Panama-Pacific International Exposition
The Jewel City:
Its Planning and Achievement; Its Architecture, Sculpture, Symbolism, and Music; Its Gardens, Palaces, and Exhibits
By Ben Macomber
With Colored Frontispiece and more than Seventy-Five Other Illustrations
No more accurate account of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition has been given than one that was forced from the lips of a charming Eastern woman of culture. Walking one evening in the Fine Arts colonnade, while the illumination from distant searchlights accented the glory of Maybeck's masterpiece, and lit up the half-domes and arches across the lagoon, she exclaimed to her companion: "Why, all the beauty of the world has been sifted, and the finest of it assembled here!"
This simple phrase, the involuntary outburst of a traveled visitor, will be echoed by thousands who feel the magic of what the master artists and architects of America have done here in celebration of the Panama Canal. I put the "artists" first, because this Exposition has set a new standard. Among all the great international expositions previously held in the United States, as well as those abroad, it had been the fashion for managers to order a manufactures building from one architect, a machinery hall from another, a fine arts gallery from a third. These worked almost independently. Their structures, separately, were often beautiful; together, they seldom indicated any kinship or common purpose. When the buildings were completed, the artists were called in to soften their disharmonies with such sculptural and horticultural decoration as might be possible.
The Exposition in San Francisco is the first, though it will not be the last, to subject its architecture to a definite artistic motive. How this came about it is the object of the present book to tell,—how the Exposition was planned as an appropriate expression of America's joy in the completion of the Canal, and how its structures, commemorating the peaceful meeting of the nations through that great waterway, have fitly been made to represent the art of the entire world, yet with such unity and originality as to give new interest to the ancient forms, and with such a wealth of appropriate symbolism in color, sculpture and mural painting as to make its great courts, towers and arches an inspiring story of Nature's beneficence and Man's progress.
Much of Mr. Macomber's text was written originally for The San Francisco Chronicle, to which acknowledgment is made for its permission to reprint his papers. The popularity of these articles, which have been running since February, has testified to their usefulness. In many cases they have been preserved and passed from hand to hand. They have also won the endorsement of liberal use in other publications. It is proper to say, however, that similarity of language sometimes indicates a common following of the artists' own explanations of their work, made public by the Exposition management.
Mr. Macomber has revised and amplified his chapters hitherto published, and has added others briefly outlining the history of the Exposition, and dealing with the fine-arts, industrial, and livestock exhibits, the foreign and state buildings, music, sports, aviation, and the amusement section. Apart from the smaller guides, the book is thus the first to attempt any comprehensive description of the Exposition. Without indiscriminate praise, or sacrificing independent judgment, the author's purpose has been to interpret and explain the many things about which the visitors on the ground and readers at home may naturally wish to know, rather than to point out minor defects.
For the general exhibit palaces, anything more than a brief outline of their contents would fill several books. But the chapter entitled "The Palace of Fine Arts and its Exhibit, with the Awards," supplies such an account of the plan of the galleries and of the important works therein as will furnish a clear and helpful guide to this great collection. The awards of the Fine Arts juries, just announced, have been incorporated in the account, while a full list of the grand prizes, medals of honor and gold medals also follows the chapter. With the artists thus named are noted the rooms where the works of each may be found. The Appendix offers a practical aid to the study of the "Exposition Art" in the list there given of the mural paintings and sculptures which form the notable decorations of palaces and gardens. With these are cross-references to the pages in the text where they are described.
In selecting the photographs here reproduced, the aim has been not so much to show exhibits as to illustrate the plan, architecture and decorative art of the Exposition, and to indicate the advance which it scores over its predecessors. The pictures, with their full "underlines," will aid those who have not yet visited the Exposition to apprehend its spirit and much of its unprecedented beauty. Cross-references from text to illustrations increase their helpfulness. But even these abundant illustration can do little more than suggest how far the artistic achievement is the finest yet seen in America. No book can adequately represent this World's Fair. Its spell is the charm of color and the grandeur of noble proportion, harmonizing great architectural units; its lesson is the compelling value, demonstrated on a vast scale, of exquisite taste. It must be seen to be understood.
John H. Williams.
San Francisco, July 15, 1915.
I. Motive and Planning of the Exposition II. Ground Plan and Landscape Gardening III. The South Gardens IV. "The Walled City": Its Great Palaces and their Architecture, Color and Material V. The Tower of Jewels VI. The Court of the Universe VII. The Court of the Ages VIII. The Court of the Seasons IX. Courts of Flowers and Palms X. The Fountains XI. The Palace of Machinery XII. The Palace of Fine Arts and its Exhibit, with the Awards XIII. The Exposition Illuminated XIV. Music at the Exposition XV. Inside the Exhibit Palaces XVI. The Foreign Pavilions XVII. The State Buildings XVIII. The Live-Stock Exhibit XIX. Sports and Games; Automobile Races; Aviation XX. The Joy Zone
Appendix: Lists of Sculptures, Mural Paintings, and Artists. Roster of the Exposition. Index.
Unless otherwise noted, these are from photographs by the official photographers, the Cardinell-Vincent Company.
Roman Arch of the Setting Sun, Color Plate from Photo by Gabriel Moulin Ground Plan of the Palace of Fine Arts Aeroplane View of the Exposition, Photo copyrighted by Gabriel Moulin Avenue of Palms The South Gardens The Palace of Horticulture Festival Hall—George H. Kahn Map of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition "Listening Woman" and "Young Girl," Festival Hall South Portal, Palace of Varied Industries—J. L. Padilla Palace of Liberal Arts Sixteenth-Century Spanish Portal, North Facade "The Pirate," North Portal "The Priest," Tower of Jewels The Tower of Jewels and Fountain of Energy "Cortez"—J. L. Padilla Under the Arch, Tower of Jewels Fountain of El Dorado Column of Progress—Pacific Photo and Art Co. "The Adventurous Bowman" Arch of the Setting Sun—J. L. Padilla Frieze at Base of the Column of Progress (2) The Court of the Universe and Arch of the Rising Sun "Earth" and "Fire" (2) "The Rising Sun" and "The Setting Sun" (2) Tower of the Ages—J. L. Padilla Fountain of the Earth—J. L. Padilla "Air," one of Brangwyn's Murals The Court of Seasons Arch in the Court of Seasons—George H. Kahn Court of Flowers, Detail—Pacific Photo and Art Co. "The End of the Trail"—J. L. Padilla "The Pioneer" The Court of Palms. Portal between the Courts of Palms and Seasons—Pacific Photo and Art Co. Fountain of Summer—J. L. Padilla The Mermaid Fountain Fountain of "Beauty and the Beast" The Palace of Machinery Palace of Machinery, Interior Vestibule, Palace of Machinery—Gabriel Moulin Palace of Fine Arts Open Corridor, Palace of Fine Arts Detail of Rotunda, Palace of Fine Arts Colonnade, Fine Arts, and Half-Dome, Food Products Palace —J. L. Padilla "The Mother of the Dead" "High Tide; the Return of the Fishermen"—Gabriel Moulin "Among the White Birch Trunks"—Gabriel Moulin Tower of Jewels at Night—J. L. Padilla "The Outcast" "Muse Finding the Head of Orpheus" Palace of Fine Arts at Night—Paul Elder Co. Tympanum, Palace of Varied Industries Tympanum, Palace of Education "The Genius of Creation" Pavilions of Australia and Canada (2),—H. W. Mossby, J. L. Padilla Pavilions of France and the Netherlands (2) Rodin's "The Thinker"—Friedrich Woiter A Court in the Italian Pavilion The Pavilion of Sweden Pavilions of Argentina and Japan (2) The New York State Building—Pacific Photo and Art Co. California Building Illinois and Missouri (2) Massachusetts and Pennsylvania (2) Inside the California Building Oregon and Washington (2) Aeroplane Flight at Night
The Jewel City
Motive and Planning of the Exposition
The Panama Canal a landmark in human progress—Its influence through changes in trade routes San Francisco determines, in spite of the great fire, to celebrate its completion—Millions pledged in two hours— Congressional approval won—The Exposition built by California and San Francisco, without National aid—Only two years given to construction— Fifty millions expended.
Human endeavor has supplied no nobler motive for public rejoicing than the union of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Panama Canal has stirred and enlarged the imaginations of men as no other task has done, however enormous the conception, however huge the work. The Canal is one of the few achievements which may properly be called epoch-making. Its building is of such signal and far reaching importance that it marks a point in history from which succeeding years and later progress will be counted. It is so variously significant that the future alone can determine the ways in which it will touch and modify the life of mankind.
First of all, of course, its intent is commercial. Experts have already estimated its influence on the traffic routes. But these experts, who can, from known present conditions, work out the changes that will take place, that are already taking place, in the flow of commerce on the seven seas, cannot estimate the effect those changes will have on the life of the people who inhabit their shores. Changes in trade routes have overwhelmed empires and raised up new nations, have nourished civilizations and brought others to decay. From the days when merchants first followed the caravan routes, nothing has so modified the history of nations as the course of the roads by which commerce moved. Huge as was the Canal as a physical undertaking alone, it is not less stupendous in the vision of the effects which will flow from it.
