The Mosaics of the Marquette

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Jun 232016
 
The Mosaics of the Marquette

The Marquette Building 140 South Dearborn Chicago This spectacular, and difficult to photograph, mosaic is in the rotund of the Marquette building.  Designed by J.A. Holler of the Tiffany Company it depicts the Mississippi voyage of Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette. Louis Tiffany was the son of jeweler Charles Tiffany. His career took off after the display of his mosaics in the chapel at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, also known as the Worlds Fair in Chicago. Jacob Adolph Holzer was a Swiss artist who worked for Tiffany as chief designer and art director,  he was responsible for the design and execution Continue Reading

The Marquette Building

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Jun 192016
 
The Marquette Building

The Marquette Building 140 South Dearborn Chicago   These four bronze plaques sit above the entry doors of the Marquette Building in Chicago.  They were done in 1895 by Henry MacNeil (1866-1947).  At the time MacNeil shared a studio in the building with painter Charles F. Browne. Louis Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, were the first non-Natives to explore and map the Mississippi River in 1673. The four bronze plaques are the story of their journey. They depict the launching of the canoes, the meeting of the Michigamea Indians, the arriving at the Chicago River and finally the interring Continue Reading

May 092016
 
The Lost Art of Leo Lentelli

San Francisco Main Library Now the Asian Art Museum Sometime between 1915 and 1917, Leo Lentelli was commissioned to design five large sculptures for the facade of the Main Public Library, now the Asian Art Museum. In a March 1918 article titled “An Expression of Decorative Sculpture – Leo Lentelli,” published in The Architect and Engineer, Sadakichi Hartmann boldly stated that the five figures were “by far the most important work Lentelli has as yet attempted.” The sculptures, which represent Art, Literature, Philosophy, Science and Law, are 7-feet 8-inch high cement figures once set atop granite pedestals and originally sat Continue Reading

St. Josephs of San Francisco

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May 092016
 
St. Josephs of San Francisco

1401 Howard at 10th SOMA St Joseph’s Church was founded, at 10th and Howard, in 1861, by Archbishop Joseph Alemany. The church, home to over 300 mostly Irish families, was destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. The church we see today was constructed in 1913. By that time, the Irish of the neighborhood had moved away and the church welcomed families from Latin America, the Philippines and the Pacific Islands. By 1980 St. Joseph’s was the largest Filipino parish in the US. The church building was designed by San Francisco architect John J. Foley in the Romanesque Revival style. Continue Reading

Apr 252016
 
Moya del Pina at Acme Brewery

The Boardroom at the old Acme Brewing Company 762 Fulton Western Addition Moya del Pina is responsible for these murals at the Acme Brewery murals in He completed them inn November 1935 between commissions at Coit Tower for the Public Works of Art Project  (PWAP) in 1934, and a series of Bay Area Post Office murals completed for the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture from 1936-1941.   The 1936, Volume 12, of the California Art Research said of these murals: “The manner in which Moya del Pino has handled his frescoes gives a now dignity to the brewery Continue Reading

The Acme Brewing Company in San Francisco

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Apr 252016
 
The Acme Brewing Company in San Francisco

762 Fulton Western Addition On March 12, 1917, the San Francisco Call-Bulletin reported: “Six San Francisco breweries, facing financial loss, or insolvency, through proposed legislation regulating manufacture of maltuous drinks, have pooled their interests into one association for the manufacture and distribution of beers and malts. The body is to be known as the Acme-National Brewing Company. J.P. Rettenmayer, president of the Acme Brewing Company and head of the State Brewers’ Association, is president of the consolidated companies. The breweries included in the merger are: National Brewing Company, Henry Weinhard Brewery, Claus Wreden Brewing Company, Union Brewing and Malting Company, Continue Reading

Apr 202016
 
John Park WPA Murals

John Muir Elementary 380 Webster Hayes Valley As you enter John Muir Elementary school you are greeted with three lunettes.  In the lunettes are WPA murals by artist David Park.  These murals were done in 1934, the same year that park joined the WPA.  These three are painted in the Socialist Realism style. The three murals are titled Man in Art, Man in Nature and Man in Industry.  There are very few David Park murals left, making these in the school a San Francisco treasure. David Park (1911-1960) was a painter and a pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative School Continue Reading

