Page images
PDF
EPUB

Everyone who follows the vocation of a teacher of any subject for any considerable length of time consciously or unconsciously follows principles. Man as a rational being must think and reason concerning that which he does. Thinkers demand definitions, clear statements; and hence reasoning and thinking must result in the discovery of more or less truth, which, when stated in language, we call principles. The resolution above quoted assumes that there are principles to be observed in elementary art education which may be determined. It is the business of your committee to determine and state such principles.

AIM OR PURPOSE

Here, as in all courses of study, purpose or aim must be the organizing element. It determines principles, methods, and devices. Dr. Thomas Davidson says: “The end of all education, as of all life, is the evolution of the social individual in knowledge, sympathy, and will.” It is thus seen that the aim is not a simple one, but complex. The whole being of the child is to be reached. The child is to be brought into right relation with three environments : (1) the so-called physical nature that surrounds him; (2) spiritual beings of his own order; and (3) the absolute power which determines all being.

Especially is the child to be trained to accurate and sympathetic use of his powers of observation, and given sufficient practice in graphic and plastic representation of these perceptions to fix them in memory. Also, the child is to be trained to discover and appreciate the beauty in nature and in art, with sufficient practice in reproducing or re-creating beauty to fix general principles in mind.

The aim, as stated above, precludes the idea of attempting to train artists in the public schools, or mechanical draftsmen, or professional designers in any field of decorative design. To set “the early impulse in the right direction” is all that can be expected, but to do this is worth infinite pains.

Besides the above statements as to the aim of elementary art education, your committee has only attempted at this time to find a basis for the analysis of the space arts into their four fundamental departments, as follows:

FUNDAMENTAL DEPARTMENTS OF THE SPACE ARTS

66

All space-art study and all drawing and painting (which is only drawing with color) must concern themselves about the form or the shape of an object. But these words form" and "shape” have several meanings when applied to actually or potentially visible objects. There are two of these meanings, however, that must be clearly understood, defined, and distinguished, if we would avoid interminable confusion. The first meaning of "form" or "shape ” referred to may be stated as follows: Every visible object, or potentially visible one, has, or may have :

1. An infinite number of apparent or accidental forms.

These apparent forms or appearances can be known or recognized only thru sight. They are visual percepts pure and simple, created by the self-activity of the observer.

2. Only one real tangible or potentially tangible form.

This tangible or individual shape of an object is the result of its extension in space, and is never seen thru the physical eye. It is for the mind, merely a mental concept.

These two meanings are entirely different, and the failure to discriminate these meanings and to keep them separate in the mind has caused the teachings of many writers to be a mere play upon words. These writers frequently use the same unqualified word “form” in both senses, perhaps in a single paragraph, or even in the same sentence. mind; but the second, in everyday experience, never intimates any one of the innumerable aspects of the first. The first pertains only to line and surface; the second to line, surface, and solidity. The first gives us the beauties and the pictures of vision; the second gives us making, modeling, and manufacturing in real materials. The first can have but one or two dimensions; while the second may have one, two, or three dimensions. Hereafter we shall call the first apparent form or shape, or simply appearance, and the second real form or shape.

Note the distinctions: The first is a visual percept; the second is a tactual concept. The first shape can only be seen; the second can never be seen. The first, by the observer's long experience, has taken on the quality of suggesting the second to the

TWO PHASES OF APPEARANCES

Art recognizes two phases of appearances in objects, as the æsthetic results of vision, and the images or appearances themselves as such. The first phase may be stated thus :

A. The æsthetic appearance, or the beauty, of an object. Under A we may say that visual beauty (and we are talking of no other kind at present, such as aural beauty, or tactual beauty, etc.) is a matter of appearance ; something only to be seen; something pertaining to visible outline and surface, but not to solidity as such.

Objects of beautiful appearance may be (1) natural or (2) artificial. If natural, they may be (a) mineral, (6) vegetable, or (c) animal. Their beauty may consist in their (a) color (analogy, contrast, harmony); (6) light and dark (outline, proportion, space division); and (c) composition (regularity, variety, unity).

In general these ideas may have their outward expression in the pleasing arrangements of natural objects in given spaces, and the division of surfaces into pleasing proportions for ornamental purposes. As the practical, concrete expression of the ideas thus gained, we have the historical ornament of all ages and countries of the world and modern decorative design. The scientific outcome of this study should give us the science of æsthetics, or the science of beauty.

