Smith, Walter (ed.) / The Masterpieces of the Centennial International Exhibition illustrated: industrial art
The lesson of the exhibition., pp. 497-521 ff.
INDUSTRIAL ART. Perhaps no other country, with possibly one exception, could have paid the penalty of milliards of money for foreign aggression, besides bearing the enor- mous cost of her own military operations, without becoming ruined and undone. Yet to-day the skilled manufactures of France are righting the country, and with the power of supremacy in taste she claims tribute from the whole world. The periodical occurrence of International Exhibitions enables us to see the relative progress made by different nations in the broad fields of industrial art and science, and oldcountries,and to those who have been fortu- nate enough to watch this pro- gress from the first exhibition in London, in I851, to the last in Philadelphia, in 1876,thechanges made have been very great. The present is pre- eminently an age the influence of such exhibitions as that we have enjoyed this year has been to en- courage such re- vivals, and create a general love of art where it is not an ancient story. I It is not too much to say that in the exhibits of revival in art Shawl: Compagnie des aides. of every country in many of the participating in these general displays, there has been evidence of a striking improvement, as each exhibition succeeded the last, in all the sections containing objects of industrial art. The example of successful manufacturers and the masterpieces of designers have influenced the enterprise and skill of those whose success, through want of sufficient skill, has not been what they desired. The objection which some manufacturers have raised against International Exhibitions, that they gave opportunities for the weak to imitate the strong, and placed the accumulated experience and success of the few at the service of the many, must be regarded as a powerful argument in favor of such displays, from every point of view, including that of the successful manufac- 501
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