New Developments: The Artist’s Dilemma by James Boswell (1947)

Author(s): James Boswell
Format: hardback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 1947
Publisher: The Bodley Head
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 64

Artist(s) Biographies:


1 available

“The Dilemma was fundamental; work commercially or starve. Since it had become impossible to paint for pleasure and survive upon income from sales, it was necessary to discover a way of earning a living which didn’t compromise principles and left sufficient time to paint for pleasure and make occasional sales. Boswell disliked the whole concept of commercial art, knew there was no alternative and sought a solution. With hindsight, there was no solution. He wrote disparagingly about commercial art in general and his distrust of art dealers. He loathed the huge, financial resources of the advertising industry which seduced artists from the straight and narrow. He worried about provincial art teachers, trapped in schools with elderly, conservative principals who persisted in maintaining the status quo, teachers who grew into elderly, conservative principals themselves because there was nowhere else to go. He was unhappy with specialist training in art schools, believing that more could be learned about drawing and design in a life class. Boswell bemoaned the pitifully small market for paintings and the habit of the buying public to spend their money on household gadgets instead. Above all, he berated the advertising industry who produced nothing of more than transient value although he excluded publishing and book production and forgave Shell and the London Passenger Transport Board, judging that Jack Beddington and Frank Pick got it right. He got a lot off his chest and for the rest of his life he lived with his Dilemma. He worked commercially in order to paint and seldom compromised his principles.” Hardback. First edition in original dust-jacket. Condition: light edge-wear to dust-jacket, otherwise very good.


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