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THE DIVISION OF ART
CATALOGUE OF THE PRINCIPAL WORKS,
CLASSIFIED FOE THE USE OF VISITORS TO THE LIBRARY.
By RALPH N. WORNUM, Librarian.
LIBRARY OF THE DIVISION OF ART.
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}f.J, I. The library, consisting at present of about 5,000 yolumes, and 100 portfolios of prints, drawings, &c.., jrëlating to decorative art and ornamental
; njanufactures of every description,.is now open daily,, mornings and evenings, for the use of students, manufacturers, artizans, and the public vin general, subject to the rules of the Department.
i--''II. This library, though at present only m progress, is already suffi. ciently advanced to be of very great use to all those concerned in ornamental manufactures, or, indeed, graphic and plastic art generally, in any of their specialties or applications to industry. It has, however, its special ; object, and is emphatically a special library; special in its contents, and peculiar in its administration: its object is to aid in every way the development of taste as applied to industrial art; and the peculiarity of its administration is, that it is made as accessible to the most illiterate as to the best informed.
III. The student or applicant has only to mention his business or his object in visiting the library, and the best of what it contains, relating to such business or object, will be placed before him: it is intended to be an Art Manufactures Library of the most comprehensive character practicable. The attention of manufacturers and skilled workmen generally is particularly invited to it, as it is orgamzed for their especial use as the immediate agents in developing a correct taste among the public.
IV. In this age of national rivalries, assuredly those only will see their labours crowned with success who combine elegance with use. If, therefore, we may take it for granted that the essential value of the refinements of art is established 'beyond question, it behoves all those professing such occupations as are involved in supplying these public wants, to make every effort to attain the utmost possible efficiency, which is quite as essential to personal as to national success.
V. An illustrated library is a means of aiding this end that has been hitherto almost overlooked; yet except a special Museum of actual manufactures, there can be no more direct agent for conveying palpable ideas to the mind of the artizan: but while the Museum is necessarily extremely limited in many respects, the library is in . a measure infinite: a single volume might contain more illustrations, in any one department of art, ranging easily over all ages from the most remote down to the present day, than it would be possible to collect together in any one place at present.
VI. Great and various is the toil that the skilful and industrious artist might have been spared if he had had easy access to a comprehensive and practical illustrated library. Slow and arduous steps might have yielded to a rapid and enlarged development of ideas only faintly defined to the mind of the artist himself; and many an imagined novelty which has cost its author an infinite amount of'pains and anxiety, might have been entertained for a transient moment only, and dismissed to the merited obscurity to which the actual experience of the world had long ago condemned it. And besides these preventive advantages of such a nbrary, who can say how much more might not have been developed in the provmce of industrial-art labour, had the skilled workman at all times had access to the vast store of ingenuity still preserved in illustrated books, books comparatively unknown to those best calculated to make use of them? The man of letters or the artist, close as his inspection may be in some respects, must ever be in others but a superficial observer, and the skilled workman or practical mechanic might receive a ray of light of incalculable benefit to himself, and advantage to his art, from the mere glimpse of some example of his own trade which might be indifferent to all others, such, for mstance, as in musical instruments, and perhaps in many other branches of mechanical industry. It is the experience of the world pitted against that of an individual; mstead of being limited to what he is personally surrounded by, he has at once an insight into the labours of all times and all places.
VII. Thus, many of the works belonging essentially from their specialty to this library, will serve the purposes of science as well as art; for plates of objects necessarily illustrate, to some extent, their construction as well as their properties of form, &c., in an aesthetic sense.
VIII. The following scheme of the catalogue will show the comprehensive nature of the library, notwithstanding its special character, and although at present it may not contain half-a-dozen works in some classes. It has been arranged as nearly as practicable according to the classification of arts and trades adopted in the Great Exhibition of 1851, as that classification has been made, to a certain extent, familiar to the public.
1. Alphabets, writing, &c.
2. Anatomy, physiology, &c.
3. Antiquities, ancient and medieval.
5. Art, practice of, instruction in, &c.
„ theory of.
7. Building, engineering, surveying, &c. (Cl. VII.)
8. Costume, manners and customs, &c.
9. Decoration and ornament, general.
10. Dictionaries, glossaries, &c.
11. Drawing, systems of.
13. Galleries, museums, academies.
machines and tools (Cl. VI.)
f cotton (Cl. XI.)
j flax and hemp (Cl. XIV.)
IX. Classification of Catalogue.
„ leather, saddlery, harness, &c. (Cl. XVI.)
„ printing and bookbinding (Cl. XVII.)
„ printed or dyed fabrics (Cl. XVIII.)
„ tapestry, carpets, floorcloths, lace, and embroidery
„ bronze, iron, and general hardware (Cl. XXII.)
jewellery, &c. (Cl. XXIII.)
glass (Cl. XXIV.) ,, ceramic manufactures, pottery, porcelain, &c.
„ furniture, upholstery, paper-hangings, &c.
19. Monuments, sepulchral.
20. Natural history in reference to its application to art—botany.
„ „ „ entomology.
„ „ „ mineralogy.
„ „ » zoology.
23. Sculpture, models, gems, medals, coins, &c. (Cl. XXX.)
24. Topography, guides, &c,
X. In the above classification there is a range of subjects directly bearing upon upwards of two hundred trades now carried on in the metropolis; and such a library may be converted into an inexhaustible mine of information and improvement by those occupied in or carrying on these various arts and trades, which, to avoid anything like vagueness, I now proceed to enumerate, according to the adopted classification of the Exhibition :—
Class V.—Machines for direct use—Carriages.
Class VI.—Manufacturing Machines and Tools.
Painters and glaziers.
House joiners. *
Lock-smiths and bell-hangers.
Spring blind makers.