Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 249



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 249

and that the expense would be enormous; but he felt sure that the American public was ready for his idea. And early in 1912 he announced his series and began its publication.

The most wonderful Rembrandt, Velasquez, Turner, Hobbema, Van Dyck, Raphael, Frans Hals, Romney, Gainsborough, Whistler, Corot, Mauve, Vermeer, Fragonard, Botticelli, and Titian reproductions followed in such rapid succession as fairly to daze the magazine readers. Four pictures were given in each number, and the faithfulness of the reproductions astonished even their owners. The success of the series was beyond Bok’s own best hopes. He was printing and selling one and three-quarter million copies of each issue of his magazine; and before he was through he had presented to American homes throughout the breadth of the country over seventy million reproductions of forty separate master-pieces of art.

The dream of years had come true.

Bok had begun with the exterior of the small American house and made an impression upon it; he had brought the love of flowers into the hearts of thousands of small householders who had never thought they could have an artistic garden within a small area; he had changed the lines of furniture, and he had put better art on the walls of these homes. He had conceived a full-rounded scheme, and he had carried it out.

It was a peculiar satisfaction to Bok that Theodore Roosevelt once summed up this piece of work in these words: “Bok is the only man I ever heard of who



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