John Muir Elementary School

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Apr 202016
 
John Muir Elementary School

John Muir Elementary School 380 Webster Hayes Valley In the ten years between 1920 and 1930 San Francisco erected 49 new school buildings, with a 50th approved in 1931. This was all accomplished just 80 years after the birth of the San Francisco School System. These 50 school buildings represented an investment, at that time, of $17,418,814. The 1931 Report of the Superintendent showed that the forty-seven schools had an enrollment of 42,976 students, and an additional 4000 to be enrolled when the remaining three, still under construction at the time of the report, were to open. At that time Continue Reading

The Art and Architecture of San Francisco’s Universalist Church

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Apr 182016
 
The Art and Architecture of San Francisco's Universalist Church

1187 Franklin   The modern portion the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco was built in the 1960s and designed by Charles Warren Callister of the architectural firm of Callister, Payne, and Rosse. The church is a grand display of architectural beauty in its simplest form. The highlight of the Church is the elegant and historic Sanctuary, which features large, stained glass windows, dramatic chandeliers, and a stunning oak ceiling. A rear balcony with light cascading from another large stained glass window holds a rare, three-thousand pipe organ, designed by Robert Noehren, a renowned University of Michigan organist. Outside in the Continue Reading

Hell Mouth on Golden Gate Avenue

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Apr 182016
 
Hell Mouth on Golden Gate Avenue

The corner of Franklin and Golden Gate This interpretation of the Pallazo Zuccari on the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy once graced the front entry to San Francisco Italian restaurant Vivande. Vivande was the run by Chef Carlo Middione.  Middione lost his sense of taste and smell in an auto accident in Spring of 2007 and sadly closed his two restaurants. This piece was created by Michael H. Casey in 1995. Michael H. Casey (1947-2013), received his BFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design. Moving to California in 1974  to work on the ornamental exterior of the Museum of Man Continue Reading

Inflatable Bunnies Hop to San Francisco

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Apr 052016
 
Inflatable Bunnies Hop to San Francisco

Inflatable bunnies, an art installation by Australian artist Amanda Parer has stopped in San Francisco for a few days. The monumental rabbits, each sewn in nylon, inflated and internally lit. will be in San Francisco from April 4, 2016 to the 25th. The giant rabbits will travel throughout North America, making stops in Washington D.C.,  Toronto, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Denver and Memphis. The project, made possible by a loan of $50,000 from the S.F. Cultural Affairs office to the San Francisco Arts Commission is also sponsored by the Recreation & Park Department and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development Continue Reading

The Knot

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Mar 102016
 
The Knot

Santiago de Cuba In December of 2010, the city of Santiago de Cuba held its first Rene Valdes Cedeño Public Sculpture Symposium, an homage to an artist and teacher who authored works as important as the Cuba’s Abel Santamaria Monument. Sponsored by the Caguayo Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Development of Public Sculptures and Monuments, the symposium seeks to promote sculpting in marble and metals. The second Symposium was held in November of 2013, this sculpture is a result of the second Symposium.  

Clouds in the Mountains

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Mar 102016
 
Clouds in the Mountains

Santiago de Cuba In December of 2010, the city of Santiago de Cuba held its first Rene Valdes Cedeño Public Sculpture Symposium, an homage to an artist and teacher who authored works as important as the Cuba’s Abel Santamaria Monument. Sponsored by the Caguayo Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Development of Public Sculptures and Monuments, the symposium seeks to promote sculpting in marble and metals. The second Symposium was held in November of 2013. This sculpture is a result of the first symposium. The same year Negrin also had the entry Lluvia en la Cordillera  (Rain in Mountains) Continue Reading

Rain in the Mountains

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Mar 102016
 
Rain in the Mountains

Santiago de Cuba In December of 2010, the city of Santiago de Cuba held its first Rene Valdes Cedeño Public Sculpture Symposium, an homage to an artist and teacher who authored works as important as the Cuba’s Abel Santamaria Monument. Sponsored by the Caguayo Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Development of Public Sculptures and Monuments, the symposium seeks to promote sculpting in marble and metals. The second Symposium was held in November of 2013.  This sculpture is a result of the first symposium. Rene Negrin was born September 28, 1949.  He is a consulting Professor of Artes Plasticas Continue Reading

S. T. by Mario Trenard

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Mar 102016
 
S. T. by Mario Trenard

In December of 2010, the city of Santiago de Cuba held its first Rene Valdes Cedeño Public Sculpture Symposium, an homage to an artist and teacher who authored works as important as the Cuba’s Abel Santamaria Monument. Sponsored by the Caguayo Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Development of Public Sculptures and Monuments, the symposium seeks to promote sculpting in marble and metals. The second Symposium was held in November of 2013. This sculpture is a product of the second Symposium Mario Trenard graduated as a sculptor from the Higher Art Institute (ISA, in Spanish). He is a member Continue Reading

