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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 27, 1908)
THE OMAHA' SUNDAY BEE: SEPTEMBER 27, 1903.
Four of the Important Figures at Samson's Court
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ASSISTANT STAGE DIRECTOR JOHN LUND AND
ROYAL CHEFS WHO COOKED THE FATTED CALF.
CARING FOR ART STUDENTS
No Longer Can a Woman Live for
Five. Dollars a Week.
lOOR FEEDING MEANS POOE WORK
Cas Store Cooking- Bad Substitute
for the Home Table Clubs
that Help Solre the
I rob lent.
NEW TORK, Sept. 26. Geniuses are pop
ularly supposed to be more or leas ,lnUo
pendent ot creature comforts, but .tew of
the young; persons who come from all over
the United States every autumn to study
rt in New York are In the genius class.
For the most part they are young men
and women of average ability, seven
eighths ot whom are bent on becoming
self-supporting as soon as posalble, and
the majority of these have hearty appetites
and good digestion when they arrive.
After three or four years of study in New
York it sometimes happens that their diges
tion is rot so good.
One artist hazarded the statement that
last autumn there were at least 1,000 new
comers in the various studios. A teacher
of painting said this estimate was. entirely
too low and placed the number of strangers
now studying art In this city,' Including
beginners, at 6,000, and this number, he
thought did not include some who only give
part time to the study of art while earning
their living at some other sort of work. . .
Nearly half the total number are women,
only a very small percentage ot whom can
afford to spend more than a very modest
sum for living expenses.
Every year for a decade, say those who
have given attention to the matter, this
problem has grown to be more serious.
Enfeebled health and digestion and medi
ocre work are the resulta, for the experi
ence ot geniuses to the contrary, some of
the best Instructors in this city maintain
that an uncomfortably housed, poorly fed
young man or woman cannot and does not
apply himself as enthusiastically to hla
work or get aa good results as does the
well lodged, well nourished student.
An Instructor who did not wish to be
quoted said that a- reason why so many
art students preferred to study in Europe
was because the cost of living, even . in
Paris, was not more than one-halt what it
is in New York, and at that students were
far more comfortable.
At one time students thought S3 per week
quite a liberal sum to spend for room and
board, M being oftener the allowance.
There are now plenty of young women
studenta who come here prepared to spend
no more than this per week, undeterred
by the tales of soaring prices for rents and
provisions. Perhaps along with these
talea they have read others of how easy
it is to prepare a nourishing bill of fare for
W cents per week or something like that.
At any rate with the optimism of youth
end Ignorance these young women arrive,
determined to get along somehow, few hav
ing made any provision for accommoda
tions before leaving their native village or
town. In perspective studio life in New
York looks alluring, and young women ex
pect to fit Into a corner of some picturesque
studio at a nominal price as easily as It
Is done in novels dealing with European
art circles. With few exceptions their ex
pectations are not realised.
Said a woman who has been studying
hard in New York for the last three years:
"It will save a lot ot time and strength
and discouragement If young women stu
dents arriving in New York give up from
the start any idea of going to live In a
regular studio. I had to give up the "Idea
because I had no extra money to spend on
furniture, and the coat of a furnished stu
dio of even one room put It out of the
"What I finally compromised on was a
tiny room on the top floor of a boarding
house, for which I paid ft per week. The
price of that room now, with board. Is
The only way I know of by whloh a
studeDt can live decently in New York tot
V per week Is for her, if she is alone and
tan't chum in with another girl, to hire a
small furnished room, set up a two-burner
gas or oil stove and cook for herself. Even
then her food will have to be of the very
plainest, for even in an out-of-the-way
locality her room, however small, if In a
clean, good-class house, will cost at least
$2.60 a week.
