An argument for simplicity in household furnishings, pp. [iii]-iv
Pro patria, pp. iv ff.
,which 'we pass our working-day, study the striking undulations In the grain of oak, ash, elm, or other of our native 'woods, and in so doing, learn the 'worth of patient, 'welf-direded and skilled labor; of that labor 'which educates; that is: leads out and de2,elops the hidden 7balues ano qualities of things too often neglected because they are frequently seen PRO PATRIA WHEN in the decade of1870-1880, Oriental art began to receive 'wide-spread attention in France, and became a favorite topic of conversation In fashionable salons, there 'were many connoisseurs 'who denied its c[lams to consideration. Then it 'was that M. Thiers, the President of the French Republic, summed 'up in a single pithy sentence the reasons for the narrow prejudice 'which refused currency to ideas other than those consecrated by long familiarity. He declared: "One should not go to Japan 'with the Parthenon In one's mind." A similar prejudice has established itself in this country regarding the use of mahogany In the finer pieces of household furnishings. The preference for this 'wood, founded partially upon its beauty, receibved a Wery strong impetus from the connection of the 'wood and of certain famous cabinet makers 'with our colonial history, 'which of late has been so thoroughly treated by American authors, and so thoroughly studied by our patriotic clubs. Consequently, our nati~e products have been neglected and theirpossi- bilities olerlooked. But it is true that oak, ash and elm, properly treated, possess attractions that yield to those of no other 'woods. The undutations of their grain, the soft, unobtrusive tones 'which they assume through skillful polish, the color-play 'which runs over their smooth surface are qualities 'which to be appreciated need only to be fairly obser¶ed. The inteltigent craftsman in our country is now raising our northern 'woods to a place beside that occupied by the long-admired mahogany. iv THlE CRAFTSMAN
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