London (May. 11)
Professor Sir William Rothenstein, the Principal of the Royal College of Arts, opened to-day a pottery centre at the Jews’ Free School, in which the boys are receiving instruction in pottery work, both hand-moulded and wheel-thrown.
A pottery centre, Sir William said, is a new departure and a welcome one for a boys’ school, for it was the first business of the country to look after creative work. I am one of those who believe that the more people who live out of offices the better. As an unpractical artist, I have met many businessmen on committees, and a more muddle-headed, inaccurate and unpractical people I have yet to meet.
We artists, Sir William went on, are useful in that we consider life from the point of view of the pursuit of truth for its own sake, and it is therefore important in the Jewish community, which has a reputation of being composed of those incompetent people we call businessmen that this creative side should be developed.
Sir William recalled the paintings he had made of Jewish themes in the old Brick Lane Synagogue thirty years ago. He was looked upon with suspicion at that time, he said, With the exception of Mr. Solomon J. Solomon, there were scarcely any Jewish artists at that time, but with the spread of education and with the freeing of the Jews from the old disadvantages, there was an increasing number of Jewish artists.
The Jewish race is becoming again more respected, Sir William said, because people are realising that there are real honest members of the race who are pursuing truth for its own sake.
Mr. Anthony de Rothschild who presided, spoke of Sir William’s great artistic work, and in particular the scenes of Jewish life he had painted many years ago. Mr. Barnett Janner, M.P. also spoke.