Jose Maria Heredia – One of Cuba’s Great Poets

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Mar 102016
 
Jose Maria Heredia - One of Cuba's Great Poets

Traffic Circle at Avenue Manduley and Calle 11 Santiago de Cuba According to Cuba Facts Jose Marie Heredia y Heredia  was born in Santiago de Cuba on December 31 1803, and lived a short thirty-five years, spending most of his adult life in exile. In 1818 he enrolled in the University of Havana as a law student, and it was about this time that he met Isabel Rueda, to whom he wrote and dedicated erotic poetry. His first dramatic effort (the play Eduardo IV o el usurpador clemente) was produced by a theatre group in Matanzas. On October 31 1820, his Continue Reading

Jose Marti by Alberto Lescay

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Mar 102016
 
Jose Marti by Alberto Lescay

Santiago de Cuba José Julián Martí Pérez (January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895) is a Cuban national hero.  Martí is considered one of the great turn-of-the-century Latin American intellectuals. His written works consist of a series of poems, essays, letters, lectures, a novel, and even a children’s magazine. He wrote for numerous Latin American and American newspapers; he also founded a number of newspapers himself. His newspaper Patria was a key instrument in his campaign for Cuban independence. After his death, one of his poems from the book, “Versos Sencillos” (Simple Verses) was adapted to the song “Guantanamera”, which Continue Reading

Jan 252016
 
Murals of the Merchant Exchange Building

465 California Street Financial District Julia Morgan was responsible for the artistic elements, under architect Willis Polk, in the Merchant Exchange Building. Miss Morgan chose William A. Coulter, the leading marine artist of his time to fill the bays between the marble and bronze columns in what is now a bank lobby. William Alexander Coulter, (March 7, 1849 – March 13, 1936) was a native of Glenariff, County Antrim, in what is today Northern Ireland. He became an apprentice seaman at the age of 13, and after seven years at sea, came to settle in San Francisco in 1869.  A Continue Reading

Jan 202016
 
Art at the Merchant Exchange Building

465 California Street Financial District As you enter the lobby from the California Street side of the Merchant’s Exchange Building you will be greeted by many of San Francisco’s founders. These ceramic/clay sculptures are each about 36″ x 24″ and were sculpted by Mark Jaeger of Marin County. Mark was born in San Francisco and received a BA in Art Studio from UC Davis where he was influenced by Robert Arneson and Wayne Thiebaud. Mark currently lives in Marin where he teaches full time and operates his own studio in San Anselmo.  William Heath Davis was born in 1822, in Honolulu in Continue Reading

Dec 212015
 
Chinatown Public Library

1135 Powell Street Chinatown The Chinatown Branch of the San Francisco Public Library started its life as the North Beach Branch.  It was changed in 1958. Andrew Carnegie left the City of San Francisco, then under Mayor James Phelan, $750,000 for a main library and branches. One half was for the main library and the rest to be distributed amongst seven branch libraries.  The city paid the difference of $1,152,000. Most of these seven branches have been enlarged very slightly, all have been retrofitted to modern earthquake standards and all are included in San Francisco’s “List of Architecturally Significant Buildings.” All of the Continue Reading

Dec 072015
 
The Lone Sailor

Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point Marine County Side This statue, in the center of Vista Point on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a replica of the U.S. Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. by Stanley Bleifield The Lone Sailor, represents a sailor’s last view of the West Coast as he sails out for duty at sea. The attending plaque reads: The Lone Sailor This is a memorial to everyone who ever sailed out the Golden Gate in the service of their Country – in the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, the Merchant Marine. Continue Reading

Hatuey

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Nov 302015
 
Hatuey

Baracoa, Cuba Hatuey is one of the most important people in Cuban history, originally from Hispaniola, he fled with many other natives to warn the people of Caobana of the treachery of the oncoming onslaught of the Spanish. Sadly the Caobanans did not believe him and few joined him in his fight against the Spanish. He was captured in February of 1512 and burned alive at the stake. The story that every Cuban child learns is that before Hatuey was burned, a priest asked him if he would accept Jesus and go to heaven. Spanish historian Bartolomé Las Casas wrote Continue Reading

