1 OCTOBER 1921, Page 12

[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR.") SIR,—Many will welcome

your advocacy of the organization of an exhibition of the art of the theatre in London. In 1914 I visited the Zurich Exhibition, of which Mr. Gordon Craig writes in your issue of -September 3rd, and, like all other visitors—and they assembled not only frOM all over Switzer-. land, but from all over Europe—was greatly impressed by the interest and value of such an exhibition, and the liberal and efficient lines on which it was organized, and to which Mr. Craig has referred. It is such precedents of liberality .and efficiency that must be followed if a really good exhibition is to be achieved. It is where these qualities of liberality and efficiency are not manifested by the organizers that such enterprises break down or fizzle away into mere nothings. I remember Mr. Craig speaking to me of an exhibition in which he had been invited to take part in London under the auspices of the Arts and Crafts Society, but the plans from the outset were petty, and on a scale wholly unworthy of so great a city. He recalled to me the rooms set at his disposal and at that of his school by the Zurich authorities, so spacious. and well adapted to the purpose, and told me how every facility had been offered to the artists invited to co-operate on that occasion so as to obtain the finest possible collection of exhibits without thought of expense, and commented on the different attitude manifested in the English propositions, where not even the expenses of the carriage of exhibits were offered, but left to be borne by the artists themselves, and where the space provided was inadequate for any fine results.

There is, of course, no fear that an institution like the Victoria and Albert Museum could blunder as did the Arts and Crafts Society, or set to work on so petty a scale as to alienate the very artists whose work it hopes to secure. (I know that. this was the reason London saw none of Mr. Craig's work at Burlington House in 1916.) But certainly what a city like Zurich could do with ease, London can also do, and a few of the things which the organizing body at Zurich did (and through which it attained its success) were the follow- ing. It supplied first to each artist invited to take part a clear plan of the rooms, and allotted to him a clearly defined space on the said plan, giving the foremost exhibitors a choice in the matter. It undertook the entire expense of the carriage and insurance of all exhibits from the artist's own country to Zurich and their safe return, appointing a thoroughly efficient and well-informed head for this department, so -that the artists themselves were relieved of all trouble and anxiety in the matter. It paid the travelling expenses to and from. Zurich of the leading exhibitors, so that they might accompany their work,

see it placed, and light it; and so that the exhibition might also serve the additional purpose of bringing together, as at a congress, the representatives of the theatre from the different nations. In short, it behaved to theseSrtists from first to last, as honoured guests; and this attitude of courtesy, liberaiity,

and responsible forethought and protection was manifested in every detail and by every member-of the organizing body; The result was a fine and distinguished exhibition which did credit to the city of Zurich, and which has set the standard. It is such an attitude on the part of the organizing authorities in London that could serve to make the London Theatre Exhibition the finest of the world. Until a fresh record is established

Zurich leads easily.—I am, Sir, Le., PIERRE RAMES. Florence, Italy.