Lily Pond

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Jul 212016
 
Lily Pond

125 W. Fullerton Parkway Lincoln Park Chicago, Illinois Chicago’s official motto is “Urbs in Horto,” which translates to “City in a Garden”, much of the garden aspects of this town can be attributed to Alfred Caldwell and his mentor Jens Jensen. Lily Pond is the work of Alfred Caldwell. During the depression, Caldwell worked on and off for the Chicago Park District. It was a tumultuous relationship, but it was also steady work. In 1936, under the guise of the Park District and with WPA money Caldwell designed the Lily Pool. Caldwell suggested that “besides being a nature garden,” the Continue Reading

Boulder Man

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Jul 192016
 
Boulder Man

951 Chicago Avenue Oak Park, Chicago On the piers flanking the entry to Frank Lloyd Wrights 1898 architectural studio in Oak Park, Illinois, sit these two pieces, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and executed by Richard Bock. “Boulder Man” is the most valuable of Richard Bock’s work.  He originally designed and modeled the piece to top a gate post.  The body, apparently half buried in the earth is stunning from every angle.  These sculptures are reproductions.  They were re-created from photographs.  The originals had disintegrated beyond repair, the replicas were done during the 1980s restoration of Frank Lloyd Wrights home Continue Reading

Standing Lincoln

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Jul 172016
 
Standing Lincoln

Off N. Lake Shore Drive near W. North Avenue Chicago This is one of the two sculptures in Lincoln Park that were bequeathed to Chicago upon the death of lumberman Eli Bates. This 12 foot tall figure known as the “Standing Lincoln” was the first of Saint-Gaudens’ statues of Lincoln. He received the commission for this monument in 1884 and began work the following year. Lincoln had made quite an impression on Saint-Gaudens when he saw Lincoln in 1860 . “Lincoln stood tall in the carriage, his dark uncovered head bent in contemplative acknowledgement of the waiting people, and the Continue Reading

Shakespeare in Chicago

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Jul 162016
 
Shakespeare in Chicago

N. Lincoln Parkway West and W. Belden Avenue Chicago According to the Chicago Parks Department: “When Samuel Johnston, a successful north side businessman, died in 1886, he left a sizeable gift in his will for several charities as well as money for a memorial to William Shakespeare in Lincoln Park. A competition was held to select a sculptor. The winner was a Columbia University graduate, William Ordway Partridge (1861–1930), who had studied sculpture in France and Italy after a short stint as an actor. This commission presented a unique challenge for Partridge since the only known portraits of William Shakespeare Continue Reading

Eli Bates Fountain

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Jul 152016
 
Eli Bates Fountain

This whimsical fountain is known as both the Eli Bates Fountain and “Storks at Play”. Eli Bates was a Chicago lumberman who died in 1881. He bequeathed a fund for the commission of Standing Lincoln, also by Saint-Gaudens, and this fountain, both to be placed in Lincoln Park. Installed in 1887 it was a joint collaboration between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his student Frederick W. MacMonnies The figures for the fountain were cast by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company of New York. Augustus Saint-Gaudens has been in this site before, you can read about him here. In 1880 MacMonnies began an apprenticeship Continue Reading

Columbus Circle

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Jul 142016
 
Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle In front of Union Station Washington D.C. The fountain, which was co-created by Lorado Taft and architect Daniel Burnham, was influenced by a fountain designed by Frederick MacMonnies that was displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. MacMonnies work depicted a figure of Columbia sitting on a ship with a figure of Fame standing on a ship prow holding a trumpet and a representational figure of Time dominating the stern. With this sculpture Lorado Taft has Columbus standing, arms crossed, facing the Capitol. He is flanked by an American Indian, representing the “New World” facing Continue Reading

Fountain of Time

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Jul 112016
 
Fountain of Time

6000 Cottage Grove Avenue Chicago, Illinois Fountain of Time, or simply Time, is a 126 foot long sculpture by Lorado Taft, within Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture was inspired by Henry Austin Dobson’s poem, “Paradox of Time”. “Time goes, you say? Ah no, Alas, time stays, we go”. The sculpture includes Father Time, hooded and carrying a scythe. He watches over a parade of 100 figures showing humanity at various stages of life.   Although most of the figures are generic Taft included himself, with one of his assistants following him, along the west side of the sculpture. He is Continue Reading

