Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/756

This page has been validated.
734
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

work in this hall we do all honor, but we do not think of it as a new hall, nor a new creation. It is simply a natural outgrowth of the work of Burrill and Forbes. Ever since, in 1878, I visited the little zoölogical workshop of Dr. Forbes in the old school building at Normal, and ever since, in 1882, I saw toadstools and bacteria in the little room across the way which Dr. Burrill called his own, I have been able to prophesy the growth of this building. We care nothing for the brick building, its desks, its shelves, and its microscopes, as things in themselves. We are thinking of Forbes and Burrill. The building is only a better tool-house in which these master workmen can shelter their tools. Their work will be what it was before; and their impulse and example are our best guarantee that so long as this building stands we shall find in it master workmen. Another Forbes, another Burrill, another Rolfe shall fill the gaps when these lay down their work; and the University of Illinois shall live through the years, because the men who compose it are truthful, devoted, and strong.

 

THE FESTAL DEVELOPMENT OF ART.
By Prof. DAVID J. HILL,

PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER.

Goethe says that art is called art simply because it is not Nature. Unquestionably it has its impulse and its laws in the constitution of man. We may, therefore, accept as useful to the proper comprehension of it, in its most general sense, the definition given by Thomas Davidson: "Art is an expression of man's inner nature imprinted upon matter, so as to appeal to his senses, which deal only with matter, and through which he obtains experience." But, while every product of art is the work of human personality, neither man nor his works can be understood, or even intelligently considered, separate from Nature. He is himself a part of her, and yet he is different from any inferior part, for he alone can, in any degree, fathom the depths of natural process or formulate natural law. When, therefore, we say with the great poet-philosopher that art is called art simply because it is not Nature, we can not mean that art is in no sense a natural activity. On the contrary, while we must accept the antithesis, we must still seek the explanation of the origin and development of art in the operation of the natural forces which are present, and the natural laws which are dominant, in the nature of man; for he, although he is Nature's child, has come into possessions which are his own.

The faculty of artistic production, aided indeed by all the