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Smith, Walter (ed.) / The Masterpieces of the Centennial International Exhibition illustrated: industrial art
Volume 2 ([1876-78])

The international exhibition 1876. ,   pp. 3-497


Page 4


THE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, 1876.
the mere mechanical, manual labor, and Art, the expression of something not
taught by nature, the presentation of that ideal, the mere conception of
which
raises man above the level of savagery.
In ancient times the Arts comprised two great divisions: the Liberal and
the Servile. The latter were about equivalent to what we to-day call mechanical
arts, and they received the name of serile because their practice was relegated
to the slaves; whereas the Liberal Arts, which included grammar, dialectics,
rhetoric, music, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy, were practiced by freemen
alone. At the present time, however, the world, while retaining the former
term, makes a different division. We speak of the Fine Arts as distinguished
from those which are simply useful or mechanical; and by Fine Arts we mean
poetry, music, sculpture, painting and architecture. But when we add to an
article which, in itself, supplies a mere bodily want, such ornamentation
as makes
it lovely or pleasing to look upon, attractive to the eye, ministering to
the wants
of the mind, we at once place it in that great middle ground between Fine
Art and mere mechanical execution, which is known as the field of Industrial
Art.
Thus, only excluding the production of raw material, Industrial Art might
be made to include every branch of labor. But, as a matter of fact, the appli-
cation of art to industry, while affecting all branches of manufacture, has
found
its chief expression in a number of special directions; as in the decoration
of
textile fabrics, whether by stamping a pattern on, or weaving it in to, the
material;
in the making of tapestry, lace and embroidery; in -ornamental printing and
bookbinding; in furniture, upholstery, paper-hangings and papier-mdchS; in
the
manufacture of iron, steel and copper, and especially in braziery; in working
the
precious metals and their imitations, as in jewelry; and in the production
of
glass and pottery.
This, then, is the scope of this division of our Catalogue, and it shall
be our
endeavor to illustrate these pages with examples of the most admirable and
artistic specimens of the widely different Art Industries contained in the
Exhibition.
To point out their particular merits, to give such descriptions of their
construc-
tion as will be of interest to the unlearned as well as the learned reader,
and
to give such general information-wherever it is pertinent-on the details
of the manufacture as will render the work a valuable book of reference both
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