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The Gymnasium Number of the Illustrated Magazine, conspicuous for its flaring cover, is praiseworthy in many ways, but hardly exiting.
It begins with a series of articles on gymnasiums in general and the proposed new Harvard Gymnasium in particular. These articles are practical and to the point. Mr. Anderson points out some of the merits and defects of the Yale gymnasium, of which he is director; an article on "Special Gymnasium Features" proves to be a compendium of useful information about running tracks, swimming pools, etc., in other colleges; Mr. Tugman manages to write entertainingly on a superannuated subject -- The Trophy Room--; the editors thereupon agree with Mr. Withington and Mr. Schrader (instructor at Hemenway) that the opportunity for a new building is to be seized primarily by the undergraduates, acting with and through the committee of the Student Council.
The gymnasium subject having been discussed from top to bottom, the editors turn their attention to other subjects. We have, in turn, a really practical and stimulating article on the "New Science" by Dr. Henry Smith Williams, some rather lifeless articles by undergraduates on academic subjects, and a sensible argument by Mr. Parsons for a central heating and power plant.
Thoroughly as this number of the Illustrated covers the gymnasium problem, the reviewer doubts if it will attract the flippant undergraduate, or, for that matter the flippant graduate. Its illustrations are mostly unflattering snap-shots of the ugliest Harvard buildings. Altogether, the Illustrated suffers from over-specialization in photographs and expository articles. Its editors need illustrators, story-writers, verse-makers, whose work may set off articles like those of Dr. Williams and Mr. Parsons; and they ought to realize that pictures of Compressibility Machines, Seismographs, and Boylston Hall cannot liven any magazine which aims to be more spirited than an encyclopaedia.
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