In this vision, the Western shore of the United States feels that it looms largely. No small part of the benefits of the Canal are expected to fall to the Pacific States. Long before it was completed, the minds of men in the West were filled with it. Its approaching completion appealed to everyone as an event of such tremendous significance as to deserve commemoration. Thus when R. B. Hale, in 1904, first proposed that the opening of the waterway should be marked by an international exposition in San Francisco, he merely gave expression to the thought of the whole West.
The Canal is a national undertaking, built by the labor and money of an entire people. It is of international significance, too, for its benefits are world-wide. The Exposition thus represents not only the United States but also the world in its effort to honor this achievement. San Francisco and California have merely staged the spectacle, in which the world participates.
An international exposition is a symbol of world progress. This one is so complete in its significance, so inclusive of all the best that man has done, that it is something more than a memorial of another event. It is itself epochal, as is the enterprise it commemorates. It bears a direct relation to the Canal. The motive of the Exposition was the grandeur of a great labor. Completed, it embodies that motive in the highest expression of art.
It took eleven years to prepare for and build the Exposition. The first proposal in 1904 was followed by five years of discussion of ways and means. Two years were occupied in raising the money and winning the consent of the Nation, and then four years more in planning, building, and collecting the exhibits. The first plans were interrupted, but not ended, by the most terrible disaster that ever befell a great city—the fire of 1906, which wiped out the entire business portion, with much of the residence section, of San Francisco, and destroyed hundreds of millions of wealth. Before that year ended, and while the city was only beginning its huge task of rebuilding, it again took up its festival idea. A company was formed, but, until reconstruction was largely out of the way, it was impossible to do more than keep the idea alive.
In October, 1909, the idea began to crystallize into a definite purpose. In that month President Taft, at a banquet at the Fairmont Hotel, declared that the Canal would be opened to commerce on January 1, 1915. That announcement gave the final impulse to the growing determination. The success of the Portola celebration that summer had given the city confidence in its ability to carry out a great festival undertaking. In fact, it was at a meeting of the Portola committee that the first move was made toward the organization that later became effective.
A mass-meeting in the Merchants' Exchange, on December 7, 1909, ended in a resolve to organize an exposition company. This found such strong popular support that at a second mass-meeting on April 28, 1910, $4,089,000 was subscribed in less than two hours. In two months the subscription had risen to $6,156,840. Governor Gillett called the California legislature in special session in August to submit to the people constitutional changes enabling San Francisco to issue exposition bonds in the amount of $5,000,000, and the State to raise another $5,000,000 by special tax. In November the people of State and city voted the two amounts. That placed a minimum of $16,000,000 to the credit of the Exposition Company and assured the world that California meant business.
Then followed the struggle for Congressional approval. New Orleans demanded the right to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal. All the resources of both cities were enlisted in a battle before Congress that drew the attention of the Nation. Three times delegations went from California to Washington to fight for the Exposition. California won, on January 31, 1911, when, by a vote of 188 to 159, the House of Representatives designated San Francisco as the city in which the Panama-Pacific International Exposition should be held in 1915 to commemorate the opening of the Canal.
During this struggle California gave her word that she would not ask the Nation for help in financing the Exposition. The promise has been kept. The Government has not even erected a national building. It has, however, helped in material ways, by granting the use of portions of the Presidio and Fort Mason reservations, by sending naval colliers to bring exhibits from European countries, and by becoming one of the heaviest exhibitors. The national exhibits include three companies of marines encamped on the grounds, and the battleship Oregon anchored off the Marina.
After Congress had acted, half a year was spent in choosing a site. It was at first expected that the Exposition would be built in Golden Gate Park. A compromise among advocates of different sites was reached on July 25, 1911, when a majority vote of the directors named a site including portions of Golden Gate Park, Lincoln Park, the Presidio, and Harbor View. Before 100,000 people President Taft broke ground for the Exposition in the Stadium of Golden Gate Park. But it was not long before the choice settled finally on Harbor View alone.
The work began with the organization of the architectural staff. The following architects accepted places on the commission: McKim, Mead and White, Henry Bacon, and Thomas Hastings of New York; Robert Farquhar of Los Angeles; and Louis Christian Mullgardt, George W. Kelham, Willis Polk, William B. Faville, Clarence R. Ward, and Arthur Brown of San Francisco. To their number was later added Bernard R. Maybeck of San Francisco, who designed the Palace of Fine Arts, while Edward H. Bennett, an associate of Burnham, of Chicago, made the final ground plan of the Exposition group. When San Francisco had been before Congress asking national endorsement for the Exposition here, the plans which were then presented, and on which the fight was won, were prepared by Ernest Coxhead, architect, of this city. These proposed a massed grouping of the Exposition structures, around courts, and on the Bay front. They were afterwards amplified by Coxhead, and furnished the keynote of the scheme finally carried out. While the Exposition belongs not to California alone, but to the whole world, it is pleasant to find that so much of what is best in it is the work of Californians and San Franciscans.
The architects perfected the plan in 1912. At the same time the actual work of preparing the site was completed with the filling of the tide-land portions by hydraulic dredgers and the removal of the standing buildings. In the same year the department chiefs were named and began their work. John McLaren, for many years Superintendent of Golden Gate Park, was put in charge of the landscape engineering; W. D'A. Ryan was chosen to plan the illumination, and Jules Guerin and K. T. F. Bitter were placed at the heads of the departments of color and sculpture. With these details behind, the ground-breaking for Machinery Palace in January, 1913, marked the beginning of the final stage. In the two years that remained it was necessary only to carry out the plans already perfected. No other exposition has been so forehanded. When the gates opened on February 20, 1915, to remain open till December 4, the Exposition was practically complete. Some of the exhibitors had not finished their installation; some of the foreign nations were not ready, but the Exposition had kept a promise made two years before to have its own work done on time. This achievement was quite unprecedented. It is the more remarkable in that the record was made by a city which had been almost annihilated by fire a few years before.
The entire cost of the Exposition, exclusive of the value of exhibits, is estimated by the Controller at $50,000,000. This total is made up of $20,000,000 spent by San Francisco and California, $10,000,000 laid out in state and foreign buildings and displays, $10,000,000 by private exhibitors, and $10,000,000 by the one hundred concessionaires on the Joy Zone. San Francisco contributed $12,500,000, the State of California $5,000,000, and its fifty-eight counties, $2,500,000. The amounts expended by foreign nations range from $1,700,000 by Argentina to sums as low as $100,000. The State of New York spent nearly $1,000,000.
Ground Plan and Landscape Gardening
The Exposition a product of co-operation of the arts—The landscape made part of the scheme—Block grouping of palaces and courts—Plan of the buildings—McLaren's wonders in gardening—Succession of flowers throughout the Exposition—Changes overnight—Unique wall of living green.
The artistic quality which distinguishes this Exposition above all others in America or Europe rests on two outstanding facts: the substantial unity of its architectural scheme, and its harmony of color, keyed to Nature's coloring of the landscape in which it is placed. The site furnished the clue to the plan; co-operation made possible the great success with which it has been worked out.
"Centuries ago," said George W. Kelham, chief of Exposition architecture, "before the modern age of advanced specialization was dreamed of, had an architect been asked to create an exposition, he would have been not only an architect, but painter, sculptor and landscape engineer as well. He would have thought, planned and executed from this fourfold angle, and I doubt if it would have even occurred to him to think of one of the arts as detached from another." These words express the method of the Exposition builders. The scheme adopted was a unit, in which all of the arts were needed, and in which they all combined to a single end. Each building, each court, every garden and large mass of foliage, was designed as part of a balanced composition. To make the landscape an integral part of the Exposition picture, by fitting the Exposition to the landscape, was the common aim of architect, colorist, sculptor and landscape engineer. The Mediterranean setting offered by a sloping bench on the shore of the Golden Gate suggested, as most capable of high expression of beauty, the scheme of a city of the Far East, its great buildings walled in and sheltering its courts. The coloring of earth, sky and sea furnished the palette from which tints were chosen alike for palaces and gardens.
The beauty of this plan is matched by its practical advantages. The compact grouping of the Exposition palaces not only meant a saving of ground and labor, but it makes it easier to handle the crowds, and lessens the walking required of the visitor. There is no monotony. In developing the general idea, each architect and artist was left free to express his own personality and imagination. The result is that varied forms and colors in the different courts and buildings blend truly into the whole picture of an Oriental city, set in the midst of a vast amphitheater of hills and bay, arched by the fathomless blue of the California sky.
The ground plan is as simple as it is compact. Entering through the main gate at Scott Street, the visitor has the Exposition before him, practically an equal section on either hand. (See map, p. 30, 31.) On right and left in the South Garden are Festival Hall and the Palace of Horticulture. (p. 23, 24, 29.) In front is the Tower of Jewels, before it the Fountain of Energy. (p. 47.) The tower centers the south front of a solid block of eight palaces, so closely joined in structure, and so harmonized in architecture, as to make really a single palace. On the right and left of the tower are the Palaces of Manufactures and Liberal Arts; beyond them, on east and west, are Varied Industries and Education. Behind these four, and fronting on the bay from east to west, are Mines, Transportation, Agriculture and Food Products. In the center of the group, cut out of the corners of the Manufactures, Liberal Arts, Agriculture and Transportation Palaces, and entered from the south through the Tower of Jewels, is the great Court of the Universe, opened on east and west by the triumphal Arches of the Nations. (p. 59 and 63.) The Court opens northward between the Palaces of Transportation and Agriculture in a splendid colonnaded avenue to the Column of Progress, near the bay. (p. 57.)
