"Art Instruction of the Best Kind".
As experienced art supervisors, Daniels, Hall, and Bailey knew that teachers needed information about visual arts as well as instructional resources. Publishers of art education texts, notably the Prang Educational Company, tried to meet this need, offering teachers' institutes and correspondence courses. Daniels and Bailey, however, believed that art was taught best without student textbooks. For years, Bailey had been encouraging teachers to replace drawing books with plain paper and such visual resources as magazine clippings, photographs, casts, illustrated reference books, and objects of decorative art.
Bailey's beliefs had led to an intense rivalry with the Prang company and its chief, John Spencer Clark (Stankiewicz, 1986). In his first supervisory position in Lowell in 1885, Bailey took pride in ordering partial sets of Prang's recommended drawing models, saving money for the school district (Stankiewicz, 2001). By the late 1880s, Clark was concerned that Bailey's tendency to recommend plain paper over drawing books would hurt Prang's business. When Clark learned that Bailey helped revise a rival text, he published a pamphlet castigating Bailey. A state investigation followed; Bailey was exonerated of wrongdoing. In January 1899, the two men met for lunch and agreed to bury the hatchet. Nonetheless, Bailey continued to believe that his approach to art instruction was an improvement over that found in Prang's art texts.
At the end of April 1901, Clark fired Daniels for lacking both loyalty and knowledge of art education. Daniels admitted presenting Prang teachers' workshops without using the Prang textbooks. During May, Daniels and Bailey corresponded about starting an art education magazine (Bailey, 1920). Bailey even envisioned the new magazine as the first step toward a full-service business offering correspondence courses, teachers' workshops, and more. Daniels suggested that his neighbor, a Worcester printer named Gilbert Davis, might be willing to invest in the new venture as well as print the magazine.
The Applied Arts Book was intended to replace an earlier periodical, John Clell Witter's Art Education established in 1894. A New York publisher and former drawing teacher, Witter wanted his journal of manual training, drawing, color and penmanship to support the emerging profession of art education while helping elementary classroom teachers correlate visual arts with other studies. This journal lasted only about six years, but included articles on current events in the field, professional gossip, and a column called The Notebook, chiefly written by Bailey, which featured short, cheery notes on art teaching, often with a moral. Both Daniels and Hall had written books published by Witter, so the three men were familiar with his efforts and saw the demise of Witter's journal as a loss to the field (Daniels, 1900; Hall, 1897).
Influenced by the British Arts and Crafts movement, the three collaborators described the new magazine as:
the voice of the Applied Arts Guild, a company of supervisors and teachers of drawing and allied topics ... associated for mutual helpfulness. The Applied Arts guild aims to promote by every legitimate means the progress of Sound Art Instruction and the development of Public Taste in all matters relating to the Applied Arts. It stands for beauty in American life (The Applied Arts Book, 1901).
To prevent criticism that the Guild was only a group of art teachers, not real artists, they chose pen names: Daniels was "Pliny," Hall "Jacques," and Bailey signed his articles as "Kent." Within the first year, however, these pen names were discarded to allow the men to capitalize on their professional reputations.
The influence of the Arts and Crafts movement on the new journal was as much visual as conceptual. Two major Arts and Crafts journals served as models for The Applied Arts Book. The first, The Philistine, subtitled "a journal of protest," was published by Elbert Hubbard from 1895 until his death in 1915 to disseminate writings rejected by editors of other periodicals (Thompson, 1996). Like Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Hubbard's first serial publication, The Philistine imitated William Morris's graphic design. Unlike most magazine editors of the day, Hubbard wrote much of the periodical himself, expressing his opinions freely, as would Bailey when he became editor of SchoolArts. Will Bradley published the seven issues of Bradley, His Book (1896-97) in Springfield where James Hall was art supervisor. Hall, Daniels, and Bailey admired the originality and edginess of Bradley's work.
Although SchoolArts outlasted other Arts and Crafts periodicals, the magazine was less profitable than the art education books that Davis also produced. By 1910, Gilbert's son Warren Davis was writing Bailey to point out the high costs of paper and illustrations, and the fact that Davis could double their profits by printing the magazine for an outside publisher. About the same time, Henry Johnson, a leader in the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, and publisher of Printing Art magazine, was organizing National Arts Publishing Co. The new firm agreed to publish SchoolArts if Bailey would continue as editor, paying Gilbert Davis $2,000 for the publication rights but continuing to use Davis as printer. Unfortunately, National Arts Printing was badly managed and rapidly fell into debt. In May 1911, Bailey, Davis and other principals in SchoolArts established a new company to publish the magazine. When Bailey resigned in 1917, Davis Press bought back the magazine.
A 1908 graduate of Pratt Institute in New York, Anna Loretta Cobb succeeded Bailey as Editor (Important Changes, 1917). Following study in private schools and New York art schools, she traveled in Europe, then taught art for about ten years before moving to SchoolArts. Immediately prior to assuming the editorship, Cobb was head instructor in the Normal Art Department at the Cleveland School of Art. She resigned as editor in 1919, due to ill health, dying in November of the same year during a vacation on the Atlantic Coast.
The Applied Arts Book [advertisement]. (1902, October). The Applied Arts Book, 1(2): [facing page 1].
Bailey, H.T. (1920, September). "A lusty lad of twenty." The School Arts Magazine, 20(1): 5-13.
Daniels, F. H. (1900). "The teaching of ornament." New York: J. C. Witter.
Hall, J. (1897). "With brush and pen." New York: J. C. Witter.
"Important Changes." (1917, September). The SchoolArts Magazine, 17(1): 21.
Stankiewicz, M. A. (1986). "Drawing book wars." Visual Arts Research, 12(2): 59-72.
Stankiewicz, M.A. (2001). "Embodied conceptions and refined taste: Drawing enters the Lowell schools." Visual Arts Research, 26(2): 1-14.
Thompson, S. O. (1996). American book design and William Morris. London: The British Library and Oak Knoll Press
Mary Ann Stankiewicz is an associate professor of Art Education at The Pennsylvania State University, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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|Author:||Stankiewicz, Mary Ann|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2001|
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