"The Practice and Science of Drawing" is an old book by Harold Speed. On one hand, it has a lot of really great info on, well, the practice and science of drawing. In the 20th century, this skillset almost went extinct as fine art focused on concept and context and deconstruction and whatnot, really only existing in a few blue collar jobs like illustration, architecture, Hollywood, and advertising. As an older manual now in the public domain, it's really quite neat that you can read it for free. I even contributed to public domain with a PD audiobook reading of it on Librivox!

On the other hand, "The Practice and Science of Drawing" is a monument to a lot of the things people hate about 19th century art. The stodgy limited viewpoint of the Academy, the elevated and unironic grandeur of Western imperialist evils, the blatant sexist male gaze, etc. Even for a wealthy white woman, good luck getting access to training, and even then if you make good art get prepared to be defined as sleeping your way into talent if you ever marry within the arts community. Harold Speed's book came out when when fauves and impressionists and modernists were getting weird, and it often insults these artists as "savages" and other poorly aged language.

My guess, based on that first image, is that the show is to some extent referential to Harold Speed's book. It includes aspects of its lesson plan, which is in fact full of useful information, while also criticizing the social norms and historic injustices that it represents.


It sounds like you do get it, it just isn't working for you. Seems valid to me. The art world would be a better place if critics agreed less.


@1 interesting context, thanks

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