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    A New Method for Developing Creative Imagination / Adolfo Best Maugard
    University High School Journal (EE.UU.). -- Vol. 3, no. 4 (Dic., 1923)
    p. 247-255
    Journal article – Essays
    Best Maugard, Adolfo. "A New Method for Developing Creative Imagination." University High School Journal 3, no.4 (December 1923): 247-255.

This text speaks of the evolution of sensorial perception and its relation to artistic expression. It proposes that the method of Adolfo Best Maugard be used in arts education because it would permit greater development and personal satisfaction through the expression of emotions and ideas. It also speaks of the difference between superior and inferior races, although it maintains that all are capable of artistic expression and that this ability would naturally evolve from the individual to include the regional, the national, the continental and finally, the universal level. Best Maugard’s method seeks to initiate the child or the adult, without any artistic approach, through a series of experiences in artistic expression; this sequence would be based on the evolution of one’s sensorial perception. The pupil would study volume, then surfaces and finally, point and line. The method likewise states that this process entails the discovery of universal laws of essential and infinite rhythm and harmony. It maintains that there are seven basic fundamentals of all world art and that these derive from archetypes. The student’s personal evolution will encourage his intuitive creativity and the conception of art not as something that is learned, but rather as something that is experienced.


The appearance of this article closely coincides with the departure of Adolfo Best Maugard (1881–1964) from his post as Director de Dibujo y Trabajos Manuales [Director of Drafting and Manual Labors] at the Secretaría de Educación Pública [SEP, Ministry of Public Education] and his subsequent move to the United States, upon the resignation of José Vasconcelos as Minister of Education (1921–23). It reports the rapid acceptance of his ideas on art education in the United States, where Best Maugard had delivered seminars on the topic. He implemented his system there with some variation; the New York editorial house, Knopf, published in 1926 an English version of his drafting method in a text entitled A Method for Creative Design.

In comparison with the texts he published in Mexico, some adaptations can be observed, including a greater focus on perception, the management of form and the relegation of the historical and nationalist aspects, which are fundamental to the method he devised for the Mexican people. Nevertheless, Best Maugard maintains the combination of a predetermined structure and the encouragement of artistic creativity and intuition of students.

Karen Cordero Reiman : CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Courtesy of the Family Best, Estado de México, México
Biblioteca personal de Karen Cordero Reiman