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trial section, comprising several branches, each requiring three years' study.
In 1889 the number of pupils was 217, the state subsidy 3,000 francs ($579), the provincial 1,250 francs ($241.25), and the communal 1,500 francs ($289.50). Moreover, the large proprietors of quarries of the famous Belgian bluestone aid materially in supporting an institution patronized by nearly all their workmen.
INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, VERVIERS. The industrial school at Verviers was founded in 1862, resulting from the combination in one institution of the School of Workinen and Artisans and the special classes in weaving, established in 1857 by the chamber of commerce. Instruction includes arithmetic and elementary geometry, especially from the point of view of their application to industry; linear drawing as applied to machines and mechanics; elements of physics; elements of industrial mechanics; elements of chemistry, considered in their applications to local industries, especially dyeing; the various processes of weaving; classification, composition, and analysis of fabrics; the theory of colors; ornamental drawing and drawing from nature, the composition of ornament with a view to designs for prints, damasks, velvets, carpets, shawls, and all steps necessary for adapting these designs to the loom, making samples, etc.
The first year all pupils follow the same course-arithmetic, French, and free-hand drawing. At the beginning of the second year te studies subdivide into three specialities-weaving, dyeing, mechanics and engineering. All the classes are beld in the evening except that in practical dyeing and hygiene, which meets on Sunday. On that day, also, practical instruction in darning fabrics, woollens especially, is given to young women, over a hundred of whom assemble in the Sumday morning classes. These girls are weavers, burlers, inspectors, and darners in the woollen mills, and tailoresses and dressmakers. The lessons are admirably thorough and practical, the mended places in fabrics being indistinguishable from new cloth, while pieces cut out completely are so skilfully restored as to deceive closest observers.
The weaving room is equipped with all appliances for thorough knowledge of the trade, and in both the theoretical and practical course analysis of stuffs is a specialty. Pupils completing the prescribed instruction are capable of reproducing any sample of woollen goods and telling all about it-how many threads there are in warp and woof, what numbers of yarn are used, what proportion of cotton and woollen there is, what mix and grade of materials, and how great is the strength of the requisite dyes. Most of the graduates have remunerative employment in the woollen mills of the town and province or with local and foreign cloth merchants.
In 1889 the number of enrolled pupils was 570; the state subsidy was 13,000 francs ($2,509); the provincial, 3,000 francs (579); the communal, 8,000 francs ($1,544).
The number of schools and academies of design in Belgium is remarkable. In 1889 there were 79 institutions of this character, with 13,134 pupils. In this list the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Antwerp is not included. The academy, with its 1,294 students, is by no means exclusively for artists, for, as the classification of the pupils according to their professions shows, the largest number of any one trade were decorative painters (141), while professional artists numbered only 114, and carpenters, architects, engravers, tailors, machinists, moulders, jewellers, and artisans of other trades abounded.
The Belgians have always been keenly alive to the fact that it is far from sufficient to train mere designers for special fields of industry, but that appreciative knowledge of art principles must be diffused among the people in order to create a demand for good work and to stimulate artists and artisans to the highest standards. The mere wage earning value of art—notwithstanding that great stress is laid on it—is held to be secondary to the deeper significance of art in the life of a people; and in Belgium, true art is an ever-present, dominating idea, however much its universal application to industry may spring from commercial acumen.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the principal cities boast fine drawing schools conserving all the old and high traditions which are the pride of the people. To deal properly with art education in Belgium would require a separate treatise; and this report concerns itself only with the classes in industrial drawing existing in almost every school for drawing (école de dessin), and open both day and evening.
Women as well as men share all these advantages in art. At the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, as elsewhere, the young women do excellent work and carry off many prizes. Night classes are most numerously patronized, and the attendance is
At the Brussels academy colored objects as well as casts are much used as models, and alongside each model is a history or explanation of it printed in large letters, which the student is required to learn. The aim of all instruction is to develop the pupil's individuality, the master giving free rein to the student's interpretation instead of seeking to impose his own stamp. After the first year the courses are specialized according to the end to be gained. Attached to the academy is a superb museum of art curios, ancient and modern, freely drawn on for comparison between former and present artistic achievements, and used to stimulate the application of art to industry, thus inciting the emulation of the learner.
Besides its noble academy Brussels possesses three other great drawing schools under large staffs of able teachers, with instruction suited to every branch of high and applied art—in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode, and Ixelles, the three most progressive communes.
For the first year the instruction is of a general kind and followed by all who enter. Emerging from these preparatory classes the student is guided to some extent in his next step by his life work or trade. If he is or wants to be a mechanic, he turns to mechanical drawing; if a machinist, he draws models of machines; if a cabinetmaker, he adapts and originates furniture; if an architect, buildings of all kinds and art history occupy him; if a decorator, he remains longer in the elementary classes and pushes his studies further in the higher courses.
The secret of the success of these institutions is found in the circumstance that great artists and skilled artisans are secured to teach in the industrial and art schools.
The smallest group of students pursuing any technical study-as, for instance, four or five young men learning cabinetmaking, or as many would-be ornamental iron workers-get the instruction of a specialist, an eminent specialist at that, and are not compelled to fall back for teaching on the master of general drawing. The professor of mechanical drawing is more probably than not a successful engineer and bridge. builder. Over the modelling rooms one of the famous sculptors of the day will preside, whose mere presence is an inspiration.
Nearly every professor wears a government decoration for special attainments in some one line which is his main pursuit. The directors of these schools are, as a rule, of high repute in the world of art achievement.