Through the arch on the east the Court of the Universe opens into an avenue which leads to the Court of the Ages, cut out of the intersection of the four Palaces of Manufactures, Varied Industries, Mines and Transportation. (p. 70.) A similar avenue on the west passes to the Court of Seasons, carved from the common junction of Liberal Arts, Education, Food Products and Agriculture. (p. 79 and 80.) Avenues pass east and west and to the north from each of these two courts, and on the south each connects through an arch with a court set back into the south front of the palace group, the Courts of Flowers and Palms. (p. 85, 87, 88, 93, 100.) On east and west of this central group of eight palaces are the Palace of Machinery and the Palace of Fine Arts (p. 105, 112), serving architecturally to balance the scheme. East of the exhibit palaces is the Joy Zone, a mile-long street solidly built with bizarre places of amusement. Balancing the Zone on the west is the State and Foreign section, with the live-stock exhibits, the polo field, race track and stadium beyond, at the western extremity of the grounds. The state buildings stand along two avenues on the north side of the section; the foreign pavilions occupy its southern half.
The Tower of Jewels and the central palace group face south on the Avenue of Palms (p. 18), which, at its west end, turns as it passes the Fine Arts lagoon, and becomes the Avenue of Nations. This latter highway, bordered by the foreign buildings, joins at its western extremity the Esplanade, a broad avenue passing the north face of the palace group and continuing westward between the state and the foreign sections.
On the east, the Avenue of Progress divides the central group from the Palace of Machinery. Administration Avenue on the west separates the central group from the Palace of Fine Arts. Along the bay shore is the Marina, and between it and the Esplanade are the Yacht Harbor and the lawns of the North Gardens.
Surrounding all these buildings, filling the courts and bordering the avenues, are John McLaren's lovely gardens. For multitudes of visitors this landscape gardening is the most wonderful thing about the Exposition. The trees and flowers have been placed with perfect art; they look as though they had been there always. It is hard for a stranger to believe that three years ago the Exposition site was a marsh, and that these trees were transplanted last year.
The Avenue of Palms is bordered on each side for half a mile with a double row of California fan palms and Canary date palms, trees from eighteen to twenty-five feet high and festooned higher than a man's head with ivy and blooming nasturtium. (See p. 18.) These massive plants, soil, roots, vines and all, were brought bodily from Golden Gate Park. Against the south walls of the buildings facing this avenue are banked hundreds of eucalyptus globulus, forty to fifty feet high, with smaller varieties of eucalyptus, and yellow flowering acacias.
The Avenue of Progress is bordered with groups of Draceona indivisa, averaging twenty feet in height. The walls of the palaces on either hand are clothed with tall Monterey and Lawson cypresses and arbor vitae. Between these and the Draceonas of the avenue are planted specimens of Abies pinsapo, the Spanish fir. Banks of flowers and vines cover the ground around the bases of the trees. Administration Avenue has on one side the thickets of the Fine Arts lagoon, on the other, masses of eucalyptus globulus against the palace walls, finished off with other hardy trees and shrubs. Against the north front of the palaces are set Monterey cypresses and eucalyptus, banked with acacias.
The entire city side of the South Gardens is bordered by a wondrous wall of living green,—not a hedge, but truly a wall,—the most surprising of all McLaren's inventions. For this wall, though living, is not rooted in the ground, but is really a skeleton of timbers, three times the height of a man, paneled solidly on both sides with shallow boxes of earth thickly set with a tiny green plant, which, as though crushed down by the weight of its name, Mesembryantliemum spectabilis, hugs the soil closely. Each box, really nothing more than a tray, is barely deep enough to contain a couple of inches of earth, and is screened over with wire mesh to prevent the slice of soil from falling out when it is set on edge. Some thousands of these boxes are required to cover the entire wall, which thus appears a solid mass of greenery. The little plant looks like the common ice-plant of old-fashioned gardens, and is actually kin to it. It asks little of this world, is accustomed to grow in difficult places, and is kept green by sprinkling. If a section of it gives up the struggle, the tray may be replaced with a fresh one. From time to time a blush of tiny pink flowers runs over the wall. There seems to be no season for the blossoms, but whenever the sun shines, this delicate shimmer of bloom appears.
The season opened in the great sunken garden of the Court of the Universe with solid masses of rhododendron. The Court of the Ages was a pink flare of hyacinths, which, with an exquisite sense of the desert feeling of the court, were stripped of their leaves and left to stand on bare stalks. The South Gardens and the Court of Flowers were a golden glow of daffodils. Daffodils, too, were everywhere else, with rhododendron just breaking into bloom. The daffodil show lasted several weeks until, over night, it was replaced by acres of yellow tulips blooming above thick mats of pansies. This magic change was merely the result of McLaren's forethought. The daffodils had all been set at the right time to bloom when the Exposition opened. The pansies were set with them, but were unnoticed beneath the taller daffodils. Unnoticed also were the tulips, steadily shooting upward to be ready in bloom the moment the daffodils began to fail. One night and morning scores of workmen clipped off all the fading daffodils, and left a yellow sea of tulips with cups just opening. When the tulips faded early, because of continued rains, the solid masses of pansies remained to keep up the golden show. With the end of the yellow period came three months of pink flowers, to be followed in the closing third of the Exposition's life by a show of variegated blooms.
This marvelous sequence of flowers without a gap is not the result of chance, or even of California's floral prodigality, but of McLaren's hard-headed calculation. He actually rehearsed the whole floral scheme of the Exposition for three seasons beforehand. To a day, he knew the time that would elapse between the planting and the blooming of any flower he planned to use. Thus he scheduled his gardening for the whole season so that the gardens should always be in full bloom. In McLaren's program there are ten months of constant bloom, without a break, without a wait. No such gardening was ever seen before. Needless to say, it could hardly have been attempted elsewhere than in California.
The South Gardens
A charming foreground to the great palaces—Palace of Horticulture and some of its rare plants—Food for pirates—Ancient and blue-blooded forest dwarfs—The Horticultural Gardens—House of Hoo Hoo—Festival Hall, with its fine sculptures by Sherry Fry—A remarkable pipe organ.
Entering the Exposition by the main or Scott Street gate, the visitor has before him the beautiful South Gardens. (See p. 23.) These form an animated and effective foreground for the Exposition palaces. Except for their fountains, the gardens and the structures in them are less notable for sculpture than the central courts of the Exposition. Most of the plastic work here is purely decorative. The gardens are formal, French in style, laid out with long rectangular pools, each with a formal fountain, and each surrounded by a conventional balustrade with flower receptacles and lamp standards. In harmony with their surroundings, the buildings, too, are French, of florid, festival style.
The Palace of Horticulture, Bakewell and Brown, architects, is the largest and most splendid of the garden structures. (p. 24.) Byzantine in its architecture, suggesting the Mosque of Ahmed I, at Constantinople, its Gallic decorations have made it essentially French in spirit. The ornamentation of this palace is the most florid of any building in the Exposition proper. Yet this opulence is not inappropriate. In size and form, no less than in theme, the structure is well adapted to carry such rich decoration. This is the palace of the bounty of nature; its adornment symbolizes the rich yield of California fields.
In harmony also with the theme, the human figure is absent from the sculpture, save in the caryatids of the porches and the groups supporting the tall finials. Fruits and flowers, interwoven in heavy garlands and overflowing from baskets and urns, carry out the idea of profuse abundance. The great dome, larger than the dome of either St. Peter's at Rome or the Pantheon at Paris, is itself an overturned fruit basket, with a second latticed basket on its top. The conception of profusion becomes almost barbaric in the three pavilioned entrances, flanked on either side by the tall finials suggesting minarets. Here the Oriental influence of the architectural form, the mosque, becomes most pronounced, changing to French again in the caryatid porches.
Altogether, the Palace of Horticulture is a beautiful building, but rather hard to see properly from the ground. From an elevation, where it appears more as a whole, it is far more effective. Curiously, it photographs better than any other building here, save the Fine Arts Palace, but in actual view it hardly lives up to the pictures. Perhaps this is because the comparatively small portions of the structure seen between the trees near-by are dwarfed by the huge dome, while in photographs the camera emphasizes the lower and nearer sections and reduces the proportions of the dome.
The exhibit housed under the great dome should not be passed by. A vivid bit of the tropics is the Cuban display. Here, in an atmosphere artificially heated and moistened to reproduce the steaming jungle, is massed a splendid exhibit of those island trees and flowers that most of us know only through pictures and stories of southern seas. Around the central source of light, which is hidden under tropic vines, stands a circle of royal palms; and planted thickly over the remaining space are jungle trees, vivid enough to our imagination, but many of which have never before been seen in this country.
Boys who feel pirate blood in their veins will revel in this reproduction of the scenes of imagined adventure. Any reasonable pirate could be quite happy here. For here is the breadfruit tree, read of in many a tale of castaways; also the cocoanut palm, with the fruits hanging among the fronds, waiting for the legendary monkey to scamper up the trunk and hurl the great balls at the heads of the beholders. Here, too, are the mango, and many sorts of bananas, and the cabbage palm, another favorite resource of starving adventurers. With these there are other jungle denizens,—the bamboo palm, the paperleaf palm, splendid specimens of the world-old cycad family, the guanabana, and a Tom Thumb palm, which, full grown, is no more than a handbreadth high.
