Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume IV (1876-1877)
Art as education, pp. -43 PDF (3.8 MB)
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS. ART AS EDUCATION. BY ALFORD PAYNE. INTRODUCTION. Having been asked to prepare a paper for this scientific assem- blage, I have chosen as a subject, Art as a means of Education. But why comes one, unpractical, unscientific, into this learned body? The answer is, he comes in all sincerity to commend to popular notice, through the prestige given by your academy, a class of truths, as educational, which he thinks are not valued as they should be. Are we not generally liable, if not to overestimate our own special lines of study, at least to undervalue the departments of knowledge which we have not much considered? Rare is the man, who, with Lord Bacon can make all departments of knowl- edge his province. The clergyman is thought to live too exclu- sively in dogmatic theology; the lawyer sees this, and listens with a critical sharpness based on a conviction of the immense value of a knowledge of jurisprudence, coupled with thorough legal training; and he may, perchance, undervalue theology, for, like the physician in Chaucer, his study may be "but little in the Bible." We may trace this tendency in all classes of men, even, it may be, amongst students of physics and artists, and so on till we find it illustrated in the shoemaker who knew there was noth- ing like leather. Realizing this tendency in myself, but earnestly desiring to-value every department of knowledge justly, and feel.
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