George Lansing Raymond
|Born||September 3, 1839|
|Died||July 11, 1929 (aged 89)|
|Resting place||Princeton Cemetery|
|Occupation||Professor and author|
George Lansing Raymond, (September 11, 1839–July 11, 1929) was a prominent professor of Aesthetic Criticism at Princeton University from 1881 to 1905, and author of a new system of esthetics. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times.
George Lansing Raymond was born in Chicago on September 3, 1839, the son of Benjamin Wright Raymond, twice Mayor of Chicago. He was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover, graduating in 1858, Williams College, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Society, and Princeton Theological Seminary.
He married Mary Elizabeth Blake on July 31, 1872, and they had one child.
He died at Garfield Hospital in Washington D.C. on July 11, 1929.
Raymond was the author of a systematic theory of art published by G.P. Putnam, published in seven volumes during the period 1886 to 1900, and republished as a set of uniform volumes in 1909. Additionally an eighth volume was published, as a summary of the seven volumes, titled, Essentials of Esthetics. A volume of excerpts of his seven books, edited by the classical scholar Marion Mills Miller, was also published by Putnam in 1920.
Raymond was an art theorist who created the first comprehensive and systematic theory of the arts. The New York Times said "In a spirit at once scientific and that of the true artist, he pierces through the manifestations of art to their sources, and shows the relations, intimate and essential, between painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture."
He was rare among art theorists of the time (and since), to use psychology and physiology and biological factors to ground his art theory, and to use detailed discussions of specific art works to validate his views.
His basic approach is as stated in his summary one-volume book Essentials of Esthetics:
The phenomena of the arts of the highest class have been traced [in this book] to their sources in material nature and in the human mind; the different arts have been shown to be developed by exactly similar methods; and these methods have been shown to characterize the entire work of artistic imagination, from the formulation of psychical concepts to that of their most physical expressions in rhythm, proportion and harmony.
He was also a vocal advocate of a scientific and rational Christianity. He seemed to be following in Aquinas' footsteps in believing he could rationalize religious belief with science.
He was also a widely published poet during the latter part of the 19th century, though with no lasting celebrity.
He wrote works on oratory (i.e., rhetoric), early in life, since he a professor of oratory; and later in life after retiring from his professorships, he wrote a book on ethics and natural law.
In 2008 and 2009, all of these books were re-published by Kessinger Publishing and Bibliolife Publishing in hardcover and paperback. The title "Genesis of Art-Form" is also accessible for free at www.esthetics.cc (along with an archival copy of the New York Times 1893 book review of that book). Most of his series of seven volumes comprising his seven volumes on aesthetics is available in digital form at books.google.com.
All works are published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York. This is only a list of Raymond's works on aesthetics.