How expressed.- Visual beauty is its own most complete expression. It exists for itself; that is, it does not depend on something else for its value or its expression.

The second phase of appearances may be stated thus:

B. The pictorial appearance, or the picture, of an object. Under B we must remember that the graphic representation of a visual percept of an object gives us a picture, an appearance; not the object as it is in space, only one of its innumerable visual aspects. Objects having possible appearances may be considered as (1) natural or (2) artificial. If natural, they may be (a) mineral, (6) vegetable, or (c) animal. The study and the record by drawing of our visual percepts of objects, if done to illustrate general school work, may be called illustrative drawing; if done for the purpose of learning the principles of drawing appearances, we call it modeland object-drawing, pictorial drawing, or freehand perspective. The scientific study and representation of appearances yield us the science of perspective, both linear and aërial. There may be three stages of pictorial drawing : (a) outline, (6) light and dark, and (c) color.

How expressed.— The picture is the only complete and perfect expression, or outward realization, of a visual percept. (Oral or written language, modeling, making, or working drawings have no place here, and they can give no direct help.)

a

a

TWO PHASES OF REAL SHAPE OR FORM

We may recognize two phases of real shape of form, as we direct our attention to the real shape

an object as a whole, or as a solid, or to the real shape of its various planes, sections, and edges, and their relations to one another. The first phase may be stated as follows:

C. The real shape in space of an object having three dimensions. Under C we may say that these three-dimension objects may be (1) natural or (2) artificial. If natural, they may be (a) mineral, (6) vegetable, or (c) animal. If mineral, the study of their real shapes leads us to the science of crystallography. If vegetable or animal, their study as to real shapes will give us the science of promorphology.

The study and the analysis of the real shapes of objects may also reveal to us certain fundamental, ideal, or type solids which are useful as units of comparison in dealing with the concrete forms of all objects. The following is a convenient classification of artificial objects :

(1) Regular geometrical solids, or type solids; (2) objects of ordinary manufacture and building construction; and (3) objects of art. The study of the first group gives us the science of geometry; of the second, the principle of building construction ; of the third, ceramics, architecture, sculpture, and all plastic art in general.

How expressed. — The only really complete and logical expression for the real tangible forms of these three-dimension objects is in solidity, in some material having three dimensions. (No vocal or written language can portray solidity directly. No pictorial, conventional, mechanical, or other kind of drawing can do it.) Remember that pictorial drawing and pictorial painting of any kind can only show us appearances, not real three-dimension forms.

The second phase of real shape or form may be stated as follows:

D. The real shape in space of the planes, sections, or edges of an object having one or two dimensions. Under D the objects to be considered are mostly artificial, and their planes may be classified as follows:

(1) Faces, horizontal or vertical ; (2) sections, cross and longitudinal; and (3) their faces arranged in single planes, called developments. These planes with their edges may be studied as judgment concepts. When we study the edges, faces, sections, or surfaces of type solids and other regular objects, as buildings, furniture, machines, etc., and record our judgment concepts (in conventional drawing) of their real one- or twodimension forms (not our visual percepts), we call the results : (a) plans or elevations; (6) sections; (c) developments or patterns.

How expressed. — It will thus be seen that the only adequate expression for our judgment concepts of edges, faces, sections, and developments is in mechanical drawing, or working drawing. Such drawings do not show us objects as they really are ; they are only conventional representations of the separate and detached edges or faces, with their relations conventionally indicated. The synthesis of these separate concepts (they are not visual percepts) forms in the mind a whole, or a concept which may be realized only by a constructed object in space.

The basis for the conventional representations of these mental conceptions in the mind, or of the corresponding objects in space, is orthographic projections, a branch of descriptive geometry, with its practical departments of architectural, machine, and engineering drawing.

:

DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC EDUCATION

SECRETARY'S MINUTES

FIRST SESSION.- WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1899

The session was called to order at 2:30 P. M. by Mrs. Gertrude B. Parsons, of Los Angeles, Cal., who introduced the president, P. C. Hayden, of Quincy, Ill.

The president read a paper on “The Ultimate Object of Music Study in the Public Schools."

Herbert Griggs, of Denver, Colo., read a paper entitled “ The Content and Extent of a Course in School Music.”

The paper was discussed by Miss Alice Lyon, Whittier, Cal.; P. C. Hayden, Quincy, Ill., and Mrs. Gaston Boyd, Newton, Kan.

Mrs. Grace Miltimore Stivers sang “Parla," Arditi, very pleasingly.

