Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Peasant Arts Guild - an advert

In a 1912 Peasant Arts Fellowship paper, there is a page setting out the beliefs of the Peasant Arts Guild.  The subheading explains ""The true strength of a Nation lies in the spiritual and economic welfare of its Peasantry.""

by Blount, Godfrey, from
Arbor Vitae, Fifield, 1899

"The Peasant Arts Guild has for its object the re-creation and the re-vitalising of the social and personal life of the country folk, leaving to other organisations the equally necessary and important matters of land, housing, and wages, all of which problems must be satisfactorily solved if the country is to be saved in the only way possible- through its peasantry.

The stagnation of the country village must be broken up or its younger members and new settlers cannot be expected to resist the false lure of the towns; the Handicrafts of the people, which of old provided outlet for their artistic and creative instincts, must be restored, interesting occupations and recreations must be placed within their reach, and of a kind which (unlike mere show-gazing) will draw out their own faculties and reveal within themselves the seeds of happiness.

All these things can be done with the co-operation of a few of the more influential members of a village who will be willing to share some of their advantages with their poorer neighbours.
by Blount, Godfrey, from
Arbor Vitae, Fifield, 1899

Advice as to how to set to work will gladly given by the Peasant Arts Guild, which is also ready to send out trained teachers of Spinning, Weaving and Vegetable Dyeing, Toy Making, Wood Carving, etc. and to make suggestions for the introduction of such Country Arts as Folk Dancing, Folk Singing, Traditional Festivals, Games, etc.

Pupils can be taken in the Guild's School of Handicrafts and it is hoped that through the missionary zeal of some of these pupils, brightness and interest may be carried into many a village home where now is so frequently heard the complaint that "there is nothing to do" in the long winter evenings.

Inquiries will be welcomed and all particulars given upon application to

The Secretary of the Peasant Arts Guild
17, Duke Street, Manchester Square,
London, W."

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