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Scotland, that for the first years it is indispensable: above all, provision must be made for an efficient periodical inspection, at the public expense, of all schools so assisted.
In the practical conduct of these local schools there Local appear to be three points which are pre-eminently important: the first, that the course of instruction in prise tech
nical ineach school shall embrace the direct application of struction ; design to the prevalent manufacture of the district, in all its branches, so that they shall not only be schools of the rudiments of Art, but also, to some extent, schools of industry; the second, that such schools shall, whenever it is possible, be connected with what may be termed Museums of Ornamental Art (as dis
connected tinguished from the higher works of painting and with musculpture); and thirdly, that they be open at a very low seu rate of charge, so as to be really accessible to the cheap humblest of the operative class.
At first, a very great want of fit books and examples Books, of ornamental design will be felt, and recourse must be prints, and had to foreign works, not always easily to be procured; but it may be hoped that, after a time, the central normal school will be able to render important assistance to the local schools, not only in this respect, but also in respect of the provision of able lectures, so that all improvements may be rapidly diffused. And here, at the outset, seasonable aid from government may do much good.*
It will also be necessary to guard against these
• Much good too might be done by the extensive circulation, amongst manufacturers and artisans, of plain and brief addresses on the importance of sound instruction in design, and the means of obtaining it. See the excellent address of Baron Charles Dupin, at the opening of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, in Paris, productive of such good effects both amongst masters and workmen.
schools being made schools for producing mediocre painters and sculptors, instead of good ornamental draughtsmen and modellers. They cannot be too
strictly confined to their special object. Mr. Hay, of The Laws, Edinburgh (in a note to his excellent Treatise on the &c.3d edit. Edin. 1836, Laws of Harmonious Colouring as adapted to Decoraf. 59.
tion), justly condemns the absurd “mania of becoming artists, so prevalent among young men who have had
opportunities of studying the art of drawing;" and Evid. ut Mr. Skene, the Secretary to the Board of Trustees for sup. 1133,
the Encouragement of Manufactures in Scotland, makes a similar complaint with reference to the academy maintained by that Board. Many a man whose life is now spent, miserably enough, in caricaturing the human countenance and spoiling good canvass, might, under better auspices, have lived in comfort and aided in advancing the manufactures of his country. Care must be taken that the new schools of design do not multiply cases of this kind.
The establishment of prizes for the best models for castings in metal, of various kinds, and for original designs (including the ruling or mise-en-carte) of fabrics in silk, cotton, lace, &c., is another point not to be overlooked in the constitution of these schools. Recently in Scotland, so far as the limited means of the Board of Trustees enabled it to adopt them, such prizes were found highly serviceable.
Probably no existing School of Art, having special reference to Manufacture, is more worthy of attention, both as regards its comprehensive plan and its actual success, than that of Lyons, first established by Napoleon (towards the close of his reign), with a view to the improvement of the silk manufactures of France. In addition to general instruction in design and in the history and principles of the Arts, it includes special instruction in all the branches of ornamental drawing and modelling; technical instruction in mise-en-carte, or the transferring the paper drawing to the fabric; a botanical garden for drawing plants and flowers from nature; a cabinet of natural history; a library of books and prints; and a collection of models. But excellent as was the object in view, and undeniable the need of such an institution, it was far from being at once hailed with gratitude by those whom it was most to benefit. “When first founded,” says one thoroughly acquainted Dr. Bow
ring. with these schools, “there was little disposition on the part of the labouring classes to avail themselves of these advantages; there was a great deficiency of students, particularly in some of the branches where the inferiority of the French workmen was most generally recognized.” But last year so great was the change that the school of Lyons contained two hundred students, every class was full, and the candidates for admission so numerous as quite to embarrass the professors; who, in their last report, speak thus of the results already attained :
“If collections of ancient patterns be compared with Rapport those which are produced at the present time, the ex- des Arts de
sur l'Ecole traordinary distance which separates them will be Lyons, obvious to everybody, and every step will exhibit the progress made in abandoning the mere routine of production, and also the beauty and perfection which able artists have now thrown upon manufactures. The influence of superior models, the counsels of intelligent professors, and the emulation of zealous students and artisans, will be everywhere discovered. Already the influence of the school is seen in our streets; our architecture is enriching itself with classical ornaments, and the part which Lyons took and the honours which were
done her in the late 'Exposition,'* at Paris, sufficiently attest that the attention bestowed on the schools of Art have had their influence upon the prosperity and reputation of the town and neighbourhood."
Shall not we go and do likewise?
NOTE. Since the foregoing pages have been written, I bave had the pleasure of learning that the chief suggestions I have submitted with reference to the Government School of Design at Somerset House, have been brought under the consideration of the Council, in a Report from the able Director of the School, Mr. Dyce.
* L'Exposition de l'Industrie Nationale, of the plan and effects of which some account will be found in the Appendix to this volume.