June 30, 2011

You Can Only Breed Mediocrity

Wake Up America!, 1917
by James Montgomery Flagg
Propaganda poster from the collection 

From a 1938 letter written to the New York Herald Tribune by James Montgomery Flagg:

"There are no art teachers. Art cannot be taught. Artists are born that way. They educate themselves, or else they do not become educated .... I happen to have been born an artist. Ask anyone who doesn't know. I wasted six years of my young life in art schools. As far as any benefit accruing to me from them - I was working on the outside all the time, anyway. Nothing but total disability or death could have stopped me. I had to be an artist - I was born that way .... You can't breed an artist. You can only breed mediocrity."

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