Chamber Notes

By Daniel Kushmer

"There was a man sent from God whose name was John" that taken from an inscription on a simple wreath sent by a tailor of the village of Coniston after John Ruskin had died. Who was John Ruskin?

John Ruskin was considered a latter-day prophet fulfilling a three-fold function of warning and teaching by the past, exhorting to the performance of duties in the present, and presenting high ideals for the future. His great knowledge of art and original power of observation, combined with a gift of writing noble English, were fully used and developed under the most favorable conditions. His growing sympathy with mankind led him to study economics; he poured forth sometimes wild, but always original and suggestive remedies for the social ills he saw around him.

John Ruskin was the first Slade Professor of Art at Oxford, where he founded and endowed a Drawing School, and the Oxford Museum owed much to his contributions of time and money. He put many of his social ideas into practice and expended in this way and in charity the large fortune left him by his father. His great aim was to bring happiness within the reach of all by showing that the greatest treasure and the highest wisdom need not be costly or exclusive.

It is with good reason the community of Ruskin was founded so many years ago. The founding fathers of Ruskin subscribed to the teachings and theories of John Ruskin and in doing so founded what they believed to be a utopian, agrarian society were all people worked together for the commongood of their society. Hence, the name "The Commongood Society’ which remained in affect late into the 20th Century.

John Ruskin was born in 1819 and died of influenza on January 20, 1900, many heartfelt tributes have been laid on the grave of a loved teacher.

Would you like to own a Piece of History?

The Ruskin Chamber of Commerce has a very limited number of prints of an original portrait by Sir H. von Herkomer. This original piece of art was produced in the 1920s. The print may be yours along with a biography of Ruskin’s namesake, John Ruskin. Unframed, but beautifully reproduced this two piece print and biography would be a spectacular edition to your home.

Call the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce at (813) 645-3808 to reserve a copy, or come in and see the print and biography that graces the wall of the chamber. This incredible artwork has been specially matted and framed by Anne Madden of Frame Crafter’s.

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