nothing but dig in and hold fast to the only unchanging thing in the aesthetic worldthe Art of the Past. It was a way of marking time between one march and another. It filled a gap. When ancient crafts were dying every day, and new ones being invented in crudely tenta tive forms, when new tools, new techniques, new materials must be mastered every season, there wasn't much time to worry about the looks of the things we made. If things could be made at all in the new ways, that was tri umph enough. To build a house of steel, to blow a glass bottle by machine, to make an automobile we could "stay in and not under," exhausted our creative powers. And we hadn't the slightest notion of how such things ought to look. There never had been anything like them in the world before, and their lack of precedent was somehow shocking. It was the most natural thing in the world to reach into the past and pluck out such odds and ends of design as seemed at the moment most avail able, and use them as fig leaves on our naked products. At least we were catholic in our choiceall history was our grab-bag. French Gothic or Italian Baroque, Chinoiserie or Tudor, Nor man or Directoire, we tried them all. We learned a terrific lot about art, but we never were able to make up our minds as to what we liked. There was some quality in antique art that eluded us, however relentless our pur suit. Even as we seized them, the "styles," one after another, faded into the pallid incon sequence of last year's "Vogue." Because the truth is that we are not pro vincial Frenchmen nor Spanish grandees nor subjects of any of the serial Louis's. We live not otherwhere but in this year of grace and this land of occasional liberty. And of this fact we are at last, happily, recovering an acute consciousness. It is just because the makers of our prized antiques possessed this admirable self con sciousness that we find their work so vital. Here is the elusive quality we could not cap ture. They knew little about art as we know it, and cared less, but they knew their own minds. You never catch them rushing hither and thither through the centuries in search of fresh "inspirations." When they had evolved a manner that suited their state of mind, their techniques and their needs, they recognized it and were content to develop it. Because their work was actually a part of the fabric of their lives, made with utter disregard of any standards but their own preferences and needs, it has that vitality and satisfying in evitability which has been our despair. But need be no longer. Let us lay wreaths on their tombs, for the ancient crafts are dead. The Industrial Revo lution is an accomplished fact, and sets the pattern of our lives. Like it or not, we find ourselves living in a Machine Age, an Age of Power, an Age of Mass Production. You may hate it and maintain that the turmoil grows ever more unbearable, the confusion more hopeless. You may curse the machines and turn your back on them. But unless you be come a hermit you cannot escape them. They are inextricably involved in living at all in this age, and every one of us is a machinist of one sort or another. And for those who do not set their faces against the current of their age, it has another aspect. To them the significant fact about our day is that after the chaos of transition there is a current, an unmistakable focussing of ten dencies. And as always when the racial mind is made up and people think and feel with a degree of sympathetic accord, there is a pow erful impulse to creation. We begin to realize what it is that, deep in our hearts, we really like and want to do. We have a new vision, revealing a new 21

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