Ancient among trees are the two specimens of microcycas from the swamps of Cuba. These Methuselahs of the forest are at least 1,000 years old, according to the botanists. They are among the slowest growing of living things, and neither of them is much taller than a man. They were seedlings when Alfred the Great ruled England, and perhaps four feet high when Columbus first broke through the western seas. In the four centuries of Cuban history they have not grown so much again.
These venerable trees belong to the bluest-blooded aristocracy of the vegetable world. Ages ago they inhabited our northern states. Their family has come down practically unchanged from the steaming days of the Carboniferous period, when ferns grew one hundred feet high, and thronged with other rank tropical growths in matted masses to form the coal measures. The fossil remains of cycads in the rocks of that period prove that they once flourished in the tropic swamps where now are the hills of Wyoming and Dakota.
Scattered among the trees is a host of flowering vines, of huge crotons with variegated leaves, giant gardenias and tropical lilies. When these bloom, the air of this transplanted jungle is heavy with the perfume of their own island habitat.
The Horticultural Gardens south of the Palace belong to it, and contain a large part of the horticultural exhibits. As they were planted for competitive exhibition purposes, they will not show the constant beauty that appears in the South Gardens. Here we must wait for the flowers in their season, and not expect to have them changed overnight for us by the gardeners' magic.
Back of this horticultural garden is the House of Hoo Hoo, in Forestry Court, flanked by the Pine and Redwood Bungalows. It needs but a glance at its beguiling loveliness to know that here is another lesson in art and architecture by Bernard Maybeck. Here again is poetry in architecture, of a different order from the noble theme of Maybeck's Fine Arts Palace, but none the less poetry. This is a sylvan idyll, telling of lofty trees, cool shades, and secret bowers of fern and vine and wild flower, in the moist and tangled redwood forests. There is little used but rough-barked tree trunks, but what delicate harmony of arrangement!
This lumbermen's lodge is one building outside the Exposition palaces that should not be missed, even though almost hidden away against the south wall. It is worth pondering over. No one may want to build a house like it, but it proclaims how beauty can be attained with simple materials and just proportions.
Festival Hall, Robert Farquhar, architect, balances the Palace of Horticulture in the architectural plan of the South Gardens. (p. 29.) It, too, is French in style, its architecture suggested by the Theatre des Beaux Arts in Paris, a design which furnished the dome necessary to harmonize with that of the palace to the west. As architecture, however, it fails to hold up its end with the splendid Horticultural Palace. Its dome is too large, and has too little structure around it, to be placed so near the ground without an effect of squattiness. Its festive adornment is extremely moderate. On the cornice above the main entrance is the rhyton, the ancient Greek drinking horn, symbol of festivity.
The sculpture, all done by Sherry E. Fry, carries out the same idea. The graceful figures poised on the corner domes are Torch Bearers. On the pylons at either end of the semicircular arcade of the main entrance are two reclining figures. On the right is Bacchus, with his grapes and wineskin,—a magnificently "pickled" Bacchus! On the left a woman is listening to the strains of festal music. (p. 32.) Each of the pedestals before the false windows at the ends of the arcade supports a figure of Flora with garlands of flowers. On the ground below the two Floras are two of the most delightful pieces of all the Exposition sculpture. One is a little Pan, pipes in hand, sitting on a skin spread over an Ionic capital. This is a real boy, crouching to watch the lizard that has crawled out from beneath the stone. The other is a young girl dreaming the dreams of childhood. There is something essentially girlish about this. Unfortunately, it is now almost hidden by shrubbery.
Within Festival Hall is one of the half-dozen greatest organs in the world. It has more than 7,000 pipes. The heaviest of them weigh as much as 1,200 pounds apiece. Though mere size is not the essential quality of a fine instrument, it is hard to ignore the real immensity of this. The echo organ alone is larger than most pipe organs. This complementary instrument, which is played from the console of the main organ, is placed under the roof of the hall, above the center of the ceiling. Its tones, floating down through the apertures in the dome, echo the themes of the great organ.
Few organs have so mighty a note as the sixty-four-foot open pitch attainable on the Exposition's instrument. Speaking by itself, this note has no sound. It is only a tremendous quaking of the whole building, as though the earth were shuddering. By itself it has no place in organ music. It is not intended to be struck alone. It is used only as a foundation upon which to build other tones. In combination it adds majesty to the music, rumbling in a gigantic undertone to the lighter notes.
Even the open stops in this organ are of more than ordinary dimensions. The usual limit in a pipe organ is the sixteen-foot open stop. But in this organ there are several pipes, both of wood and of metal, thirty-two feet or more in length.
Two small buildings, balanced on either side of the Scott-street entrance, are the Press Building and the Exposition home of the National Young Women's Christian Association. They are alike, French in style, and fronted with caryatid porches.
The real glory of the South Gardens lies in their flowers, and in the charming setting the landscape engineers have here given to the south facade of the palace group. There is the air of Versailles in the planned gayety of the scene. In this the pools and fountains, the formal gardens, the massed trees and shrubbery, and the two palaces themselves, play their part.
"The Walled City": It's Great Palaces and their Architecture, Color and Material
The central group of Exposition structures really a single vast palace, behind a rampart—Historical fitness of such architecture here—The south facade—Spanish portals of Varied Industries and Education Palaces—Italian Renaissance portals of Manufactures and Liberal Arts, and of the Courts of Flowers and Palms—The Roman west wall—Ornate doorway of north facade Interior courts and aisles—A balanced plan— This the first exposition to adopt the colors of nature for its structures—Jules Guerin's color scheme, designed for an artificial travertine marble—Simplicity of his palette, from which he painted the entire Exposition—Even the flowers and sanded walks conform.
Although there are eight buildings named in the central palace group, these are so closely connected in design and structure that in reality they make but one palace. Here is seen the unity with variety which marks this Exposition above all others. Commemorating a great international event, its architecture is purposely eclectic, cosmopolitan. Under a dominating Moorish-Spanish general form, the single architect of the group, W. B. Faville, of San Francisco, drawing upon the famous styles of many lands and schools, has combined into an ordered and vastly impressive whole not only the structural art of Orient and of the great Spanish builders, but also the principles of the Italian Renaissance and the architecture of Greece and Rome from which it sprang. Thus the group is wholly Southern in its origin. There is no suggestion here of the colder Gothic architecture of the North.
Differing from each other in many details, the eight palaces are alike in their outer walls, their domes and gables, and similar in their entrances. These portals give a distinctive character to each palace. While the palaces differ widely in details of decoration, they all have a common source; they are all Mediterranean,—not all Byzantine, or Roman, or Italian, or Spanish, or Moorish, but some thing of each. The manner in which these forms are carried over from one palace to another, and the almost constant recurrence of some of them, like the Moorish domes at the corners, blends them without jar or break. The great wall, almost blank, except for the entrances, encloses the palaces like a walled city of the Mediterranean or the nearer Orient. Such a walled city it is, with its courts, its avenues, its fountains and pools, all placed in a setting of landscape, sea and sky, that might belong to Spain, or Southern Italy, or the lands of the Moslem.
The broad, unbroken spaces that mark each face of this vast block greatly heighten the illusion. They lend an Old-World aspect, the historical fitness of which must not be overlooked. For these plain surfaces are indeed significant in the celebration of an event which was predicted by the Spanish conquistadors a century before the English Cavaliers and Puritans laid the foundations of our American Commonwealth. Relieved only by the foliage that is finely massed against them, the great blank spaces of the "Walled City" recall the severer side of Mediterranean architecture, just as their gorgeously ornate portals, towers and domes speak of its warmth and color. They are an architectural feature that has traveled far. The unbroken rampart, born of the need of defense in immemorial cities on the east and south shores of the Mediterranean, was carried thence by the Moors to Spain, to go in turn with the conquerors of the New World, and became a characteristic of the civic and ecclesiastical architecture of Latin America. Hence it is not without meaning and reason that this historic architectural form, the blank exterior of the walled city, has found its finest use in the far-western city of St. Francis. Quite apart from their frequent occurrence in the mission architecture of old Alta California, these simple wall spaces well befit the monumental structure that honors an achievement so important to all Spanish America as the Panama Canal.
The southern front of the group, facing the Avenue of Palms, has the aspect of a single palace, opened in the center by the noble Roman arch of the Tower of Jewels, and indented by the Court of Flowers and the Court of Palms. (See p. 18, 88.) Seen across the South Gardens, the whole facade rising from the trees along the wall, is wondrously beautiful. The wall is seventy feet high, topped with a red-tiled roof. The pale green domes over the centers of the palaces are Byzantine, a style much used in the mosques of Islam. The gables are each crowned with a figure of Victory, sometimes called an "acroterium," from the architectural name of the tablet on which it stands. The towers on either side of the entrances to the courts are Italian. The little towers buttressing the domes on the corners of the palaces at the extreme right and left of the front, and from there repeated around the east, west and north walls, are Moorish, with characteristic latticed windows.
