Henry Schaefer-Simmern was fully aware of the sociological implications of his work. His theory of visual, artistic conceiving stated that people possess an inherent ability to transform their perceptions into holistic (gestalt) formations expressed as works of art. They have this ability in varying degrees regardless of differences of sex, race, chronological age (above the motor scribble age), lQ (above 47), socio-economic status, creed, and geographic location. He believed that society should encourage the development and expression of this ability and that those of its members who are artistically active (whether children, adolescents, or adults) can uplift and transform society for the better. He saw the dehumanizing affects of industrialization. He deplored the visual pollution which appears in portions of cities and towns in the U.S.A. Yet he noted the efforts made to bring visual art into communities by such means as the WPA Art Project, and efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Extension Service. He guided students to be aware not only of the gestalt art forming ability within them, but also of the arts of societies past and present. Schaefer- Simmern's art education includes the handicapped and non-handicapped in the schools, and also people throughout the community. He reconciled opposites in art education: creative self-expression and cognitive-systems (neo-academic) while going beyond them to point a way toward an integral art education for society and for each individual member of that society.
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