THE DREAM CITY INTRODUCTION  [Image]|
splendor of the gothic, and the delicacy and refinement of the detail of the renaissance gallery. The latter illustrates very clearly the freedom granted the imagination of the artist-designer in this period. The limited space devoted to this introduction makes it quite impossible even to enumerate the great number of rare examples of sculpture and ornament grouped in this one court.
Passing from the architecture and sculpture of earlier periods to our own time, the most interesting section to many was the galleries assigned to the Japanese exhibits. For the first time in the history of international exhibitions, Japan - a country of artists - was given a place in the Department of Fine Arts. In this section the student found that art was classified in a simple manner. The word Art is given by these Eastern people a broader meaning than we of the West accord it. In Japan everything based upon the principles of artistic design becomes a work of art. The man of genius devotes himself as conscientiously to the expression of his ideas in wood or iron as does his brother artist of the West to works on canvas or in marble. In studying the various works displayed in this section, it was refreshing to note their freedom from borrowed ideas.
Of all the expositions which have gone before, no one has come so near the ideal of an international exposition, in the wealth of its artistic features, as this. All the greater and lesser countries of the world entered into the work. Grouped in the pavilions - which afforded space for the twenty different national sections of the Department of Fine Arts - were the products of every school and branch of art, which, arranged in adjacent galleries, afforded the student an opportunity for comparative study. The strongly characteristic work of the Norwegian and Swedish schools, with their faithful rendition of color values, gave to our people a new idea of the standing of the Scandinavian artists. Russian art was shown for almost the first time. English pictures, of which too little is known by Americans, were presented in a way to convey a just idea of the beauties of the British school. The French, Dutch, German, Belgian, Italian, Austrian and Spanish sections contained rare examples - some of which are reproduced in this work - contributed by the leading artists or sent from national museums.
The contributions of American artists, whether displayed in the galleries assigned to the United States section or in the decoration of the buildings, have asserted their right to be considered among the artistic achievements of the time. They are on the same high plane as the best works of our architects, as exemplified in the great exhibit buildings.
In preparing this work for the reader it has been the aim of the publisher to present to the individual who has not been fortunate enough to have visited the Fair a brief history and description of its varied beauties. It has been the ambition of the publisher also to present the work in so truthful a form as to preserve the Exposition in its artistic aspects in the mind of every one who visited Chicago in 1893.[Next Page]
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