Lamb, Frederick S.
Commercial value of design, pp. 546-551
THE CRAFTSMAN CO(MMERCIAL VALUE OF DESIGN N the initial article of this series the author says: "Shut in, as it were, to serve its owner, private art is but a hcarthfire that warms only its builder, and leaves but few or no embers that can ever glow again after the breath of his fortune has cease(d to fan it. But public art is a fire built in tile market place, from which each citizen I)orrows live coals for his own hoilne." No statement can be truer and n11 state- milent ever camne from a sourcre more author- itative. John 1)eWitt Warner, an eminent lawyer, has for years devotedl time and energy to tile advancemient of art in this country. To a natural appreciation of form and (o01r, lie adds a broad hluman in- terest in civic development. He has served in every capacity from the private to tile president and leader, an(d now at the head of tile first Art (Commission which New York has ever had, lie stand(s not only as an influence for all that is best in aesthletic de- velopment, lut as a judge biefore whoin must pass tihe artistic improvements of this great city. He personifies, as does no other one man, the appreciation of the laymnan for that abstract quality which for a better name we call public art. His comprelen- sive treatment of the "Impo'tance of Municipal Improvements" encourages tile consideration of the present article oii the "('ommercial Value of I)esign," which in its very statement challenges criticism and, judging by tihe action of our legislature and city officials, has never been recognized in this great country. It is hoped that this short article niay start a discussion which in the end will lead the great Captains of 546 Industry to a realization that this country, to succeeel in tile fumture and hold its rank ani(lag tile nations of the world, must add to its raw product the value of design. Natural resources, great virility may, flor tile time being, keep a nation to the front, but no permanent success can l)e achieve<d without careful study and thoughtful prep- aratioll. This is recognized i * by tile older nations of Europe, which strive not to pi'o- duce great quantities of raw material, hut to make each ton of raw material return as great a value as possilble bIy the added qual- ity of design. Witlhout, perhaps, a realization of this fundamental principle, barbaric races 1have in fact miade arms and implemlents which to- day we cherish, not because of their utility, but biecause of the ru(le arclaic ornamlent whiclh was added with such primitive but masterly strokes. The works of time Aztec, of tile Navajo anul other American Indians are aniong the choicest treasures in our iliuseumlis. The imore mature efforts of tile Assyrians and the Egyptians are well known, and tile later work of tile Greek, tile Oriental and tihe Asiatic peoples is too well known to need mention. In pottery tile simple utensils of tile ]ionie, selling, as thy did at tile tinme of their c'reation, for sums too insignificant to nien- tion, are cherished as precious treasures, he- calse of their ornament and color. The vases of the Egyptians anul the still more mature work of the Turks, are now, and for many years to come will be, of inestimable value. In textiles the same is true,-tlhe work of the hand-lool survives, not so much from the fact that it is done by hand, but fromi the excellence of the design. Tile simple stuffs of the Orient, the cotton prints
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