Book reviews, pp. 627-628 ff.
ART NOTES: BOOK REVIEWS for us to make. No more interesting modern exhibition has been given in New York this winter than the work of Leon Bakst, the Russian painter, stage director and designer. Leon Bakst has presented in London and Paris the most remarkable stage setting of the century, not accepting Gordon Craig or Reinhardt. It possibly would be more just to link him with those two men as brilliant innovators in the art of bringing drama into the setting which surrounds it. In a matter of color no one had done more splendid work in the theater mise en scene. The collection of work shown at the Berlin Gallery gave one a very vivid impression of the power ana beauty and audacity of this man's imagina- tion. It seems impossible for him to make the smallest sketch without imbuing it with a vigor and a dramatic quality that is rare in even this day of melodrama in art. The second exhibition which was most noteworthy consisted of Contemporary Graphic Art from Hungary, Bohemia and Austria. It is impossible to realize what is going on in these countries in the way of artistic endeavor without having seen this collection; indeed it presented the history, political and social conditions as well, because these artists are essentially modernists and are telling you the story of their own national life in their national art. Mr. Birnbaum certainly is to be con- gratulated on this season's work at the Ber- lin Gallery. There seems to be no limit to his interest in art matters or his capacity to present the work of significant men from all over the world to his interested audiences in New York. BOOK REVIEWS THE BACKYARD FARMER: BY J. WILLARD BOLTE HE Backyard Farmer" strikes as its high notes practicability "Tand harmony in the treatment of all out-of-door problems, especially those which focus on the back- yard. In nearly all large cities there is an immense amount of waste ground, a state- ment which holds even in those that have reached the high water mark of property values. The backyards of such places are frequently given over to the drying of clothes, the storage of somewhat useless objects, and -the midnight prowling of cats, even though the time is one of very high cost of living. Taking these conditions into account the author has endeavored to accumulate im- portant facts concerning the possibilities of backyard gardens that the amateur farmer in such regions may be spared the study and research work necessary to crown his efforts with success. There is no ground that cannot be util- ized for some form of growth. Grass is not the best crop for the backyard be- cause it pays no dividend. The better in- vestment in almost every case is to use the borders and shady places for perennials and other flowering plants and to plant the rest of the ground to vegetables, those se- lected with the idea of producing plentiful and healthful crops. The hotbed or cold frame set up closely to the house in a sunny place is recom- mended as greatly helping the city farmer to get his vegetables and flowers started early. This book is made up of 75 short and suggestive chapters. One entitled "Back- Yard Dividends," which arouses the en- thusiasm and teaches -that such small places can be made to give a yearly return: "A Succession of Garden Crops"; "Why Gar- dens Fail"; "A Cold Frame for Fall"; "Vegetables in Flower Boxes"; "Gardens and Plant Pests"; "Better Lawns"; "Mak- ing the City Flock Pay"; "Laying Out Flower Beds"; and many others of like purpose giving an idea of the value of this book. The author himself, a practical gardener, is an authority on the subject of agricul- tu~re and has written in a clear and lucid style entirely free from technicalities. (Pub- lished by Forbes & Company, Chicago. 238 pages. Price $I.oo.) BENDISH: A STUDY IN PRODIGAL- ITY: BY MAURICE HEWLETT "661 ENDISH," the book of Mr. Hewlett 1J that follows "Lady Lancelot" in the romance period of the early nine- teenth century, holds the interest inspired by the former book and opens the mind of the reader to an expectation of the one that is to follow, completing the trilogy. Perhaps for the very reason that "Bendish" is a middle link, a calm after the climax of "Lady Lancelot" and a forerunner of the events which must necessarily occur in the third volume, the story fails somewhat of the high water mark set by many of this author's romances. It does not entirely satisfy, except in that it is written in Mr. 627
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