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William Richards Castle William Roscoe Thayer.

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And finally, no record of the activities at Harvard's Art Museum
wonld be at all adequate, if emphasis were not laid on the remarkable
series of special loan exhibitions which Mr. Forbes has arranged in
recent years. These exhibitions have afforded him and Professors Chase,
Pope, Post, and Edgell, as well as Miss Dudley, Assistant in charge of
Prints, an opportunity for a series of instructive talks to students and the
larger public. Since 1911 there have been nineteen such special exhibi-
tions of paintings and prints. At least seven of these have been of unusual
significance. I refer to the exhibition, in 1911, of the work of Degas ; in
1912 and 1913 to the exhibitions of German 15th and 16th century
engravings ; to an exhibition of Oriental works of art ; to a memorable
Turner exhibition ; and in 1914, to the splendid exhibition of Italian
primitive paintings, which from February 26 to March 18 attracted al-
most 3000 visitors. In the current academic year there have thus far
been two largely attended exhibitions of real importance ; one of early
Italian engravings, and another of Spanish paintings, which has just
closed.

In addition to these special loan exhibitions, there has been i^ steady
and increasing stream of highly important loans of single pictures, sent
to the Museum, one at a time for varying periods, by a variety of well-
wishers. This wise and generous encouragement greatly stimulates the
teaching staff. In this way there have passed through the Museum
since 1911 no less than 72 different paintings, 16 original drawings, and
34 miscellaneous works of art, such as a 15th century Grothic chest,
Italian and Persian manuscripts, a Chinese marble head, and many
other rare and interesting things. To enumerate all of the paintings that
have thus come one at a time is not necessary, but the mention of just
a few will indicate the general character and importance of all, namely :
two paintings by Van der Weyden, a Fra Angelico, a Paolo Ucello, a
Piero del Franceschi, a Ghirlandajo, a Cima da Conigliano, a Tintoretto,
a number of £1 Grecos, two paintings by Velasquez, a Hals and a Rae-
bum.

In this record of substantial achievement I have only hinted by in-
direction at the spirit of joyous enthusiasm which animates the entire



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424 Fogg Art MuBeum. [Harcli,

Department It cannot fail to inspire the stadent bodj. It maj be fairly
said that the Moseom itself, with its splendid collections of original works
of art, has, silently perhaps, but none the less effectiyely, sopplemented
the solid achievements of a scientifically trained corps of teachers.

It is clear then that the activities of recent years afford gronnd for
great satisfaction. Above all, they hold oat the promise of the right sort
of progress for the futare. A Fine Arts Museum at Harvard should
occupy as distinct a place in the life of the University as does the library.
In addition to worthy acquisitions its activity should be scholarly, in di-
rect and indirect ways. In conjunction with the conrses of instruction it
should serve as a laboratory for the training, not only of well-informed
laymen and' of competent teachers, but also of a gronp of scholars pre-
pared to play their part in the direction of municipal museums through-
out the country. In this, as in other fields of human knowledge, Har^'ard
should- maintain its leadership. Priceless works of arts from the Far East
and from Europe continue to find new resting-places in this country. They
are likely to come in an increasing stream after the war. They gravitate
first into private hands ; sooner or later the public receives them. Their
proper handling vdll require the trained intelligence of a class of experts
of whom thus far our universities have produced too few of distinction.

Some of the Harvard men already engaged in this service left Cam-
bridge long before the modem Fogg Art Museum, with its fine collec-
tions of original works of art, was equipped to exert its influence in their
training, by supplementing their course of study and instruction. I refer
to those among Museum leaders like Robinson and Lythgoe, of the Met-
ropolitan ; Guest, of Cincinnati ; Gentner, of Worcester ; Beisner, Dun-
ham, Carter, and Lodge, of Boston. Fortunately, a younger generation
of Museum men, of the stamp of Brack, Friedley, and Wetzel, also bear
witness to Harvard's leadership in this interesting field.

