School days, school days dear old golden rule days… ‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic…
Browsing through the Annual Report of the School Committee in the 1899 Town Reports, a curious title caught my eye, the Report of Supervisor of Drawing. To my amusement I read, “To the Superintendent: Great progress has been made by the youngest pupils this year, through the use of crayons.” The older children were doing quite well too, “increased facility with brush has been developed in the grammar grades” and “sustained interest and earnest effort has been manifested in the High School throughout the year.”
Some of the drawings were displayed in the 1899 State Exhibition of Drawing, which still occurs to this day and is run by the Massachusetts Art Education Association. Even more of an honor, a few of the drawings in the State Exhibition were chosen to be part of the “Massachusetts exhibit at Paris 1900.” Paris, Maine? Paris, France? Either, an honor.
If you would like to read more of The Supervisor of Drawing’s report, you will find the Annual Town Report of 1899 along with other town reports and records dating back to the 17th century in the Local History Room.
Do you have a memory from your school days or your art class to share? Please leave a comment; we’d love to hear from you. And, if you think crayons are just for kids, check out the online gallery of Don Marco, Master Crayon Artist.
Eileen B., Local History Librarian
For other historical images from the Town of Reading, visit our online digital collections at the NOBLE Digital Heritage project.