Onward and upward

Posted by RRC on April 17, 2007

In Reply to: Onward and upward posted by Denis on April 17, 2007

: "Onward and Upward with the Arts". What is the origin of this phrase? I've seen a threat here identifying "onward and upward" as coming from a Lowell poem, and I know The New Yorker uses "Onward and Upward with the Arts" as a section heading, but did the magazine originate it? Seeing it in Moss Hart's autobiography "Act One" made me think not. The phrase seems lightly satirical to me, but I'm not certain of what it is generally intended or taken to convey. Any thoughts would be welcome.

"Onward and upward" is the most often used translation of the Latin motto "Excelsior" (incidentally the state motto of New York).