Woman in Art/Foreword - Wikisource, the free online library


The desire in penning these pages is to present art in its practical application to life, character building, culture, as seen in retrospect of the pageant of art development through past ages to the present century. It is not a history of art in its entirety, but tends to represent the development of woman from the primitive age as we first discover her, and to use that discovery and its era as the zero mark from which to note her development and progress in our world of today.

Nor is it the purpose to trace illustrative progress by "schools," so called, but rather by individuals and epochs that have proved to be history-making, and influential, even in small ways, toward the universal progress in art and the uplift of the world.

Beauty in art is, and must ever be, more than a delight to the eye. The evolution of character and beauty, hence the uplifting of the race, has been recorded in the world's art from remotest ages, and it is the sequence of such unfolding that we have attempted to follow.

Like family history, such art is interesting to look back upon, and like family history it has its ups and downs, its high lights and shadows, its pride and humiliation. In slight suggestions the subject thus treated measures the bygones to our present, and gives an optimistic view of the future of our race.

Art is no small factor in the record of advancement. It is cause and effect, reactionary on human development, and it is our aim to show the work and influence of woman in this development, although the dark and forbidding cold of ignorance and adverse circumstances, has retarded the full flowering and fruition of her sacred mission.