Not long ago Minneapolis called Breck, one of the recent Harvard
graduates, into its service, to take full charge of its richly endowed mu-
seum. He is building it up from the very foundations. The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, in New York, values the services of Friedley, another
recent graduate, who is taking the place of Dr. Yalentiner during a tem-
porary absence. So elsewhere, in every prosperous municipality in the
land, in the next ten years the call is likely to come for thoroughly
equipped curators and directors. Harvard must maintain its leadership
in this new profession, the dignity of which is as yet imperfectly under-
stood. Harvard must realize now, that if the preparation it offers is to be
adequate, the student should have daily access to original works of art in
every field. This cannot be stated too frequently. Large nombers of
original examples are not needed, but a few of the best are essentiaL



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1916.] Final Extetmon of Franchise for Overseers. 425

Other activities, perhaps less obvious, should be fostered. Jost as in
England, GeiTuany, France, and Italy, so here, a steady stream of pub-
lication, the result of original research, should flow from the University
Museum. Harvard should aspire to offer scholars the best facilities for
such constructive work, and to do so must, I repeat, see to it that, as stu-
dents in the formative period, they come into contact with well-chosen
originals.

The Fogg Museum should afford graduate students opportunity for
work in the field. Under its auspices the most promising men and women
(Harvard graduates and others), after their return from the schools at'
Athens and at Rome, should be encouraged to continue work of excava-
tion and exploration in Greece, India, Central Asia, China, Japan, and
elsewhere. The results- of their labors should subsequently be sent forth
as Museum publications, and the physical finds, as largely as may be,
should become the property of the University for exhibition purposes and
for further study at home.

Foreign scholars of distinction should, with increasing frequency, be
invited to lecture to the teaching staff and the students.

And finally, the Museum itself should be enlarged so as properly to
house the growing collections ; so as to. afford adequate facilities for loan
exhibitions of old masterpieces as well as of the best contemporary work.
All the work of the Fine Arts Department should be concentrated under
one roof. There should be adequate room, in this enlarged and remod'
eled building, for instruction in the practice of painting and drawing,
advanced as well as elementary. The equipment should be ample, so that
similar opportunities may be afforded the secondary schools of Cam-
bridge. In this way the Museum may still further serve the growing
community.

Such a program for sound expansion in many directions requires funds.
A reasonable endowment is essential if the work is to be carried on vig-
orously, intelligently.

It is the hope of Mr. Forbes and all those who are deeply interested
in the future of the Fogg Art Museum that this support may be forth-
coming soon.

THE FINAL EXTENSION OF THE FRANCHISE TO VOTE
FOR OVERSEERS.

DR. G. B. SHATTUCK, '63.

The Board of Overseers of Harvard College was established in 1642,
and until 1650, when a charter was granted and the President and Fel*
lows became the Corporation, was the sole governing body. Even then.



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426 Fi7ial Extension of Franchise for Overseers. [March,

until 1657, all orders and by-laws of the Corporation required the con-
sent of the Overseers. From 1780 until 1810 the Board of Overseers was
composed practically of the Grovernor, Lieutenant^€rovernor, Council, and
Senate of Massachusetts, and the Congregational ministers of certain
specified towns.

In 1810, 1843, and 1851 changes were made in the composition of the
Board, and in 1865 in the electorate, which was transferred from the
Legislature to the bachelors and masters of arts and holders of honorary
degrees. This Act of 1865, sometimes spoken of as the palladium of the
liberties and the safeguard of the existence almost of the College, has
been twice amended. An amendment was passed in 1880, by which per*
sons not inhabitants of Massachusetts, and otherwise qualified, were made
eligible as Overeeers. The important and far-reaching possibilities of this
amendment were perhaps not entirely appreciated at the time ; at any
rate, it met comparatively littie opposition, though really effecting a
radical change in the Board of Overseers.

Again in 1889 the Act of 1865 was amended so as to permit of the
introduction of the Australian ballot system at Cambridge on Commence-
ment Day.

So much, in brief, for the past history of changes touching the Board
of Overseers, and the mode of its election. It will be noted that the
changes have always been in the direction of a broader and more liberal
eligibility to the Board of Overseers, of a broader and more liberal elec-
torate, in accordance with tiie development of the College and the devel-
opment of the country and the community which it serves. This the writer
holds has been both wise and natural.

Let us now turn to the story of the movement for the extension of the
franchise for electing the Overseers to gi*aduates of all departments of
the Univewity.