Rosa La Bayamesa

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Nov 232015
 
Rosa La Bayamesa

Holquín, Cuba This statue is of Rosa Maria Castellanos,(1834-1907) created by Santiago de Cuba sculptor Antonio Lescay. Rosa La Bayamesa was a 36 year old daughter of slaves, a nurse and organizer of field hospitals during the Ten Years’ War, which was the beginning of the attempt for Cuba to escape Spanish rule. Bayamesa refers to the Cuban town Bayamo, the insurgent stronghold during the 10 Years War. Alberto Lescay Merencio graduated with a degree in Painting in 1968 from the “José Joaquín Tejada” Fine Arts Workshop; In 1973 he added a degree in Sculpture from the “Cubanacán” National Art School. He became Continue Reading

Aplique da Parete

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Nov 162015
 
Aplique da Parete

535 Mission Aplique da Parete – Gordon Huether – 2014 This piece is a pattern of dichroic and mirrored glass mounted to a stone backing.  The piece extends through the lobby to the exterior. This and The Band are intended to enliven Shaw Alley.  Shaw Alley is a public right-of-way that has been closed to cars and is expected to function as a pedestrian linkage to SF’s Trans Bay Terminal when it is completed. This is what the piece looks like in reality during the daytime, the first picture is the architects rendering. Huether has two other glass based pieces in Continue Reading

El Pelu

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Nov 112015
 
El Pelu

Baracoa, Cuba This is El Pelú sculpted by Ramon Dominque Gainza. El Pelú was a native of Coruña, Spain named Francisco Rodríguez. There is very little known about him other than at some point in his life he ended up in Baracoa, Cuba.  He apparently wandered the streets preaching until sometime around 1896 when his sermons became offensive and the town council expelled him. Legend has it that while standing on the wharf, waiting for the boat that would send him into exile, he said “In Baracoa many good plans will be made, many good ideas will be generated, but all of Continue Reading

Nov 102015
 
The Shipyard

Hunter’s Point has a wonderful naval history in the City of San Francisco.  The Shipyard is a housing development by Lennar Corporation that has overtaken the entire site, building housing where the Army once resided. Originally, Hunters Point was a commercial shipyard established in 1870, by the Union Iron Works company, later owned by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company and named Hunters Point Drydocks. The original docks were built on solid rock. In 1916 the drydocks were thought to be the largest in the world. At over 1000 feet in length, they were said to be big enough to accommodate the world’s Continue Reading

Oct 132015
 
Bayview Horn

Bayview/Hunters Point at the Shipyards 11 Innes Court The Shipyards at Hunters Point is a new Lennar Development.  Part of the project is $1million in art provided by a Federal Grant to the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission. This piece titled Bayview Horn is by Jerry Barish and was purchased for $125,ooo. Jerry Ross Barrish is a sculptor and fourth generation San Franciscan who works  in Dog Patch. Barrish is a figurative artist whose early assemblages are made of found objects, actual plastic refuse and debris collected from his long walks along the southeastern shoreline. Barrish received his Bachelor of Fine Continue Reading

The Band

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Oct 032015
 
The Band

535 Mission Street The Band by Anton Standteiner -2014 This piece is part of the City’s art requirement for new construction. The artwork is a sculptural composition by Anton Josef Standteiner entitled “The Band”, constructed of bronze, copper, and steel, situated at the corner of Minna Street and Shaw Alley. The piece consists of four separate sculptures representing members of a music group, with each sculpture measuring approximately 10 feet in height. Standteiner, along with his brother and father make up Mountain Forge, a metal working shop in Tahoe, California since the 1960s.

Jaques Overhoff and Margaret Mead

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Sep 142015
 
Jaques Overhoff and Margaret Mead

150 Otis Street Mission/South of Market   This sculpture, by Jaques Overhoff, has sat on the side of 170 Otis Street, The Social Services Building, since 1977. The abstract sculpture is accompanied by a poem by Margaret Mead. At this time I am unable to determine whether or not this is part of Overhoff’s intent or a separate art piece all together. Jaques Overhoff, who has been in this site many times before was born in the Netherlands.  He attended the Graphics School of Design at the School of Fine Arts in Amsterdam, and the University of Oregon.  He moved Continue Reading

Our Silences

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Sep 082015
 
Our Silences

Harry Bridges Plaza Until October 15, 2015 The Consulate of Mexico and Rivelino are touring Nuestros Silencios (Our Silences) sculptures, to deliver a message about freedom of expression. Each sculpture has a metal plate covering its mouth as an allusion to censorship. The artist hopes the installation will prompt reflection about the importance of speaking out. This installation toured Europe (Russia, Germany, London, Rome and Portugal) in 2009-2011. The most recent installation was in Ruocco Park at the Port of San Diego in January 2015. “Our Silences” is made up of 10 monumental anthropo­morphic sculptures, in white and ochre cast Continue Reading