I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.
No, rather than art should live this poor thin life among a few exceptional men, despising those beneath them for an ignorance for which they themselves are responsible, for a brutality that they will not struggle with, — rather than this, I would think that the world should indeed sweep away all art for awhile, as I said before I thought it possible she might do; rather than the wheat should rot in the miser’s granary. I would that the earth had it, that it might yet have a chance to quicken in the dark.
I have a sort of faith, though, that this clearing away of all art will not happen, that men will get wiser, as well as more learned; that many of the intricacies of life, on which we now pride ourselves more than enough, partly because they are new, partly because they have come with the gain of better things, will be cast aside for having played their part, and being useful no longer.
William Morris, “The Lesser Arts,” News from Nowhere and Other Writings (1993) p.253