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The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 1, Number 4 (Jan. 1900)

Bull, Storm
Instruction in free-hand drawing at the University,   pp. 148-153


Page 150


Wisconsin Alumni Magazine.
they leave the University. That this is the case with a great many
of our graduates no one acquainted with any considerable num-
ber of them will care to deny, as the want of ability to appre-
ciate the beautiful in any direction is very striking. It is true
that courses in esthetics are offered at the University, and also
that illustrated courses of lectures in Greek and Roman sculp-
ture and architecture are given by several of the professors,
and it shall willingly be admitted that these courses are a
help in the direction indicated; but they are not sufficient, as
at best the acquaintance with the beautiful in art will be a very
distant and superficial one when cultivated in this manner, and
the possible native ability in an artistic direction does not get
a chance to show itself, nor to be developed. That there ex-
ists a native talent among the students of the University in
this direction there cannot be any doubt; of this fact one may
be convinced by looking through the Badger for the last few
years. But it will also be apparent from this sa'me inspection
that the editors did not have the necessary artistic taste to dis-
criminate between poor and good illustrations, or it may per-
haps be that a sufficient number of good illustrations were not
offered that a choice might be made.
  So far the subject has been looked at only from the esthetic
point of view; but the question has also a practical and utili-
tarian side which is not less important than the other. In how
many occupations in after life is it not very useful or even
necessary to be able to draw? In fact, one can hardly con-
ceive of a position or of a calling in which the ability to give
shape to one's ideas by means of graphic illustrations would
not be a very valuable acquisition. The engineering student
has all the needed opportunity at the University to become a
mechanical draughtsman, but not even in the College of En-
gineering can he learn free-hand drawing and sketching ex-
cept in a purely accidental and limited way, the result being
that our engineering students leave the University without pos-
sessing this very necessary attainment of a well educated en-
gineer. In this respect the University of Wisconsin is de-
cidedly behind the other institutions which offer courses in
150
[January


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