Common Corners

His Published Life

Artists of Grand Rapids

Early Grand Rapids Years

Marinus Harting

Kent Base Ball Club

When They Were Boys

Palestine Exhibition Company

Art In Chicago

Paintings By
Mr. Lawrence C. Earle

Brush & Pencil

Grand Rapids
Artists and Writers

Carter Times -
Dutch Boy Painter

Robert L. Stearns

Artist Paints Types
of Kingdom Come

Latest Portrait:
Mrs. Van Sluyters

Earle's Pictures are
Mountain Portraits

Exhibits New Work

Good Art in High
Class Movie Film

Motion Picture Classic
magazine cover 1916

Paints Portrait of
YWCA Helper

Lawrence C. Earle,
Distinguished Artist,
Dies at Friend's Door

Garfield Gives
Reminiscence of
Artist L. C. Earle

Dutch Boy Painter
Vol. XV Number 2
March 1922





Local Landscape and Portrait Painter
 Tells Why He Likes Motion Pictures


(By Mary E. Remington.)

"Why does an artist go to the movies?"

A "movie fan" put this question squarely to Lawrence C. Earle, the well known portrait and landscape artist. Mr. Earle won much distinction in New York and the east building up a substantial reputation in the art centers of America before returning to Grand Rapids, his native city.

The question was inspired by the fact that there is no more consistent patron of the Majestic Gardens than Mr. Earle. "Now confess," persisted the movie fan, "what can a real artist possibly find in anything so plebeian as a reel show? Is it not the general supposition that the 'high brow' artists of the brush and palette scorn the movies?"

"It is a very foolish supposition," replied Mr. Earle. "There is more good art in the high class motion pictures than is popularly credited to them. I find valuable ideas and suggestions in the way of subjects, composition, lighting and other art qualities which are often admirably exemplified in the motion pictures. Some of them are very bad, I grant, but I find in many of the pictures certain art qualities which are well worth studying."

As a recent example of this Mr. Earle mentioned "The Daughter of MacGregor," calling attention especially to the Scotch scenes depicted in the production. "The picture of the old Scotchman." he said, "seated at the desk table reading his Bible was such an admirable portrait study that I would like to have painted him just as he was shown in the picture. There were one or two other fine old characters in this production worthy of any artist's brush.

Variety Is Infinite.

"Many of the picture productions show exceedingly fine scenic backgrounds photographed directly from nature and it is the almost infinite variety of the sort of thing that gives a special interest to the pictures. Undoubtedly many of the men who direct the productions either have natural art instincts or are familiar with the art of selection, arrangement, perspective, lighting and other qualities that go into the making of an artistic composition.

"The amazing fact about the cinematograph is not that there are so many poor productions, but that in the short span of its existence the pictures should have developed so much that is admirable and frequently very fine. The motion picture production is still in its infancy, and it has possibilities of becoming an  effective art medium. I am watching the development with a great deal of interest. Public taste and patronage will be a powerful factor in determining the future of the motion picture, and therefore I consider it far more sensible to consider the subject from a constructive viewpoint, to recognize and appreciate whatever is good in the picture, and to encourage whatever makes for their betterment, than to denounce the whole enterprise because much of it is cheap and inferior.

"One thing is certain, the motion picture is here to stay - it is a permanent fixture and what it needs is not wholesale condemnation, but the encouragement of all that is good, and whatever makes for its highest and best development."


*Thanks to Dr. J. Gray Sweeney for permission to use material from
Artists of Grand Rapids 1840-1980, J. Gray Sweeney; Grand Rapids, 1981:
The Grand Rapids Art Museum, The Grand Rapids Public Museum

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Common Corners