Where does art have its source?

Every colour, every form, every sound, every space affects us. Anthroposophical art is aware of this responsibility. Delicately, carefully and playfully, it seeks the middle way between head and hand.

Why do children sing? What is more beautiful than to hear the singing of children totally immersed in their play? We can all recall such moments in our own childhood and the imaginary worlds we created. Such dream worlds were often more real for us than day-to-day life. Singing clearly belongs to those worlds. Nothing obliges playing children to sing. Still close to their inner heaven, it is this that sings out.

Rediscover and reawaken the singing child in us

Awaken the child is us

Why do we go silent as we grow older? Why do we stop singing? Stop playing? Why do our dreams become ever more tentative, ever more pale? It seems this is the price we pay for ‘growing up’, for becoming people of the world. So it is said anyway. Yet the lives of important personalities tell just the opposite story! And with good reason!

This world from which childhood dreams come, is it not also the source of all the visions and ideas that make for healthy evolution of practical life itself? Is it not just the imagination of childhood and the joy of playing that we ‘grown-ups’ urgently need to recapture in order to lift the mood and spirit of daily life?

Does not the secret of creativity lie in the fact that we have kept alive in us a child that can still can dream? Can still sing? When we sing, does this not give wings to our souls, lifting us above the daily grind? When we keep a proper distance from events, the deeper purposes of our lives reveal themselves, the better to steer our course by. It is the child in us, the child that still can sing, that renders us creative, enabling us to dream and allowing us to meet life with joy.

Art for the whole of life 

This is what anthroposophical art aims to foster: the importance of art for the whole of life. Whatever one’s calling, cultivating the artistic dimensions of life allows one to see things anew, giving to all one’s experiences greater freshness and intensity. And yet we cannot return to childhood. As adults we need to be aware of what we do and what we produce. Only in this way can we be responsible for our deeds. Our ‘play’ must be conscious and self-critical. That is the difference between art and play.

With heart, head and hands 

Above all, anthroposophical art aims to strengthen the centre, the region of the human heart. Modern culture places great emphasis on thinking and willing (doing). But it is through art that we strengthen and cultivate our feeling life. Human beings ‘with heart’ are able to bring together head and hands in ways that are harmonising and therapeutic in their effects. In this sense, anthroposophical art is a conscious quest to find the middle way between head and hands. It is not about giving artistic form to concepts and ideas. Or about creating out of gut experience.

Everything to which one gives form affects the human being. Every colour has an effect on us, every form, every sound, every space…  Such influence should never be exercised without responsibility. These are the media that the artist has to learn to shape, discovering for each of them the effect it has. Because in the domain of art it is experience that matters above all else.

Each medium can become a language for speaking to human beings. It is a language that has to be felt: a language that addresses itself to and strengthens our centre. It is a language we all spoke as children, that we spoke when singing while playing. Its recovery is one of the missions of art.

Johannes Greiner

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150 years Rudolf Steiner 1861-1925

Geometry and philosophy brought great joy to Rudolf Steiner in his youth, experiences that stayed with him for life. Accordingly, he went on to study science in Vienna at the Technische Hochschule and then philosophy at the University (1879-1882).

Rudolf Steiner: Countless people rediscover their soul.

The Philosophy of Freedom
He was later to become the youngest editor of the works of Goethe, an activity he continued from 1890 to 1896 at the Goethe-Archiv in Weimar. At the same time, he devoted himself to his thesis and wrote his main philosophical work, The Philosophy of Freedom. In 1897 he went to Berlin, as chief editor of the Magazin für Literature, where he taught at the Arbeiterbildungsschule (workers training school) and gave lectures in literary societies and at the Theosophical Library.

Knowledge of Higher Worlds
In 1902, his main activity became centred in the Theosophical Society, where he gave many lectures on topics such as evolution and life after death, as well as contemporary issues. He published several books, including How to achieve Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Occult Science.

Lecturer, architect, contractor
The founding of the first Anthroposophical Society in 1912 led to an intensification of his work as a lecturer, an activity that took him to many European countries. In Dornach, he was also active as an architect and contractor, where, in addition to the monumental Goetheanum, a range of residential and non-residential buildings were built according to his models. In 1919, after his book Die Kernpunkte der Sozialen Frage (Cardinal Aspects of the Social Question) concerning the threefold nature of social life, had attracted great interest the first Waldorf School began in Stuttgart under Rudolf Steiner’s guidance.

The School of Spiritual Science
At the end of 1923, Steiner refounded the Anthroposophical Society, which had been growing continuously, and inaugurated the Freie Hochschule für Geisteswissenschaft (The School of Spiritual Science) within it. After an illness of six months, Rudolf Steiner died on 30th March 1925.

Blackboard drawing by Rudolf Steiner: the metamorphosis of the plant. Lecture on 30.9.1922.

A source of inspiration for life
His legacy is still a source of inspiration for people’s lives, but also for innovations in many areas of social and cultural life. Comprising more than 300 volumes, the Rudolf Steiner Archive contains writings and lecture notes that are now almost entirely published in full,.

Walter Kugler


Literature: Walter Kugler: Rudolf Steiner und die Anthroposophie. Eine Einführung in sein Lebenswerk, DuMont Verlag, Köln, 2010. ISBN 978-3-8321-6138-5, CHF 18.90 (Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy. An introduction to his life’s work.)