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Mr. Smith Goes in for Art

Mr. Smith was a rich business man. He was seventy-six and he was ill.

“I can’t do anything with the old man,” his servant Koppel told the doctor. “He doesn’t want to eat. He doesn’t want me to read to him. He doesn’t like anything.”

“I have an idea how to make him interested in life,” the doctor said.

When he entered the old man’s room, he asked him, “How would you like to study art?”

“I like the idea! But how can I start?”

“I can ask a student from an art school to teach you.”

An art student named Frank Swain was invited to give lessons to Mr. Smith. The young man gave a lot of lessons, and when the doctor came, the old man always talked about art.

When spring came, Mr. Smith made a picture. It looked terrible. But the old man said, “I am going to give it to the exhibition at the Lathrop Museum.”

The reader must know that this exhibition was one of the most important in the USA and the Lathrop Museum gave prizes to the best artists.

“We must stop him!” Frank Swain said. “The picture is terrible and people will laugh at Mr. Smith.”

“No, no,” the doctor said, “the old man is ill and art makes him feel better.”

Two days before the exhibition was closed a letter came to Mr. Smith.

“Read it to me,” the old man asked Koppel.

“We inform Mr. Smith,” the letter said, “that he is given the first prize of one thousand dollars for his picture.”

Frank and Koppel were greatly surprised.

“I am happy to hear such wonderful news,” the doctor said. “Now you see, Mr. Smith, that art is much better than business.”

“Art is nothing,” said the old man, “I bought the Lathrop Museum last month.”


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