The Palace of Varied Industries, on the extreme right, is made entirely Spanish in its southern front by its beautiful central portal, modeled after the sixteenth-century entrance to the Hospice of Santa Cruz at Toledo. (pp. 18, 37.) Except for the sculpture, in which the Spanish saints have been replaced by figures of industry, the portal is a copy of the original. All the figures are the work of Ralph Stackpole, whose treatment of the subjects, no less than their exalted position in the niches of the saints, has dignified the workman.
On each side of the entrance is the "Man with a Pick." The group in the tympanum represents Varied Industries. (p. 138.) The central figure is Agriculture, the basic food-supplying industry. On one side is the Builder, on the other the Common Workman. Beyond them are Commerce holding the figurehead of a ship, and a woman with a spindle, a lamb before her, typifying the textile industries.
The figure in the keystone represents the Power of Industry. Under the upper canopy is an old man handing his burden to a younger one, the Old World passing its burdens on to the New World. The infant figures come from the Spanish original.
The two lesser portals on the south side of this palace are likewise Spanish. In the grill work of their openings, designed in imitation of metal, as well as in that of the central portal, there is a strong suggestion of the Arabian architecture brought into Spain by the Moors. Indeed, there is something Moorish about the whole work, except that the Mohammedans do not represent living things in art. A passage in the Koran tells devout followers of the prophet that if they should carve or picture a plant or animal they would be called upon at the Judgment to make it real. Sometimes, however, they employed Christian workmen to execute such representations, being quite resigned to let the unbeliever risk damnation.
The bears terminating the buttresses on the walls represent California, and hold the seal of the State. Such buttresses against a plain wall, with a tiled roof, are common in the Franciscan missions of California.
The Palaces of Manufactures and Liberal Arts, on either side of the Tower of Jewels, are alike on the south, and Italian. The Moorish corner domes are omitted here, as the palaces terminate on one side in one of the Italian towers and on the other in the wings of the Tower of Jewels. The central portals are Italian, with tiled roofs and latticed grills, with handsome imitations of bronze work under the arches. The friezes over the arches as well as the figures in the niches are by Mahonri Young, of New York. The frieze represents industries of various kinds, the work of women as well as of men. In the niche on the left is a woman with a spindle, on the right a workman with a sledgehammer. Like Stackpole's figures on the portal of Varied Industries, Young's sculptures are simple and strong. The lion used as the keystone figure of the arch and the lions and elephants alternating as fountain heads in the niches in the wall give an Oriental touch to these palaces.
Of their portals none are more beautiful than those leading from the Courts of Flowers and Palms. All four are finely expressive of the noblest architecture of the Italian Renaissance. They glow with the sunshine and color of Italy. Those entering the Palaces of Liberal Arts and Education from the Court of Palms are identical in design, and seem almost perfect in their harmonious lines and warm color. (p. 88.) The other pair, opening from the Palaces of Manufactures and Varied Industries into the Court of Flowers, are cheery portals, made more domestic in feeling by the loggia between the colonnade and the tiled roof. (p. 85, 100.)
The three portals of the Palace of Education are of the Spanish Renaissance, and the Moorish towers reappear at the corners. The twisted columns of the entrances are Byzantine. The tympanum above the central portal contains Gustav Gerlach's group "Education." (p. 138.) In the center is the teacher with her pupils, seated under the Tree of Knowledge; on the left, the mother instructs her children; on the right, the young man, his school days past, is working out for himself a problem of science. Thus the group pictures the various stages of education, from its beginning at home to that training in the school of life which ends only at death. The cartouche just above the entrance bears the Book of Knowledge, shedding light in all directions, the curtains of darkness drawn back by the figures at the side. The hour glass below the book counsels the diligent use of time; the crown above symbolizes the reward of knowledge. The banded globe over the portal signifies that education encompasses the world.
Above each of the flanking portals is an inset panel representing the Teacher, a woman at the left, a man at the right. The man looks toward the woman, thus signifying that the world is no longer dependent on man alone.
Turning the corner, the entire west wall of the palaces becomes Roman to accord with the Roman Palace of Fine Arts across the lagoon. The characteristic features are the Roman half-domes above the entrances, and the sculptures repeated in the niches of the walls. (p. 119.) On this side, the Palaces of Education and Food Products are alike, except for a slight difference in the vestibule statuary and the fountains.
On the great Sienna columns beside the half-domes stands Ralph Stackpole's "Thought." The semicircle of female figures in the vestibule of the dome of the Palace of Education, bearing in their hands books with the motto "Ex Libris," though the preposition is omitted, represents the store of knowledge in books. The similar array of men bearing wreaths of cereals in the half-dome of the Palace of Food Products signifies the source of vigor in the fruits of the soil. The simple Italian fountains in the vestibules, the work of W. B. Faville, are decorative and beautiful.
The alternated groups in the niches along the wall are "The Triumph of the Fields" and "Abundance." This is well called archaeological sculpture, for the emblems are from the dim past, and can be understood only with the help of an archaeological encyclopaedia. In the first are the bull standard and the Celtic cross, which were carried through the fields in ancient harvest festivals. In the second, the objects heaped around the lady suggest abundance.
The north facade of the palace group is an unbroken Spanish wall, blank, except for the four beautiful and identical sixteenth-century portals. (See p. 43.) This magnificent decoration, suggestive of the finest work in rare metals, is, in fact, called "plateresque," from its resemblance to the work of silversmiths. The figures looking out on the blue water that reaches to Panama and the shores of Peru, are historical. In the center is the Conquistador. Flanking his stately figure on each side is the pirate of the Spanish Main, the adventurer who served with but a color of lawful war under Drake, the buccaneer that followed Morgan to the sack of Panama. (p. 44.) These statues are by Allen Newman.
Every man jack of the eight pirates on the four portals is apparently bow-legged. There is a vast space between the knees of these buccaneers of Panama, but when you look more closely it is hard to decide whether those pirate knees are really sprung, or whether it is the posture of the figures that suggests the old quip about the pig in the alley. The sculptor has at least given to the figures a curious effect of bandy legs. The feet are set wide apart, the space between and behind the legs is deeply hollowed out, and the rope which hangs from the hands curves in over the feet to add to the illusion. There used to be a saying that cross-eyed people could not be honest. Similarly, perhaps, Newman thought the appearance of bow-legs would increase the villainy of his pirate. Certainly, no such blood-curdling ruffian has been seen out of comic opera.
The east wall of the palace group becomes Old Italian, to harmonize with the Roman architecture of the Machinery Palace opposite. The portals suggest those of ancient Italian city walls. In the niches stands Albert Weinert's "Miner," here used because the Palace of Mines forms one half the wall.
In the long avenue that runs east and west through the center of the group, the unity of the eight buildings becomes more apparent as we view the noble arches which join them, and note the character of their inner facades. Education and Food Products are alike in the walls and portals fronting on the dividing aisle. The Spanish architecture of the south facade of Education is here carried over to Food Products. Similarly, the avenue between Mines and Varied Industries is the same on both sides, carrying out the Old Italian of the east front, and with The Miner repeated in the portal niches of both palaces. The avenues leading from the Court of the Universe to the Court of Ages and the Court of Seasons have been variously called the Aisles of the Rising and the Setting Sun, or the Venetian and Florentine Aisles. Their four walls are in the style of the Italian Renaissance, and show a diaper design similar to that on the Italian towers of the Courts of Flowers and Palms.
In an artistic sense, this group is incomplete without the Palace of Fine Arts on the west and Machinery Hall on the east. (p. 105, 106.) Balancing each other in the general scheme, they form the necessary terminals of the axis of the Exposition plan. This matter of balance has been carefully thought out everywhere, and affords a fine example of the co-operation of the many architects who worked out the vast general design. The Courts of Seasons and Ages are set off against each other; the Courts of Palms and Flowers weigh equally one against the other; the Arches of the Nations not only balance but match; even the Tower of Jewels, which is the center of the whole plan, is offset by the Column of Progress. In the South Gardens, the Palace of Horticulture is balanced against Festival Hall.
Color and Material.—All other Expositions have been almost colorless. This is the first to make use of the natural colors of sea and sky, of hill and tree, and to lay upon all its grounds and buildings tints that harmonize with these. Jules Guerin, the master colorist, was the artist who used the Exposition as a canvas on which to spread glorious hues. Guerin decided, first, that the basic material of the buildings should be an imitation of the travertine of ancient Roman palaces. On this delicate old ivory background he laid a simple series of warm, yet quiet, Oriental hues, which, in their adaptation to the material of construction and to the architecture, as well as in their exquisite harmony with the natural setting, breeds a vast respect for his art.
The color scheme covers everything, from the domes of the buildings down to the sand in the driveways and the uniforms of the Exposition guards. The walls, the flags and pennants that wave over the buildings, the shields and other emblems of heraldry that hide the sources of light, draw their hues from Guerin's plan. The flowers of the garden conform to it, the statuary is tinted in accordance with it, and even the painters whose mural pictures adorn the courts and arches and the Fine Arts Rotunda were obliged to use his color series. The result gives such life and beauty and individuality to this Exposition as no other ever had. It makes possible such beautiful ornamentation as the splendid Nubian columns of the Palace of Fine Arts, and the glories of the arches of the Court of the Universe. (See frontispiece.)
