Musings on Being the Artist of Your Day

Tag: Robert Henri

What Inspired ArtSpirit7?

I have to admit, I’ve done a rotten job of telling the story of ArtSpirit7. In case you missed the posting I wrote about the book, The Art Spirit, I will take this opportunity to briefly explain how I came to write this blog under the name ArtSpirit7.

This name was chosen partly because “ArtSpirit” was already taken, so I added the “7” to the end since I am the seventh child in my family and it sounded catchy. Many moons ago I studied painting at The Art Students League in New York, which is where Robert Henri taught (in the 1920s) long before I was at the League. The Art Spirit is a book compiled by Margery A. Ryerson of the essential beliefs and theories of a great teacher and artist Robert Henri.

The first mention of the art spirit is in the first page of the book:

“Museums of art will not make a country an art country. But where there is the art spirit there will be precious works to fill museums. Better still, there will be the happiness that is in the making. Art tends towards balance, order, judgment of relative values, the laws of growth, the economy of living – very good things for anyone to be interested in.”

A View from the Statue of Liberty

From Liberty

Photo by Mary Gow

When I was studying at the Art Students League in New York, I took this photo one overcast August day. Long before I was at the League, Robert Henri taught there. The book after which this blog is named, The Art Spirit, is a compilation of Henri’s lectures, notes, and readings. Thank you, Mr. Henri, for helping me see better.

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