During most of the nineteenth century, drawing was considered a skill to be learned and practiced. Drawing was an important ability not only in the world of art, but in the world of genteel society. Being able to draw allowed people to complete their everyday responsibilities, as well as establish a higher social status. Accomplishments in the arts and literature helped distinguish people from lower classes. Boys with good drawing skills were considered gentlemen and had a future profession in engineering or architecture. Technology was another context in which being able to draw had advantages. Because it was expensive for manufacturers to hire trained draftsmen and designers, legislation allowed the teaching of drawing in local schools in 1860. Shortly after this legislation, Massachusetts merchants and manufacturers petitioned the government for free evening drawing classes in order to benefit society as a whole. U.S. Commissioner of Education Henry Barnard stressed drawing was the key to industrial advancement.
I believe everyone can learn to draw! Through this blog, I will be presenting my research of comparing methods for teaching drawing throughout history.