Go into that Court on a bright day and take note of the art that has made Nature herself a part of the color plan. From a central position in the court, where one can look down the broad approach leading from the bay, Nature spreads before the beholder two expanses of color, the deep blue of salt water sparkling in the sun, and the not less deep, but more ethereal, blue of the California sky. With this are the browns and greens of the hills beyond the bay, and, nearer at hand, the vivid verdure of lawns and trees and shrubs. All these the designer used as though they were colors from his own palette. To go with them in his scheme he chose for pillar and portico, for the wall spaces behind, for arch and dome, for the decorations and for material of the sculptures, such hues that the whole splendid court and its vistas of palaces beyond blend with the colors of sea and sky and of green living things in a glorious harmony.
Such a view of the heart of the Exposition at its best compels recognition of Guerin's skill in color. It needed a vivid imagination to realize the possibilities of the scene, and visualize it. It required infinite delicacy and a fine sense of the absolute rightness of shade and tint to produce such harmonious beauty. The mere thought of it is a lesson in art.
The decision of the architects to develop the theme of an Oriental walled city, and the natural setting of the site, Mediterranean in its sea and sky, led Guerin to select Oriental colors. Aiming at simplicity, he decreed that not more than eight or nine colors should be found upon the subdued palette from which he would paint the Exposition. Then he took into consideration the climate and atmospheric conditions peculiar to San Francisco. Every phase of sky and sea and land, every shadow upon the Marin hills, across the bay, was noted in choosing an imitation of natural travertine for the key color of the Palaces.
This is a pale pinkish-gray-buff, which may be called old ivory. It is not garish, as a dead white would be, especially in the strong California sunlight, but soft and restful to the eye. It harmonizes with the other colors selected, and, most important of all, it avoids a certain "new" effect which pure white would give, and which is deadly to art.
Paul Deniville, who had already developed a successful imitation of travertine, was engaged to make the composition to be applied over the exterior walls. This is a reproduction in stucco of the travertine marble of the Roman palaces of the period of Augustus. This marble is a calcareous formation deposited from the waters of hot springs, usually in volcanic regions, and is common in the hills about Rome. It often contains the moulds left by leaves and other materials incorporated in the deposit. These account for the corrugations of the stone when it is cut. In California, as in other regions where hot springs are found, travertine is not uncommon. It is found notably in the volcanic district of Mono County, and elsewhere, sometimes in the form of Mexican onyx, which is only a translucent variety of the same marble. In its reproduction here the marble has been imitated even to the natural imperfections which roughened the Italian stone. In the concave surfaces of the ornamentation the color has been deepened, so that it appears sometimes as a rich reddish brown. All this enhances the antique effect, making the palace walls and columns still more like those of the old Roman construction.
Besides the travertine the eight other colors employed are:
1. French Green, used in all lattices, flower tubs, curbing of great plats, where it complements the green of the grass, In the exterior woodwork and some of the smaller doors.
2. Oxidized Copper Green, a peculiar mottled light green. All the domes, except the six yellow ones in the Court of the Universe, are of this light green. It forms a sharp contrast with the blue sky and a pleasing topping to the travertine walls.
3. Blue Green, found in the ornamentation of the travertine, and in the darker shades at the bases of the flag poles. These first three colors, all in tones of green, are regarded as one unit in the spectrum of nine colors allowed by Guerin.
4. Pinkish-Red-Gold, used in the flag poles and lighting standards only. It is a very brilliant and striking pigment, and is always topped with gold.
5. Wall-Red, used in three tones. They are found in the backgrounds of the colonnades, courts and niches, on the tiled roofs, and in the statuary. These reds run from terra-cotta to a deep russet, and predominate in the interiors of the principal courts.
6. Yellow-Golden-Orange, largely used in enriching the travertine and in enhancing shadow effects. It is found in the architectural mouldings and in much of the statuary. The following rule was adopted in regard to the coloring of the statuary: That which is high off the ground, that is, the figures surmounting the domes and spires, is of golden yellow, while that close to the eye of the beholder is of verde-antique, a rich copper-green streaked with gray, and much is left in the natural travertine tint.
7. Deep Cerulean Blue and Oriental Blue, verging upon green, are used in the ceilings and other vaulted recesses, in deep shadows, in coffers and in the background or ornamentation in which travertine rosettes are set in cerulean blue panels. It might be called electric blue. It is brilliant and at the same time in harmony with the other colors.
8. Gray, very similar to the travertine.
9. Marble Tint, spread over the travertine in places with a transparent glaze.
10. Verde-Antique, really one of the many shades of green—a combination of the copper-green and a soft gray, and therefore not to be counted as one of the nine cardinal colors. It simulates corroded copper, and has faint yellow and black lines.
With the gamut thus restricted by the taste and discrimination of a master, the decorators and artists were strictly limited to the nine colors named. No one might use other than cerulean blue, if he employed blue at all; no other red than the tone popularly known as "Pompeiian" has been admitted in the scheme. In this red the admixture of brown and yellow nullify any tendency towards carmine on crimson. The French and the copper greens and the intermediate shades approved by Guerin are the only greens allowed.
Here is seen the great advantage of a one-man idea. No other exposition was ever so carefully or successfully planned in this particular. There is no court of one color clashing with a dome, palace or tower of conflicting tone, whether near by or at a distance. All is in harmony.
Working with Guerin, John McLaren, in charge of the landscape gardening, so selected the flowers which border the paths and fill the parterres that they too conform to the color scheme. Though three different complete floral suits are to be seen at the Exposition in three periods, each one accords with the hues of wall and tower, completing in harmony the effect of the whole. The pinkish sand spread on the paths and avenues to harmonize with other ground colors was not always tinted. Some one had noticed that the white beach sand at Santa Cruz turned pink when heated. Seizing upon this fact, McLaren and Guerin used it to give a final touch to their scheme of color. They drew another lesson from the washerwoman. A familiar laundry device was used to give sparkle and brilliance to the waters of the pools and lagoons. They were blued, not by dumping indigo into the water, but by tinting the bottoms with blue paint.
The Tower of Jewels
Imposing as the central accent of the Exposition's architecture—Its magic glow at night—A magnificent Roman arch—"Jewels" of the Tower— An historical landmark—Inscriptions, sculpture and murals—Fountains of "Youth" and "El Dorado"—An epitome of the Exposition's art.
The Tower of Jewels, Carrere and Hastings, architects, is the central structure in the Exposition architecture. (See p. 47.) It plays a triple role. In architecture it is the center on which all the other buildings are balanced. In relation to the theme of the Exposition, it is the triumphal gateway to the commemorative celebration of an event the history of which it summarizes in its sculpture, painting and inscription. Last of all, it is an epitome of the Exposition art.
Towering above everything else, it is at once the culminating point and the center of the Exposition scheme. It links the palaces of the central group, otherwise divided into two sections. Upon it rests the balance of Festival Hall and the Palace of Horticulture, of the courts, the gardens, the Palace of Machinery and the Palace of Fine Arts. It finds its own balancing structure in the Column of Progress. It is intended to be the first thing seen from afar, the point from which the eye travels to lesser things on either hand.
At night the Tower remains the center of the transformed Exposition. Under the white light of the powerful projectors, details disappear, the structure is softened into a form almost ghostly. It becomes ethereal. All its daytime glitter gone, it seems really spiritual. The jewels hung over the upper portion do not flash out a diamond brilliance, as they might have been expected to do; rather they spread the light in a soft film about the Tower. (p. 135.)
From close at hand, the arch and its flanking colonnades are truly imperial. There the ornamentation and color of the upper part are not in the eye. Up to the cornice above the arch, the mass of the Tower is magnificent in proportion and harmonious in line and color. It almost seems that the builders might have stopped there, or perhaps have finished the massive block of the arch with a triumphant mass of sculpture.
Studied from the ground underneath the Tower and around it, the arch and the two little colonnaded courts in the wings are gloriously free and spacious, with the spaciousness that the Exposition as a whole reflects, that of the sea and sky of its setting. I walked here when the ocean breeze, fresh from winter storms at sea, was sweeping through them. There is no confinement, no sense of imprisonment from the boundless depths of air outside. Something which the architect could not include in his plans has come in to make constant this increase in the sense of freedom and space. The openings of the arches, being the only free and unconfined passageways through the south facade of the palace group, provide the natural draft on this side for the interior courts. The air rushes through at all times, even when no breeze is stirring outside. This uncramped movement of air currents, far from being unpleasant, gives the same sense of open freedom that one gets on a bold headland, where the ocean winds whip the flowers and lay the grass flat.
From the court behind the Tower you see the mansioned hills of San Francisco through the colonnades like panelled strips of painting; and, looking northward, the long spaces over the bay to the great Marin hills beyond.
The jewels on the Tower give it a singularly gay and lively touch when the sun is bright and the wind blowing. The wind is seldom absent around the top of so lofty a structure, and there these bits of glass are always sparkling. At night they produce, under the strong white light of a whole battery of giant reflectors hidden on other buildings, the mystic haze that shrouds the Tower. They were a fine idea of the chief of illumination, W. D'A. Ryan, giving just a touch of brilliance to an Exposition otherwise clothed in soft tones. The jewels are only hard glass, fifty thousand of them cut in Austria for the purpose, prismatic in form, and each backed with a tiny mirror. Hung free to swing in the wind, they sparkle and dance as they catch the sun from different angles.