Thomas Tapper, of Boston, Mass., read a paper entitled, “What Power does the Child Gain thru Music Study?”

The president announced changes in the program as first printed, and read the following communication:

SANTA BARBARA, CAL., July 11, 1899. To the Music Section of the National Educational Association, in convention assembled, Los Angeles,

Cal.: Greeting!

Prevented by sickness from meeting with you, will be glad to entertain all musical pedagogs in Santa Barbara,

JULIET Powell Rice,
Chairman Music Section, State Teachers' Associatie*,

An invitation to join the National Federation of Music Teachers was cordially extended by the president.

Under the direction of Mrs. Gertrude B. Parsons, supervisor of music, Los Angeles, Cal., a class of fifty-five pupils gave four class songs, and did some very creditable sight reading.

Upon conclusion of the exercise, Herbert Griggs, of Denver, Col., offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted :

Resolved, That the Music Department thank Mrs. Parsons and the children for the excellent class work exhibited; and, furthermore, that the grade teachers who, thru their wise supervision of their pupils and their hearty co-operation, have aided Mrs. Parsons in bringing the children to such a state of excellenc, should receive due recognition and thanks.

The chair announced the appointment of the following Committee on Nominations :

Herbert Griggs, Denver, Col.

Mrs. Gertrude B. Parsons, Los Angeles, Cal. Mrs. Frances M. Clark, Ottumwa, la.

SECOND SESSION.- THURSDAY, JULY 13 The afternoon's program opened with “ An Overture in Hungarian Style," by the Women's Orchestra, conducted by Harley Hamilton. In response to an enthusiastic encore they gave Rubinstein's “Melody in F."

Mrs. Constance B. Smith, of Jacksonville, Ill., read a paper on “The Necessary Education of the Supervisor.”

The paper was discussed by Mrs. Gaston Boyd, of Newton, Kan.

Miss Abbie Gilman rendered effectively a contralto solo, “The Autumnal Gale,” Grieg.

Miss Kathryn Stone, of Alameda, Cal., read a paper entitled, “What should Constitute a Course of Study for County Institutes ?"

Mrs. Constance B. Smith, of Jacksonville, Ill., and Mrs. Frances M. Clark, of Ottumwa, Ill., discussed the paper.

A quartet of young ladies from the High School of Pasadena, Cal., sang two selections.

The president then suggested that the following committees should be appointed to assist the president in broadening the work of the Music Department of the National Educational Association :

1. Committee on Literature.
2. Committee on Federation,
3. Committee on Condition of Music in the States,
4. Committee on Model Course of Music Study.

A. D. Hunter, of Pomona, Cal., moved that the incoming president of the department be authorized to appoint committees on these topics at some time during the year. The motion was carried.

It was also moved and carried that the report of the secretary include a list of the members of the National Federation of Music Teachers for the current year, and of the special music teachers attending this meeting of the Department of Music Education.

The following resolution was presented by Mrs. Constance B. Smith, of Jacksonville, Ill.:

Resolved, That the Music Department of the National Educational Association extend its thanks to the Local Committee, composed of Mrs. Gertrude B. Parsons, Mrs. Laura V. Sweezy, and Miss Jennie Hagan, for its thoro arrangements; to Mrs. Juliet Powell Rice, of Santa Barbara, Cal., for her proffered hospitality; and to the artists and musicians who have contributed to the success and pleasure of the sessions.

The resolution was unanimously adopted.
An invitation to visit the Whittier State School was read.

W. B. Powell, superintendent of schools, Washington, D.C., gave an informal address on “The Value of Music in the Schoolroom.”

Herbert Griggs, Denver, Colo.; Mrs. Gaston Boyd, Newton, Kan.; Geo. H. Taylor, Bakersfield, Cal.; Mrs. Constance B. Smith, Jacksonville, III.; P. C. Hayden, Quincy, Ill.; Mrs. Frances M. Clark, Ottumwa, Ia.; A. S. McPherron, Redlands, Cal., and G. M. Cole, Pasadena, Cal., discussed Superintendent Powell's address.

The nominating committee presented the following report :
For President - Herbert Griggs, Denver, Col.
For Vice-President - Mrs. Gertrude B. Parsons, Los Angeles, Cal.
For Secretary-Mrs. Constance B. Smith, Jacksonville, III.

The report was unanimously adopted, and the persons named were declared elected as officers for the ensuing year. The meeting was then adjourned.

ELEANOR M. Joy,

Secretary.

« PreviousContinue »