As late as 1865 Harvard was in substance a college and not a univer-
sity. In 1869 Mr. Eliot was elected President of Harvard College. He
immediately began to preside at the meetings of all the Faculties, and
gradually the same relations which had previously existed between the
two governing boards — the Corporation and the Overseers — and the
Academic Department or College were extended to all departments of
what has become both in fact and in name a University, one of the great
universities of this country.

In 1881 President Eliot threw out a suggestion, in a short paper in
King's Harvard Register^ that the privilege of voting for Overseers
might suitably and advantageously be extended to all Harvard graduates.
The following extract is taken from this paper written thirty-five years
ago:



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1916.] Final Bxteiision of Franc?iise for Overseer9*\ 427

In 1865 the exolosion of the graduatM of the Sohools of Diyinity, Law, Medicine,
and Scienoe from all participation in the election of the Overseers could be readily
explained and justified. The CoUegre was the only department \7hi0h refused to admit
uneducated persons, enforced upon its students a long residence in common, and offered
some reasonable guarantee that most of its graduates were educated men. . . . Within
the past ten years, howeyer, the Professional Schools have undergone such transfer-
maidens, that many of the differences between them and the GoUege which were so
striking in 1865, no longer exist. Thus every department of the Uniyersity, except the
Dental School and the Bnssey Institution, now has an effective examination for ad>
mission ; every department, except the Dental School, has a course of study covering
at least three years ; and every department gives its degree only upon thorough exam-
inatiou. Moreover, the student life in common exists in the Professional Schools to a
much higher degree than formerly, and an admirable spirit of strenuous work per-
vades them all. Finally, the interest which the recent graduates of the Professional
Schools feel in the University and its management is quite as strong as that of the
graduates of the College, and is quite as likely to be productive of good to the insti-
tution.

Though the subject of more or less outside discussion during the inter->
vening years, the matter of extension did not come before the Board of ^
Overseers until 1887. In that year a petition from certain representatives
of the Lawrence Scientific School asking for the privilege of the fran-
chise was received by the Overseers. A committee consisting of three
lawyers was appointed by the Overseers to consider and report upon this
petition. This committee repoited in 1888 through its chairman, Roger
Wolcott, in favor of extending the franchise. The report was laid on the
table, nineteen members of the Board being present.

In 1889 petitions were received by the Overseers from the Divinity,
Law, Medical, and Scientific Schools and from the Law School Alumni
Association. Another committee of the Overseers was appointed, g^ve
hearings, and reported on these petitions. A majority report of two,
Messrs. G. O. Shattuck and Edmund Wetmore, was unfavorable to ex-
tension ; a minority report of one, Dr. H. P. Walcott, favored extension.
The minority report was rejected : sixteen members of the Board were
present, and the vote stood 10 to 6. The majority report on this occasion
based its opposition to extension partly on the ground that, if enfran-
chised, the graduates of the Schools could not share in the hospitality of
the College in Memorial Hall on Commencement Day, and would go
away chilled.

In 1891, on petitions from the Law School Alumni Association, the
Medical Faculty, and graduates of the Medical School not having the
Harvard A.B., another committee of the Overseers was appointed, which
returned a unanimous report in favor of a restricted extension. This
report, signed by J. T. Morse, Jr., Dr. Geo. B. Shattuck, and Francis
Bawle, was rejected 15 to 9, twenty-four members being present In
1893, on petitions from the Law School Alumni Association and from



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428 FincU Extension of Franchise for Overeeere. [March,

alumni of the Lawrence Scientific School, another eommittoe of tlie
Overseers was appointed. This committee, after hearings and delibera-
tion, retomed through its chairman, Charles J. Bonaparte, another report
in favor of restricted extension of the franchise. The report was re-
jected by a vote of 11 to 8, twenty members of the Board being present
and the chairman not voting.