At the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean school of design, in the poorest quarter of Brussels, attended by 600 pupils who are, almost without exception, workingmen and lads in blouse and wooden shoes, the small class in architectural drawing has been conducted for fifteen years by the ar. chitect who finished the famous law courts (palais de justice) when the man who designed and commenced the building died. This professor is now assisting the king's own architect in the restoration of the royal palace at Laeken, and will probably in time succeed that functionary, as he stands practically at the head of his profession.
The drawing school at Soignies employs professors from the Brussels academy; and in the Bok faience works at La Louvière the little drawing school for pottery decoratorsis taught by the same proficient masters. In the trade school for girls, rue du Marais, Brussels, the porcelain painting classes are conducted by one of the foremost artists in the city. Nor does the employment of these specialists interfere with the remarkably economical administration of the schools; for, so small are salaries as a rule in Belgium, and so overcrowded is every avenue to a remunerative livelihood, that capable men are not unwilling to give several hours a week for what Americans consider paltry pay. Besides, these teachers believe in thorough work ; they are interested in education, and willing to advance the standards and achievements in art by personal participation in the drudgery of preparation essential to success. With men like Portaels and Baes at the head of the Brussels academy and painters of great worth and repute in charge of the drawing schools in almost every city, the supremacy of art in Belgium will not decline.
The Commercial Institute (L'Institut Supérieur de Commerce) at Antwerp is the only one of its kind in Belgium. As its name implies, it is designed to fit pupils for commercial pursuits. The institute was opened in December 1853. The teaching staff consists of the director, professors, and the chief of the bureau of commerce with his assistants.
The course of instruction, which is both theoretical and practical, lasts two years. No subject of commercial importance is omitted from the plan of study. Attention is bestowed upon the minutest particulars, and the whole character of the teaching is practical as well as thorough.
During the first year five hours a week are devoted to banking, commercial accounts, bills of exchange, contracts, commercial insurance, correspondence in French, Dutch, English, and German, with special reference to buying and selling of merchandise, consignments, etc.
In the same year two hours a week are allotted to the study of the history of commercial products. This course is pursued with great advantage, as the collections in the museum connected with the insti. tute are freely used to illustrate every branch of the subject.
The products of the mineral kingdom, for example, are first considered. In this connection arsenical preparations are studied; then phosphorus; carbon and its compounds, coke, anthracite and soft coal, animal charcoal, petroleum and its derivatives; iodine, bromine, mineral acids, etc.
Then metallic substances-potash, soda, magnesia, etc., with iron, zinc, lead, antimony, bismuth, mercury, silver, and their compounds, ard gold, platinum, etc., are studied.
Vegetable products come next, and all commercial roots, barks, woods, bulbs, seeds, flowers, and fruits, together with textile fibres, such as cotton, hemp, flax, etc., are carefully and practically considered.
Political economy and statistics occupy two hours a week of the student's time throughout the first year. Under this head he is made acquainted with the object of political economy, concerning production, examination of the causes of the greater or less productivity in different places, concerning value, of money, of credit, of the equalization of production with consumption, of international commerce, of the forms of production, of the distribution of wealth, of the modes in which governments procure the necessary resources for the expenses of the public service, of statistics, their object, their use, their character, their divisions, etc.
Commercial and industrial geography receives attention for three hours a week during the first year of the course, including the topographical situation of the country, the nature of its soil, its mineral, vegetable, and animal resources; its political and social institutions, and their influence upon the prosperity of the place; the principal products of cach locality; tables of exports; the principal products demanded in return by each place; imports; character of the economic legislation and customs duties of each place; obstacles and facilities to commerco; tastes and habits of the people in their relations to commerce; description in detail of the principal places of commerce, their importance, etc.
One hour a week, in the first year's course, is devoted to the principles of commercial law. Three hours a week are likewise consumed in the study of the German language; especially is the terminology of the principal articles of commerce thoroughly familiarized. Commercial correspondence and conversation in German are encouraged; while, at the same time, the commerce of Germany, the customs duties, the laws, the boards of trade, the banks, and the chambers of commerce are fully investigated. Three hours a week are also devoted to English studies of a similar kind. The Dutch language receives the same attention, This course is obligatory for all Belgian pupils. Optional Spanish and Italian lessons are also provided.
In the second year the same studies are pursued further, and with the like painstaking thoroughness. Such training raises commercial pursuits to the rank and dignity of the learned professions.
At the end of the second year of study the pupils are examined by a committee composed of seven members named by the government, and receive the diploma of licentiate in commercial science.
The institute has a well selected library of about 5,000 volumes, comprising works on law, political economy, statistics, accounts, chemistry, history, geography, literature, etc., of various countries. There is also a chemical laboratory where pupils are taught analysis, and especially commercial analysis (as to strength, purity, adulterations, etc.).
The museum of the institute is provided with an abundance of specimens and collections of great value for purposes of instruction; and the government aids essentially in the formation of such collections by instructing its diplomatic agents and consuls to keep this object in view.
The annual expenses of the institute amount to 85,000 francs (816,405). The receipts consist of a state subsidy, 45,000 francs ($8,685); a city subsidy, 15,000 francs ($2,895); tuition fees, 25,000 francs ($4,825). According to Bertiaux the attendance from 1853 to 1889 was 3,879. Of this number 2,255 were Belgians and 1,624 foreigners.
During the existence of the school 398 Belgian ex-students have become heads (les chefs), or assistants in banks or commercial houses.