As the great gate to the Exposition, the Tower becomes historical in relation to the event celebrated beyond its archway. Its purpose, from this point of view, is to tell the entering visitor briefly of the milestones along the way of time up to the digging of the Canal. Its enrichment of sculpture, painting and inscription summarizes the story of Panama and of the Pacific shore northward from the Isthmus. The architect has expressed in its upper decorations something of the feeling of Aztec art. The four inscriptions on the south faces of the arches tell how Rodrigo de Bastides discovered Panama in 1501; how Balboa first saw the Pacific Ocean in 1513; how the United States began to dig the Canal in 1904, and opened it in 1915. The four on the north faces epitomize the history of California, thus honored as the state that commemorates the opening of the Canal. They speak of Cabrillo's discovery of California in 1542, of the founding of the Mission of San Francisco by Moraga, in 1776, of the acquisition of California by the United States, 1846, and its admission to the Union in 1850.
The sculpture carries out the same idea. Pizarro and Cortez sit their horses before the Tower, splendid figures of the Spanish conquerors, the one by Charles C. Rumsey, the other by Charles Niehaus. (p. 48.) Above the entablature of the supporting columns are repeated around the outer wall of the arch, Adventurer and Priest, Philosopher and Soldier, types of the men who won the Americas, all done by John Flanagan. Above the cornice, the mounted figures by F. M. L. Tonetti are those of the Spanish cavaliers, with bannered cross. The eagles stand for the Nation that built the Canal. Excellent in spirit are Flanagan's figures of the four types, especially that of the strikingly ascetic Priest. (p. 44.) Besides their symbolism, the statues fulfill a useful architectural purpose in relieving what would otherwise be the blankness of the wall. But the same cannot be as truly said of the Armoured Horsemen above. Vigorous as they are, they are not in the right place. They clutter up the terrace on which they stand. The globe on the pinnacle, with its band, signifies that now a girdle has been put around the earth.
On the side walls of the arch under the Tower, the murals by William de Leftwich Dodge tell the story of the triumphant achievement which the Exposition commemorates. On the east, the central panel pictures Neptune and his attendant mermaid leading the fleets of the world through the Gateway of All Nations. (p. 53.) On one side Labor, with its machines, draws back from the completed task, and, on the other, the Intelligence that conceived the work and the Science that made it possible, move upward and onward, while a victorious trumpeter announces the triumph. One figure, with covered face, flees from the appeal of the siren, but whom he represents, or why he flees, I cannot tell.
In the smaller panel to the left, Labor is crowned and all who served with toil are acclaimed. Its companion picture on the right represents Achievement. The Mind that conceived the work is throned, the Sciences stand at one side, while a figure crouching before the bearer of rewards points to Labor as equally worthy.
On the west side of the arch, the central panel portrays the meeting of Atlantic and Pacific, with Labor joining the hands of the nations of east and west. In the panel to the left, enlightened Europe discovers the new land, with the savage sitting on the ruins of a forgotten civilization, the Aztec once more. On the right America, with her workmen ready to pick up their tools and begin, buys the Canal from France, whose labor has been baffled.
The two lovely fountains in the wings of the Tower draw their inspiration from the days of the conquistadors. Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney's Fountain of El Dorado is a dramatic representation of the Aztec myth of The Gilded One, which the followers of Cortez, in their greed for gold, mistook for a fact instead of a fable. (p. 54.) The Fountain of Youth by Edith Woodman Burroughs finds its justification as a part of the historical significance of the Tower in the legend of that Fountain of Eternal Youth sought by Ponce de Leon. (p. 53.) The interpretation of these sculptures is set forth in the chapter on Fountains.
The Tower of Jewels epitomizes the Exposition's art. The glories of its architecture, color, sculpture, painting, and landscape gardening all find an expression here. In architecture it reflects something of almost all of the orders found in the Exposition. In the main it is Italian Renaissance, which means that the basic characters are Roman and Greek, enriched with borrowings from the Orient and Byzantium. In column and capital, in wall and arch and vaulted ceiling, it represents the architecture of the whole Exposition, and so harmoniously as to form a singular testimony to the unity of the palace scheme.
In color, from the dull soft gold of the columns of the colonnades on either wing, through the vivid hues of Dodge's allegorical murals under the arch, and the golden orange and deep cerulean blue in the vaulted recesses, up to the striking green of columns on the upper rounds of the Tower, the structure summarizes all the pigments which the master of color, Guerin, has laid upon the Exposition.
In sculpture, the conquistadors in front, the hooded Franciscans and the Spanish warriors who stand around the cornice, the corner figures on the Tower above, and, finally, the great globe on top, repeat in varied form the themes of palace, court, facade, and entrance. It has its own fountains in its own little courts.
Then, as a final touch to complete this epitome of Exposition art, the dark cypresses set in the niches on either side of the openings of the arch, gracefully express the debt the whole palace scheme owes to its landscape engineer. In the original models of the Tower, these niches were designed for vases. It was a happy thought that placed the cypresses there instead.
The Court of the Universe
Most important of the three great courts of the "Walled City"— A meeting-place of East and West—Roman in its architecture and atmosphere, suggesting the vast Piazza of St. Peter's Triumphal Arches of the Nations—Their types of the great races of Orient and Occident— Fine mural paintings by Simmons and Du Mond—Fountains of the Rising and the Setting Sun—Aitken's "Elements"—The "Column of Progress."
The court is the key to the scheme of the palace group of the Exposition. Leaving out the state and foreign quarters, and the other suburbs, and omitting the Fine Arts Palace and Machinery Hall, which, from a purely architectural standpoint, are merely balanced ornaments needed to complete the whole, the Exposition city is a palace of blank walls enclosing three superb courts.
The court is an essential element of the Oriental architecture of the Mediterranean, which provided the theme of the Exposition plan. There, however, it is the patio, the place of the siesta, the playground of the children. Here the courts have been made the chief architectural feature of the group. There the courts are private. Here they are merely hidden.
The central court at the Exposition, the largest and the most splendid, is the Court of the Universe. (See p. 63.) It is the most important, too, in the story which its sculptures tell, and in its relation to the purpose of the Exposition. Whether it is also the most beautiful is a matter about which opinions differ. Many persons admire Mullgardt's romantic Court of Ages beyond anything else, while others are in love with the calm Court of Seasons. Paradoxically, the Court of the Universe suffers from its very magnificence. It is so vast that the beholder is slow to feel an intimate relation with it. The same is true of some of the noblest sights in nature. First seen, there is something disappointing in the Grand Canyon. There is too much in the view to be comprehended until after many days. In this court, the visitor is pleased with its splendid proportions, its noble arches, its rich sculpture, the wonderful blending of its colors with those of sea and sky; but the pleasure at first is of the intellect rather than of the emotions. Like other big and really fine things, it grows on one. The sweep of its colonnades is majestic, the arches are noble monuments, the Column of Progress is inspiring, the fountains show a graceful play of water, the sculpture is big, strong, and significant; the flowers of the sunken garden are a glory long to be remembered.
The Court of the Universe is Roman in architecture, treated in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Its commanding features, the Triumphal Arches and the magnificent flanking colonnades are most Roman in spirit, their Italian decoration appearing in the medallions and spandrels of the arches, the garlands hung along the entablature of the colonnade, and the interior adornment of the vaulted corridors. The columns, including the huge Sienna shafts before the arches and the Tower of Jewels, are Roman Corinthian, with opulent capitals, though not too florid when used in a work of such vast extent. Most Roman of all is the great Column of Progress, at the north end of the court.
McKim, Mead and White of New York, the architects, had the Piazza of St. Peter's at Rome in mind when they designed this great sweep of colonnades. There, too, they borrowed from the circle of saints the idea of the repeated Star figure. The colonnade not only encloses the court but is produced along the sides of the Palaces of Agriculture and Transportation to form two corridors of almost Egyptian vastness. These two features, the arches and the colonnades, here at the center of the palace group, strike the Exposition's note of breadth. Their decoration is the key to the festal richness of all the adornment.
By day the four entrances to the court are its finest features. Nowhere in the whole Exposition is the air more gloriously free than around the lofty arch and colonnades of the Tower of Jewels. Nowhere is the sunlight purer, or the sky bluer, than over the broad approach leading up from the glancing waters of the bay, past the aspiring Column of Progress, and between the noble colonnades of the palaces on either hand. From within the court, or from the approaches on east and west, the triumphal Arches of the Nations impress one with the magnificence of their proportions, their decoration, and their color. There the Oriental hues of the Exposition are carried upward, to meet and blend with the sky, and magically to make the heavens above them bluer than they really are. (See frontispiece.)
There is little Oriental about the court, except the color and the group of the Nations of the East above the Arch of the Rising Sun. The colonnade is Corinthian, all the arches are Roman, the sculpture is classic, the paintings are romantic, mystic,—the Court of the Universe may properly hold all things. It is thus an arena for the expression of universal themes, on which the nations of the East and West look down from their lofty Arches of Triumph. With this key, the symbolism of the sculpture in the court is easy. The Stars, by Calder, stand in circle above the colonnade. The frieze below the cornices of the pavilion towers represents the Signs of the Zodiac, by Herman A. MacNeil.
