and basket makers, and all players of games. We do not allow shoddy in cricket or football, but reserve it forserious things like houses and books, furniture and funerals.
If it is necessary that everything must be translated into words, our art critics might occupy quite a useful place if they would be good enough to realise that behind the picture shows Of the moment is the vast and important art of the country, the arts of the builder, furniture maker, printer and the rest, which are matters of national well - being.
It is doubtful if we have it in us to form a leading school of painting at the present time; indeed, we seem to be occupied in trying to catch up with Europe at the wrong moment. It cannot be doubted, however, that we might lead in the domestic arts. And this is shown by the great interest which foreign observers take in the English arts and crafts move ment. The Germans, indeed, who know the history of this development in England better than we do ourselves, realising its importance from an economic point of View, have gone so far as to constitute a special branch of political economy which shall deal with the subject. One university, I believe, has established a professor's chair in the economics of arts and crafts. English study of fine lettering has in Germany been put into types which English printers are hastening to buy. We have now many highly trained men among us who might make books as notable as those of the finest presses if there were a steady demand for fine modern work.
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