Page:American Anthropologist NS vol. 1.djvu/22

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stant cognition of such forms will produce a habit of forming judgments of beauty about them which ultimately become intuitive. Color becomes the symbol of form because color is on the surface and is indicative of surface and thus expresses figure; but there is nothing in colors themselves which makes them either beautiful or ugly. Every color is beautiful when it seems appropriate; every color is ugly when it seems inappropriate. Particular colors seem to be particularly beautiful because we have associated them with particularly beautiful things, while the very same colors will be considered particularly ugly when they recall things which we conceive to be ugly. Form or the symbol of form is beautiful or ugly only when it produces in the mind that effect by reason of the standpoint of the perceiver; that is, properties have not qualities in themselves, but qualities arise when we consider properties in relation to purposes.

With the sense of vision, the human mind having come to a knowledge of its power in transforming the environment by minute increments, gradually so transforms it for the pleasures of decoration. Exercising activities in making artificial transformations, human beings develop the sense of the beautiful and the ugly in qualities of art and transfer them to the properties of nature. In the evolution of decoration everywhere we find that it proceeds by degree of organization, that is, by the differentiation and integration of its elements. This is beautifully illustrated in architecture, where a monotonous multiplication of like elements is replaced by figures of differentiated elements. No longer is a uniform facade recognized as beautiful, but a variety of features in a variety of elements must be presented in order that a temple, a mart, an executive building, or a business structure may be considered as a pleasing example of architecture. Variety is now considered one of the essential elements of beauty.


In the esthetic arts we have to consider the pleasure derived from physical activity. In these arts appeal is made to the mus-