Chapter 21 » 21.29


Robin Tanner (1904–1988), for much of his life an inspector of education responsible for arts and crafts in primary schools, was himself a gifted teacher and an artist of great distinction.

The history of the protest of early Friends against excess and ostentatious superfluity is fascinating. It is easy to ridicule their apparent denial of the Arts; yet it must be admitted that, certainly visually, out of it there was born an austere, spare, refreshingly simple beauty… What is hopeful is that in the Society there is no finality; we can laugh at ourselves and go on learning. As long as we are given to constant revision there is hope for us. Special pleading for the Arts is no longer needed. They are not viewed, as they once were, as a distraction from God. Rather they are seen as a manifestation of God.


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