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High Art in the Steamboat.

Apropos of the gorgeous fitting-up pf the Duke of Edinburgh for the benefited the Shah, it is interesting to learn, on the authority of a writer in the ‘ Century,’ that high art is making great advances in American steamers. “ Only a few years ago it seemed as though sordid ugliness was nowhere so firmly intrenched as in our ferryboats, while the ‘ floating palaces ’ on which we betook ourselves to Albany or Newport were synonyms for the most pretentious bad taste. There could not be a clearer sound of our progress in art than the fact that both these classes of boats are now being built to satisfy a cultivated eye as well as to transport a comfort-loving body with safety and speed.” As an instance in point, the writer mentions a New York ferryboat, the decoration of which he thus describes“ The walls in the women’s cabin are wainscoted with oak and then painted a neutral greyish green, with a band of simple Renaissance decoration in white and a little gold. Parallel with the window tops runs a cornice-strip of oak, and above this again is a simple painted frieze. The faces of the ceiling-beams are white touched with gold, and the sunk panels between repeat the tone of the oak. The seats are mahogany with arms of cherry. The windows are of plain glass, but have small spaces at the top and sides filled with olive green glass of two shades set in delicate ornamental leadings; and more of this glass gives a desirable touch of color in the lights above the wing-decks at each end. The men’s cabin is more simply but as tastefully treated. The only features which are not as good as the rest are the electric lights; but these are unobtrusive, and nowhere can we find a hint of vulgarity, ostentation, or inappropriate ornament, nor anywhere a touch of crude uglineßß—even

the placards on the walla are engrossed in simple gold letters and framed in oak. These rooms might be shown to a foreigner to prove that the American people love not only cleanliness and decency, but beauty too, and know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate kinds of beauty.”

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890914.2.31.10

Bibliographic details

High Art in the Steamboat., Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

Word Count
370

High Art in the Steamboat. Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

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