"If a girl attempts to cook over the sin
gle gas Jet in her room, and many a one
does attempt to, I will guarantee that in
less than three months she will have lost
aU her buoyancy of spirit and nearly all
her interest in her work. Almost Invariably
it happens that way. Co-operative house
keeping is better. I know two cousins who
came here last year, the one to study clay
modeling, the other drawing and water
color painting with the view of becoming
an Illustrator.' Both are poor girls. They
hired a good-stsed, top-floor furnished room
west of Ninth avenue for $4 60 per week,
set up an oil stove and prepared their
own meals at a total cost of 10 weekly,
and without losing either flesh or courage.
One, -you see, encouraged the other, and
neither would let the other lapse into the
cold-bite habit a habit which is bound to
knock out sooner or later the very health
iest man or woman. In most cases, though,
I think even a pretty poor boarding house
table is to be commended for students
rather, than . setting. up solitary housekeep
ing, because' of the greater variety of food
they-get' and the companionship-at meal
time; .ajBp. because . It .leaves .them free to
concentrate on their work. v
' "Yes, ' I am aware that there are spe
cialists . who have demonstrated that one
can be well nourished on certain remark
ably ' restricted diets, like peanuts only, or
mUk . or .vegetables only, cooked or un
cooked, but I have never known a young,
healthy person Who' Wanted to make ' ex
periments along, that .line. . With few ex
ceptions art students crave three rJleals a
day and they ought to' have them, too."
. This, artist was. not. aware, that of late
a more or less systematized effort has been
made to provide' better quarters at low
raea for. young-women art students, who
are strangers In New York and protect
them from the loneliness which often over
takes those who come to a large city for
the first time and that art clubs for women
were being multiplied in central localities.
She was positive, however, that to find
room and board for less than $8 per week
In a respectuble, clean house with refined
surroundings is now impossible, insisting
that even at that figure two girls would
have to bunk together In a medlum-slsed
room. And she was right, '
One avenue by which strangers are
helped to find a lodging or a boarding place
Is the' Young Women's Christian assocla
tlon, which maintains a board and room
directory. An off ileal of this department
told a young woman who applied to her
the other day that to got a single room
with board in a suitable house for less
than 17 was almost Impossible.
"Occasionally," said she, "we have a few
on our books at C, but these almost im
mediately are snapped up. At present we
have nothing lower than 7. If you can
share a room with a friend it is possible
that we may place you for 6 or $6.60."
This executive added that In any case
students Intending to come to New York
by October 1, at which time most of the
art schools begin the fall classes, would
do better to write to the Young Women's
Christian association, or ' to some other
agency,' a month ahead of time and ask
that a reom at a certain price be engaged
At the Art Students' league, in West
Fifty-second street, strangers can obtain
a list of addresses of boarding and lodg
itig houses in the vicinity which have been
investigated and found suitable for young
women, but a tour of a dozen or more of
these made the other day by a prospective
student failed to find one which charged
less than $8 per week, the majority asking
$9 and $10 for a very small room, although
everyone of the house was west of Eighth
Finally this young woman, who wanted
to be within walking distance of the art
school, hired a small room for $2.60 a week
and arranged to take two meals a day at
the Art Workers' club in West Fifty
eighth street at a cost of 15 cents for
lunch, $0 cents for dinner, and to prepare
her own breakfast. In this way she could
keep her living expenses down to a trifle
over $6 per week and enjoy the privileges
of the club at odd times by paying 60 cents
every three months and $1 membership
At the Woman's Art club, which occupies
a four-ctory house and therefore can lodge
only a few girls, there are, however, largo
parlors where tea Is served free of an
afternoon and a reading room which Is at
the disposal of club members at any hour
up to 10 o'clock at night.
Unfortunately at the present time the
several homes and hotels for working
girls which give board and lodging at $6
a week and less will not recognize the art
student. To gain admission to one of them
a young woman must be self-supporting,
and whatever 'the art student may hope
to accomplish in the future It Is certain
as a rule that during her student days
she is not able to earn her salt.
On the Way Around the World
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