In 1896 a petition from the Medical Alumni Association was referred
to the committee on Elections, consisting of Messrs. 6. O. Shattuck,
Moorfield Storey, B. M. Morse, and E. Wetmore. The committee made
short work of it, and briefly reported, " No action is advisable." This
report was laid on the table, and when subsequently taken from the
table was sustained by a tie vote of 13 to 13, the chairman voting in the
negative, twenty-six members being present

In 1898, on a petition received the previous year from the Medical
Alumni Association, the subject was again considered in the Board, and
at last a vote in favor of extending the franeliise was obtained. The vote
stood 13 to 10 ; twenty-five members were present, but Uie chairman
and one other member did not vote. This vote was taken in January,
but a subsequent vote, taken in March, stood 18 to 7 in favor, — twenty-
six members being present

In accordance with this vote in January, a committee of the Over-
seers, consisting of Robert Grant, Geo. B. Shattuck, Arthur T. Lyman,
David W. Cheever, and Greo. A. Gt)rdon, was appointed to draw up and
present to tiie Legislature a bill for the enactment of an amendment to
the Act of 1866 granting the franchise to all graduates of Harvard
University of five years' standing.

Meanwhile, in December, 1897, the University Council took a vote on
the extension of the suffrage. The University Council consisted of the
President, Professors, and Assistant Professors of the University and of
a few other University officials of equal rank, such as the Librarian, the
Assistant Librarian, the Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology,
and the Curator of the Gray Herbarium. The result of this vote was :
Yes, 107 ; No, 8 ; expressly declined to vote, 3 ; did not vote, 11. Two
of the negative votes were qualified.

Let us now sum up briefly the course of the consideration of this ques-
tion in the Board of Overseers during the ten years of its constant recur-
rence. It was reported on five times by different committees and voted
on seven times. The committees were composed largely of lawyers, the
names of only two '* doctors " appearing upon them. Of the four full re-
ports, made after hearings and due deliberation, three were unanimous
reports in favor, and one divided, — the majority opposed and the min-
ority in favor. The petitions to the Overseers began with the Lawrence



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1916.] Final Bxtension of FranchUe for Over$eers. 429

Seieiiii6c School, and eama indiseriminatolj from that School and from
the Law, the Medical, and the DtTinity Sdiook. There were gradually
increaaing y<^8, especially at fall meetings of the Board, in favor of
extension. At the last meeting at which a vote was taken, in March,
1898, twen^ members oat of a possible thirty-two were shown to be
&vorable to extension.

In 1897 and in 1898, the question of extension was referred to the
Alamni for a postal baUot, with the result in 1897 of 1769 Totes in
favor and 1359 against ; and in 1898 of 1481 in favor and 2782 against.
This first vote of the Alamni and that of the Overseers, 18 to 7, sup-
porting them, the committee of the Overseers went to the Legislature
witli their bill, which was referred to tlie Committee on Education, which
reported the bill unanimously, but it was ultimately lost in the Senate,
being referred to the next General Court by a majority of two. Some
members of the Senate frankly, though somewhat cynically, stated that
the bill was a good bill, its provisions were meritorious, but as it was not
a public measure they felt at liberty to discharge personal obligations.

It was not believed, by those who advocated the extension of the fran-
chise for Overseers to all graduates of the University, that the quality of
the Board of Overseers, or the influence of the controlling body of the
electorate, then residing in Eastern Massachusetts, would be essentially
modified by such extension. On the other hand, they believed it to be
a fair and serviceable measure, by which many graduates all over the
country, who become useful and valuable citizens, would receive a yearly
reminder of their continued attachment to the University, a reminder
that their connection had not ceased with the receipt of a degree.

After the defeat of this Overseers' bill by the Senate, the question of
extension of the franchise slumbered until the year 1902, when the Mas-
sachusetts Legislature passed an act enabling the Corporation and Board
of Overseers, after three years from the acceptance of the act by them,
to determine whether any, and, if any, what degrees beyond those
already specified should entitle the recipients of them to vote for Over-
seers. In 1907 the two boards, acting under this authorization, extended
the suffrage to holders of degrees conferred, upon the recommendations
of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, upon the graduates of the Lawrence
Scientific School, of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and
holders of the degree of Bachelor of Science eonf erred after residence
in Harvard College. This action, thongh extending very much the limits
of the suffrage, still left out such important departments of the Univer-
sity as the Law, Medical, and Divinity Schools.

