Art Works Blog

Notable Quotable: Presidents' Day Edition

The arts have always been crucial to the American vision of liberty and democracy. Presidents past and present have emphasized the arts as a cornerstone of our national identity, allowing creativity and innovation to carry over into every aspect of our lives. As we gear up for Presidents' Day, we pulled together a few of our favorite notable quotables.

“In addition to giving our children the science and math skills they need to compete in the new global context, we should also encourage the ability to think creatively that comes from a meaningful arts education. The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create. ” –Barack Obama

“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them—a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” –Gerald Ford

“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.” –Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts

“There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. The age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias. The age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci. The age of Elizabeth, also the age of Shakespeare. And the new frontier for which I campaign in public life, can also be a new frontier for American art.” –John F. Kennedy

“Every time an artist dies, part of the vision of mankind passes with him. Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. ” –John Adams

“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.” –George Washington


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