Friday, January 02, 2009

Can the rich amount to anything?

The following is from William L. Price, of the Rose Valley Shops, 1904
"One of the Vanderbilts has stated that it is almost impossible for the man born rich to amount to anything. He is distinctly handicapped, because he has firmly ground into him the idea that this thing that is worth while can be bought; and he is not a whit different from any of the rest of us, because we all have the same idea. But we have left out of account how development comes. Since the world began it has come by one way and never will come by any other, and that is through creative work. We are beginning to recognize it in our schools, in our kindergartens. We no longer believe that the child goes to school simply to gather knowledge by the mere hearing of certain things and sentiments."
This is excerpted from his speech "The Attitude of Manual Training to the Arts and Crafts" at the 1904 conference of the Eastern Manual Training Association in Philadelphia, calling for greater connection between the then thriving Arts and Crafts movement and the rapidly progressing Manual Arts Movement.
You can find out more about the Rose Valley Shops and William L. Price through a visit to the Rose Valley Museum.Will Price was an architect who gave thought to the housing needs of ordinary workers. He published Model Houses for Little Money which can be found in Google Books. One of his designs is shown above. This paper from which the except above is drawn is an important discovery, making the strong literal connection between the Arts and Crafts movement and manual training. I have been trying to get craftsmen and artists to jump on-board a renewal of manual training in schools, and this paper clearly states the grounds for alliance.

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