Why tradition matters

by Sydney Franklin


"I think you may expect me to say "Throw away traditions," but that I cannot do. I feel that we must hold tradition closely, it is our great background; as a matter of fact, good technique is born of tradition. We cannot start each generation at the beginning in our mastery of workmanship. The big universal progress in art moves on the wings of tradition. The nervousness about tradition in American springs from the fact that we have used it too much in place of imagination, in place of solid practical though. Tradition has made us a little lazy about our own needs and our own aspirations. I feel that we should use tradition, not be used by it."
- Bertram Goodhue, The Craftsman