Gino C. Speranza to Jane Addams, April 6, 1909


N.Y. April 6-09

My dear Miss. Addams--

It takes much courage to ask a busy worker like you to take some interest, however tiny in a new matter. But I dare it.

The Scuela d'Industrie Italiane, founded some three years ago in New York, to revive among us and to adopt to our uses, Italian needle art is to hold an exhibition and sale at Mrs. Arthur Meeker's house 1815 Prairie Avenue, Chicago, on April 15th and 16th.

The "literature" which I send you under separate cover will give you some idea of our work and hopes, and of the people in Chicago who have kindly consented to help make the affair a success.

But there is one side of the work which I feel certain will make a strong appeal to a Jane Addams and which, if you will examine, may yield us an expression of your views which, whether it sound praise or criticism will be an inspiration to our work. I refer to our endeavor that the beautiful work produced should be "modern" in the sense that it should represent no hardship of the laborer; that the revival of an ancient craft should not mean a revival of ancient [inadequate] wages. Our prices have seemed high to some persons, they are not arbitrarily fixed; the exquisite product in priced according to the work done, paid at living wages, plus selling expenses. That it is possible to do this successfully is shown by the fact that the little Scuola has now become self [supporting. If [illegible] us any skill [illegible] in the work it is only in the] [page 2] willingness of its directors to give their time, energy and experience to its success. The public spirit of Signorina Amari who has come repeatedly from Italy with her wealth of art and technical knowledge is an example; so is Miss. Florence Colgate, whose well-known interest in the higher education of American women, does not prevent her daily effort in this work on behalf of alien women.

Will you not go and see the work in Chicago and tell us what you think, of it? and if it seems deserving will you not encourage it by coming on our advisory Council?

With sentiments of deep esteem

Sincerely yours

Miss. Jane Addams
Hill House, Chicago Ill.

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