A Historical Theory of Art Criticism by James D. Carney

By James D. Carney

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The it held the school also had a small collection of casts of classical sculptures from which the students might draw. It included a small "Venus de Medici," which because of her nudity had to be kept in a cupboard except when a professional artist, working entirely by himself, might be permitted to contemplate and draw her. " Unshaken by this display of what he considered nonsensical behavior, Peale proceeded with his plan. Unable to find a male model to pose nude, he posed himself. So much for the art school.

However, the cabinetmaker, because he was as much businessman as his clients, encountered difficulties to which most art-makers were im- mune. The master cabinetmaker obviously did not turn the lathes himself to make his bedposts, nor did he carve the ornaments on his chairbacks with his own wood chisel he was as much employer and merchant as he was provider ; of taste to his customers. This creature of the men who worked meant that, to for liim, and some degree, he was the strikes were not unknown in those days of presumably unorganized labor.

The aristocratic tradition hung on, and the homes of the old rich and the new rich provided a constant market for the products of contemporary painters cabinetmakers. There was a long tradition of excellent craftsmanship in America, and if the designers were not quite the peers of their English and French contemporaries, they were nonetheless far more up to date than the contractor-builders and better trained than the amateur architects and most of the painters of the day. Instead of engravings of buildings ings, which was all and paint- the architects and artists had to instruct them in the work of European masters, cabinetmakers had as models imported pieces of furniture of excellent quality botli to copy and to use for inspiration for their own designs.

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