Oh You Poor Things
July 11, 1907
Among the presentations at the current educators convention is a seminar on teaching the arts. If you have ever attended a colloquium on arts education or listened to arts educators, these comments from another era sound depressingly familiar, and for all the progress that may have been made, we have learned so little.
Of course, there are some chestnuts, such as all good art is calming, uplifting and tames the most savage of us; that art only exists if it is useful. “That which is truly cultural is also useful and only that which has utilitarian value can be cultural.”
But my heart sank when I read this:
“The time will come when art teaching will not be considered a luxury but a necessity to the growth and progress of the nation. Let us rejoice that we are facing the sunrise and not the sunset of our culture.”