Fountain of the Great Lakes

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Jul 092016
 
Fountain of the Great Lakes

Nichols Bridgeway Off E. Jackson and South Michigan Avenue Chicago Fountain of the Great Lakes or Spirit of the Great Lakes Fountain is an allegorical sculpture by Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The fountain was moved to this spot in the 1960s. Created between 1907-1913, the bronze fountain depicts five women arranged so that the water flows through them in the same way water passes through the Great Lakes. The fountain is Taft’s response to Daniel Burnham’s complaint at the Columbian Exposition in 1893 that the sculptors charged with ornamenting the fairgrounds failed to produce anything that Continue Reading

Eternal Silence

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Jul 092016
 
Eternal Silence

  The Eternal Silence, (also called Eternal Silence or Statue of Death)  marks the grave of Dexter Graves, who led a group of thirteen families that moved from Ohio to Chicago in 1831, making them some of Chicago’s earliest settlers. Graves died in 1844, seventy-five years before the creation of the statue, and sixteen years before Graceland Cemetery was founded; his body was presumably moved to Graceland from the old City Cemetery.  The funds for the monument were provided in the will of his son, Henry, who died in 1907. The will provided $250,000 for a Graves family mausoleum, they received the Continue Reading

Adam’s Memorial

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Jul 092016
 
Adam's Memorial

Section E Rock Creek Cemetery Washington D.C. I visit the Adams Memorial whenever I am in Washington D.C. This hauntingly beautiful sculpture is one I can never tire of.  It is by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The Smithsonian probably writes about it best: Marion Hooper “Clover” Adams, wife of the writer Henry Adams, committed suicide in 1885 by drinking chemicals used to develop photographs. Adams, who steadfastly refused to discuss his wife’s death, commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create a memorial that would express the Buddhist idea of nirvana, a state of being beyond joy and sorrow. In Adams’s circle of artists Continue Reading

Clara Porset

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Jul 072016
 
Clara Porset

Nespresso is running an ad for Cuban Coffee. On Sunday June 26, 2016, they took out a full page ad using Hemingway’s home in Havana as the perfect backdrop. There in the photo were two exquisite Clara Porset chairs. I thought it time to talk about her. Clara María del Carmen Magdalena Porset y Dumás was born in Matanzas, Cuba on May 25, 1895. Born into wealth she had the luxury to be educated in New York at Columbia University’s School of Fine Arts, as well as in Paris, where she attended classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the Continue Reading

Casa de Velazquez

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Jul 072016
 
Casa de Velazquez

Parque Cespedes Santiago de Cuba Diego Valazquez was the first governor of Cuba.  He was a cruel despot by all accounts, but his home, built in 1515 still stands as the oldest colonial-era house on the island. The home is of the Mudéjar style (or Hispanic-Moorish).  This style is characterized by its balconies, carved ceilings and the intricate geometric patterns found in the tile, metalwork and even the furniture. The one outstanding characteristic of the Velazquez house are its celosos.  They greet you at the front door, covering the second floor balcony, and then are found throughout the house screening Continue Reading

Parque del Ajedrez or Chess Park

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Jul 062016
 
Parque del Ajedrez or Chess Park

Santo Tomás and Enramada Streets Santiago de Cuba This small corner park was designed by American architect Walter Betancourt. Betancourt was born in 1932 in New York, son of Cuban parents that had escaped to Florida during the Cuban War for Independence. As a child of Cubans, Betancourt vacationed often in Cuba. After graduating with a degree in Architecture in 1956 from the University of Virginia, Betancourt entered the US Navy where he served, coincidentally enough, at Guantanamo.  Significantly, Betancourt was in Cuba during the July 26th coup attempt on the Moncada Barracks by Fidel Castro. After leaving the military Betancourt moved Continue Reading

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