This situation since 1902 had attracted the attention of members of
the Associated Harvard Clubs; the question was discussed at the annual



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430 Final Extennon of Fraw^hiBefor Overseer$. [March,

gatherings, especially at that of 1902 in Cincinnati. A growing Benti*
ment in favor of a general extension manifested itself, and finally, at the
meeting of 1914, a special committee appointed for the pnrpose rendered
an excellent comprehensive report on the general subject The following
resolution, presented by this committee, was unanimously adopted :

Resolved, That the AaBociated Harvard Clubs believe that it would be a wise and
proper development of a polioy already inaugurated to grant to all holden of Harvard
degrees the right to vote for Overseers, under the same restriotaons under whieh
bachelors of arts now exerdse that privilege.

At a meeting of the Board of Overseers, June 24, 1915, at the re-
quest, and upon the motion of President Lowell, and after debate, the
Board voted to refer to the Executive Committee consideration of the
question of extending the suffrage for the election of Overseers, with
instructions to report thereon at a future meeting of the Board.

At the next meeting of the Board of Overseers, held September 27,
1915, the Secretary of the Board communicated a letter from Mr. Albert
T. Perkins, President of the Associated Harvard Clubs, of May 8, 1915,
addressed to the President of the Board, calling his attention to a report
of a committee of the Associated Harvard Clubs in 1914 to investigate
the advisability of extending the right to vote for Overseers, together
with the resolution, as printed above, and requesting that this resolution
be referred to the Board of Overseers for such consideration as they
should see fit to give it After debate, upon the motion of Senator Lodge,
the letter and resolution were referred to the Executive Committee of
the Board, with instructions to ascertain what, if any, action had been
taken upon the question of extending the right to vote for Overseers by
the Harvard Alumni Association, and to report thereon at a subsequent
meeting of the Board.

At the next meeting of the Board of Overseers, November 22, 1915,
Mr. Frothingham presented the report of the Executive Committee on
the question of a further extension of the right to TOte for Overseers,
unanimously recommending such extension to all holders of degrees here-
tofore or hereafter granted by the University, and after debate thereon,
upon the motion of President Eliot, the Board voted unanimously to ac-
cept the report, to assent in principle to the extension of the suffrage, and
to communicate this vote to the President and Fellows, that they might
take action thereon if they should see fit.

At the next meeting of the Board of Overseers, January 10, 1916, the
President of the University communicated the following vote (drawn up
by Mr. Fish of the Overseers) of the President and Fellows of Novem-
ber 29, 1915:



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1916.] An Exponent of the Harvard Spirit. 431

The President and Fellows of Harrard College, at a meeting called for that purpose,
acting under the authority conferred by Act of the Legislature of Massachusetts,
Chapter 243 of the Acts of 1902, hereby determine that the recipients of all degrees
heretofore or hereafter granted by HarTard College, other than the recipients of the
degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Honorary Degrees, whose rights are
fixed by Chapter 173 of the Acts of 1866 as amended, shall be entitled to yote for Orer-
seers to the same extent to which recipients of the d^^ree of Bachelor of Arts may now
so yote and under the same restrictions.

And it was voted that this Board, acting nnder the authority conferred
hy said Act of the Legislature of Massachusetts, Chapter 243 of the Acts
of 1902^ and at this meeting called for said purpose, hereby, concur-
rently with said President and Fellows, determines that the recipients
of all degrees heretofore or hereafter granted by Harvard College, other
than the recipients of the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts,
and Honorary Degrees, whose rights are fixed by Chapter 173 of the
Acts of 1865 as amended, shall be entitled to vote for Overseers to the
same extent to which recipients of the degree of Bachelor of Arts may
now so vote and under the same restrictions.

Thus passed to final enactment, without debate and without a dissent-
ing vote, what remained to complete a measure of which it was said by
the President of the University, speaking at the Commencement dinner
in 1898, that this franchise question had stirred the Alumni as they had
never been stirred before ; and of which one of its most active opponents
declared about the same time in print in this Magaaine^ that the franchise
movement involved no less an issue than the existence of Harvard Col-



Online LibraryWilliam Richards Castle William Roscoe ThayerThe Harvard graduates' magazine → online text (page 59 of 103)