In order that the working day may be long and uninterrupted, at noon a basket lunch is left at each studio. Dinner is the time for relaxation and social intercourse. Long pleasant evenings are passed in the big living room of Colony Hall which is also the library, or in the Regina Watson Studio which is near Colony Hall and in the evening is used as a general music room, or in leisurely walks to the village.
It should perhaps be added that daily life in the Colony is not the cut and dried affair that this quick resume might seem to imply. No one, of course, is required to stay in his studio all day. No one is required to do anything. These artists are independent men and women, not supervised students, and to all intents they are as free as the wind. There are only two rules to which every one must conform. One is that the studios, with the one exception of the music-room, shall not be used at night. The reason for this rule is the danger of fire. The other rule is that no one shall visit another’s studio without invitation. The purpose of this rule is protection against unexpected interruptions. In all other ways the colonist is free to do as he pleases—free except for that irresistible compulsion to work which nobody who lives in the Colony can escape. For, as Mr. Robinson says, the Colony is “the worst loafing place in the world.”
A curious distrust of idealistic enterprises prevails in the world even among people whose own life work is idealistic. This distrust the MacDowell Colony has had to fight from the start. It has had to prove that its ideals are practical. It has had to demonstrate this to the very workers for whom it was founded and who should from their own experience have clearly understood the advantages it offers.
Gradually, in the face of discouraging skepticism and in spite of inadequate equipment, it has won recognition and support. Its triumph over initial obstacles is best illustrated by the extent to which it has grown and by the number of earnest art workers who have availed themselves of its opportunities.