Foreword

Foreword

Foreword to the November 1901 edition of The Craftsman.

Craftsman Style

¶ The interest and sympathy with which the first number of "The Craftsman" has been received, greatly encourage the publishers of the new magazine; giving them the assurance that they are justified in their undertaking. To have found already a wide public favorable to the aims and objects of the Guild of the United Crafts is in itself a proof that the publication has a decided reason for existence. To have received a large number of personal letters welcoming the appearance of "The Craftsman", and wishing it success in the peculiar work to which it stands pledged, has afforded the publishers a pleasure as real as unexpected.

Writing-table in gray oak; top in sage green leather; wrought iron pulls
Writing-table in gray oak; top in sage green leather; wrought iron pulls.

¶ The present number offers a tribute to John Ruskin, whose claims to the world's gratitude, although they have been long and actively discussed, have not yet been wholly recognized. But as time passes, it is more and more evident, that Ruskin the art-critic, with his enthusiasms, his uplifting power, his strong and sometimes warped opinions, must yield precedence to Ruskin, the economist. And although the reversion of the Master, when long past middle life, from art and literature to social studies has been deplored and harshly criticized, it is now certain that he had science on his side; that his understanding of the laws of life was deep and spiritual. From this modified point of view it has been thought best to consider him, rather than to follow the plan earlier announced of treating him in his relations to the building-art of the Middle Ages. So presented, he seems still to be among us; giving us of his pure and unselfish spirit, and urging us to labor for the good, the true and the beautiful.

The Eastwood
"The Eastwood": large chair in fumed oak; seat in United Crafts soft leather; rest in same wood and leather.

¶ The minor articles of the present issue are inserted, because of their relevancy to the major subject. The idea of offering a review of Mr. Bradley Gilman's "Back to the Soil" was suggested by Ruskin's desire to improve the tenements and environment of the city poor, as was manifested, a generation ago, in his investments with Miss Octavia Hill. Further, as a sidelight upon the condition of the proletariat in a Latin country, a few words of comment upon M. Rene Bazin's "The Land in Decay" have been admitted.

Oak Book Cabinet
Book-cabinet in oak.

¶ The December number of "The Craftsman" will be devoted to a series of articles upon the Guilds of the Middle Ages and the civic benefits derived therefrom. And it will be the effort of the publishers, with each successive issue, to continue and increase the interest and value of the publication.



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