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Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume IV (1876-1877)

Payne, Alford
Art as education,   pp. [31]-43 PDF (3.8 MB)


Page 32


32      Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters.
ing that in this regard, I could ask no better or fitter audience, I
ask your attention to Art as a means of Education.
  Of the mechanic arts, admirable as are their results, we do not
now speak. But our concern on this occasion is with those arts
which are called par eminence Fine Arts, or more commonly "Art."
These serve not for mere material uses, for our comfort, or con-
venience, or for the facilitation of business; not to sustain the nat-
ural life, or even to promote in any way mere physical well-being;
but they speak directly to the intellectual and moral nature of
man, adding to his stock of knowledge, educating or leading forth
his noblest powers, conducting him both onward and upward, by
inciting to love and delight in the beautiful and good. How nec-
essary is this moral elevation, we realize from the words of the
poet, " unless above himself he can erect himself, how mean a
thing is man! " Art, so understood, is the embodiment or utter-
ance of those ideas modified by the imagination, whose nature it
is to awaken sensibility or emotion.
  Then how wide the realm of art! Every object in nature, every
fact in history, every truth in science, and nearly al! such have
their poetic aspects, whose tendency it is to awaken feeling, may
become the subject of art. Nay, the realm of art extends above
and beyond nature; every thought and imagination concerning
the mind of man, and its relations; concerning the supernatural;
concerning other states of existence; concerning God himself, is
the legitimate subject of art. Still more, every influence given to
these'thoughts and imaginations by our moods and feelings be-
comes in itself poetic.
  The chief elements of art are the sublime, the beautiful, the
characteristic, the humorous, the fantastic and the grotesque.
  The particular modes of manifestation of art-feeling, or language
of art, are poetry, painting, statuary, music, and architecture.
  Poetry is art in articulate language-; painting, in color, form,
light and shadow; statuary, in form only; music, in sound; and
architecture is art in the application of beautiful and grand forms
to uses, in the construction of buildings.
  Having defined art generally, let us now look more particularly
,at art-ideas as differenced in kind from truths of science. Scien-


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