THE Advocate in its last number has touched upon a timely subject in connection with the probable disposition of the Fogg bequest, which was given with a view of providing the University with a suitable Museum of Fine Arts. We are thoroughly in sympathy with the writer of the article. However admirable is the spirit which prompted the head of the Fine Arts Department to recommend a postponement of the erection of the proposed building, we cannot overlook certain reasons which seem to us to outweigh his objections. To wait fifteen or twenty years until the original sum has increased to the proper proportions, seems a needlessly long time and there ought to be some quicker and equally advantageous way of bringing about the same results. If, as it is stated, there are now sufficient funds to erect the building and even to cover the cost of its care, why should we not hasten to lay the needed foundation of a department, the growth of which is being hampered constantly by having too small and unorganized a basis upon which to rest. It is certainly not beyond the bounds of probability to suppose that if a building for a Fine Arts Museum were really in process of construction, voluntary contributions toward its maintainance and for the enlargement of the work of the Department would be forthcoming if efforts were directed in the proper channels. If our Fine Arts Department most remain small for lack of funds necessary to develop it, would it not be better to have at least the satisfaction of an appropriate building, even though its outfit for a few years must remain very incomplete? A pinched department is certainly not the most desirable kind of a department to have, but it is a question if the cry of "unsatisfied desires" which generally arises in such a case is not the very means by which growth is made possible. We have little doubt but that these persuasive appeals often are, at the bottom, the cause of many of our bequests. At all events we believe that the spirit of giving would be quickened by the sight of an appropriate and artistic building, so that at the end of fifteen or twenty years we should be more advanced for having had our building, than if we should wait for the interest on the Fogg bequest to accrue until we could do everything at once.
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