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Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

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The craftsman
Vol. V, No. 4 (January 1904)

[Structure and ornament in the Craftsman workshops],   pp. 390-397 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 391

TO retain a structural plan which
        may be easily read by the untrained
        eye is the ambition of all modern
        architects. When they place upon
street or square an imposing public build-
ing, they wish it to tell, in its own words,
whether it is a church, a town-hall, or a
theatre, and this as plainly as if it were a
roadside cottage. Complication, that other
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plied ornament, are required from the con-
structors of things made by hands, whether
these things are greater or smaller: the
house to live in, the bed to lie in, or the desk
or table at which to work.
  It so appears that the simple and the
structural are a spontaneous expression of
the times, strong almost to the point of
vehemence, and which no conventionality or
expedient can suppress. They are not
the outcome of a deliberate purpose; nor
are they imposed for a season by the
where avoided as a matter of
principle. This course is in
accordance with the strict neces-
sities of the times. It is, doubt-
less, an outcome of the multiple
modern   development of   the
means of transit and communi-
cation.  The   traveler must
be able instantly to determine
the direction which he is to fol-
low; while the reader of the
public prints demands head-
lines which shall give him the
news of the world conveyed in
the most compact form of ex-
pression.  Such  impulses to
directness and simplicity being
contagious and rapidly propa-
gated, they have already in-
vaded all provinces of life,
thought and art.
  Sharply defined ideas trans-
mitted through a medium of
transparent words are now de-
manded everywhere from the
writer, the preacher and the
teacher.   Simple, structural
plans, with an absence of ap-

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