The graceful figures atop the two fountain columns in the oval sunken garden are the Rising and the Setting Sun, by Adolph A. Weinmann. (p. 69.) In the east the Sun, in the strength of morning, the masculine spirit of "going forth," has spread his wings for flight; in the west, the luminary, now essentially feminine, as the brooding spirit of evening, is just alighting. The sculptural adornment of the shafts is detailed in the chapter on Fountains.
The titanic Elements slumber on the balustrade, one on either hand of the stairways leading down on north and south into the sunken area. (p. 64.) On one side, on the north, the Elemental Power holds in check the Dragon of Fire. The whole figure expresses the primitive terror of Fire, a fear that still lives in the beasts. On the other side lies Water, the roaring Ocean, kelp in his hair, Neptune's trident in his hand, by him one of his fabled monsters. On the south, eagles of the Air hover close to the winged figure of the woman, who holds up the evening star and breathes gently down upon her people. Icarus, who was the first airman, appears upon her wings. Opposite, rests Earth, unconscious that her sons struggle with her. These remarkably expressive figures are the work of Robert Aitken.
The youthful groups by Paul Manship upon the extremities of the balustrade, on either hand of the eastern and western stairways, represent Music and Poetry, Music by the dance, Poetry by the written scroll. The sculpture is archaic in type,—an imitation of Greek imitations of still earlier models.
The colossal groups on the Arches of the Nations symbolize the meeting of the peoples of the East and West, brought together by the Panama Canal, and here uniting to celebrate its completion. In the group of the Nations of the East the elephant bears the Indian prince, and within the howdah, the Spirit of the East, mystic and hidden. (p. 63.) On the right is the Buddhist lama from Tibet, representative of that third of the human race which finds hope of Nirvana in countless repetitions of the sacred formula, "Om Mani Padme Hum." Next is the Mohammedan, with the crescent of Islam; then a negro slave, and then a Mongolian warrior, the ancient inhabitant of the sandy waste, a type of those Tartar hordes which swept Asia under Tamerlane and Genghis Khan. On the left of the Indian elephant are an Arab falconer, an Egyptian mounted on a camel and bearing a Moslem standard, then a negro slave bearing a basket of fruit on his head, and a sheik from the deserts of Arabia, all representing the Mohammedans of the nearer East. Thus are figured types of the great Oriental races, the Hindoo, the Tartar, which includes the Turk and the northern Chinese; the Chinese stock of the south, the Arab, and the Egyptian. Only the Persian is omitted, and possibly the Japanese, unless that, too, is Mongol.
On the Arch of the Setting Sun, the prairie schooner is the center of the group of the Nations of the West, on the top a figure of Enterprise, the Spirit of the West. (p. 59.) On either side of her is a boy. These are the Heroes of Tomorrow. Between the oxen rides the Mother of Tomorrow. Beside the ox at the right is the Italian immigrant, behind him the Anglo-American, then the squaw with her papoose, and the horse Indian of the plains. By the ox at the left is the Teuton pioneer, behind him the Spanish conquistador, next, the woods Indian of Alaska, and lastly the French Canadian.
Three sculptors collaborated in the modeling of these groups, A. Stirling Calder, Leo Lentelli, and Frederick G. R. Roth.
Of the Mural Paintings under the Arches of the Nations, the two by Edward Simmons in the arch on the east are an allegory of the movement of the peoples across the Atlantic, while those by Frank Vincent Du Mond in the western arch picture in realistic figures the westward march of civilization to the Pacific. Historically, the picture on the southern wall of the Arch of the Nations of the East comes first. Here Simmons has represented the westward movement from the Old World through natural emigration war, conquest, commerce and religion, personifying these in types of the people who have crossed the Atlantic. On the strand, beyond which appear types of the navies of the ages, are the following: an inhabitant of the fabled Atlantis, here conceived as a savage; the Greek warrior, perhaps one of those who fared with Ulysses over the sea to the west; the adventurer and explorer, portrayed as Columbus; the colonist, Sir Walter Raleigh; the missionary, in garb of a priest; the artist, and the artisan. All are called onward by the trumpet of the Spirit of Adventure, to found new families and new nations, symbolized by the vision of heraldic shields. Behind them stands a veiled figure, the Future listening to the Past. The long period in which this movement has been in progress is expressed by the dress of the travellers.
This might be called the Material Movement to the West, for the picture opposite depicts the Ideals of that progress. Hope leads the way, though some of the Hopes, shown as bubbles, were but Illusions. Then follow Adventure, Art, Imagination, Truth, Religion, and the spirits of domestic life. Simmons' work is characterized by grace and delicacy. The pictures are pleasing as form and color alone, but without titles the allegories are too difficult for people unaccustomed to interpreting this kind of art.
Du Mond's two murals in the western arch are easier. They make a continuous story. The first chapter, on the north side, pictures the emigrant train, led by the Spirit of Adventure, leaving for the West, while the second shows the pioneers reaching the shores of the Pacific and welcomed by California. To express the many-sided development of the West, Du Mond has portrayed individuals as the types of the pioneers. Here are Junipero Serra, the priest; Anza, the Spanish captain who first trod the shores of San Francisco Bay; Joseph Le Conte, the scientist; Bret Harte, the author; William Keith, the artist; and Starr King, the divine. The energy of these men has actually outstripped the Spirit of Adventure. Du Mond's story parallels in a way that pictured by Simmons. Color and composition are both exceedingly grateful to the eye.
The Column of Progress, outside the court, commands the entire north front of the Exposition, as the Tower of Jewels does the southern. (p. 57.) Symmes Richardson, the architect, drew his inspiration from Trajan's Column at Rome, an inspiration so finely bodied forth by the designer and the two sculptors who worked with him, MacNeil and Konti, that this shaft stands as one of the most satisfying creations on the Exposition grounds. Its significance completes the symbolism of the Exposition sculpture and architecture, as the joyous Fountain of Energy at the other end of the north-and-south axis begins it. That fountain celebrates the completion of the Canal. The Tower of Jewels with its sculpture tells the historical story of the conquest of the western seas and their shores. The Court of the Universe is the meeting place of the Nations, come to commemorate the joining of East and West. From this Court, a splendid avenue leads down to the border of the Western Ocean, where stands the Column of Progress, beyond the Exposition. Both in its position and in its sculpture the column signifies that, this celebration over, human endeavor stands ready to go on to still vaster enterprises on behalf of mankind.
The figure atop this Column is the Adventurous Bowman, past human achievement behind him, seeking a new emprise in the West, whither he has loosed his arrow. At his back is a figure of Humanity, signifying the support of mankind. By his side is the woman, ready to crown his success. (p. 58.) The question has often been asked, why there is no string to the archer's bow. The sculptor properly omitted it, for, at the moment the arrow leaves the bow, the cord is vibrating far too strongly to be visible.
The cylindrical frieze below the Bowman represents the Burden Bearers. This, with the Bowman, is the work of H. A. MacNeil. The spiral of ships ascending the shaft symbolizes the upward course of man's progress. Around the base is the frieze by Isidor Konti, on three sides striving human figures, on the fourth celestial trumpeters announcing victory. The whole signifies man's progress through effort. (p. 60.)
Yet the visitor must not look for a story in all the sculpture here or elsewhere. Some of this art is merely decorative, fulfilling purposes of harmony or completeness in the general mass. The winged figures by Leo Lentelli on the columns before the Arches of the Nations are simply ornaments, relieving, with their shafts, what would otherwise be too sheer a wall in the structure. They may be angels or they may be genii. Decorative, also, are the sculptured medallions between these columns, and the Pegasi on the spandrels of the arch, the medallions done by Calder, the Pegasi by Roth.
The caryatids in pairs of male and female surmounting the balustrade of the sunken garden are merely lamp bearers. The spouting monsters in the fountain pools are but ornamental, and so are the figures in relief under the basins. Those at the base of the shafts are described in detail in the chapter on Fountains. In the decoration of the entablature of the colonnade, the skull of the ox repeated between the garlands recalls the vicissitudes of the pioneers in their long march across the continent.
The Court of the Universe, this huge Piazza of the Nations, is thus all-inclusive. Within its vast oval is room for every theme. From it lead the ways to all the Exposition. In spirit it is as cosmopolitan as the Forum under the Caesars. Its art revives for us
"The glory that was Greece, The grandeur that was Rome."
Inscriptions in Court of the Universe
I. Arch of the Rising Sun, east side of the Court.
(a) Panel at center of attic, west side of the Arch, facing the Court:
The Moon Sinks Yonder in the West While in the East the Glorius Sun Behind the Dawn Appears. Thus Rise and Set In Constant Change Those Shining Orbs and Regulate the Very Life of this Our World. —Kalidasa, India.
(b) Small panel at right of center, facing the Court:
Our Eyes and Hearts Uplifted Seem to Gaze on Heavens' Radiance. —Hitomaro, Japan.
(c) Small panel at left of center, facing the Court:
They Who Know the Truth are Not Equal to Those Who Love It. —Confucius, China.
(d) Panel at center of attic, east side of the Arch:
The Balmy Air Diffuses Health and Fragrance. So Tempered is the Genial Glow That We Know Neither Heat Nor Cold. Tulips and Hyacinths Abound. Fostered by A Delicious Clime the Earth Blooms Like A Garden.—Firdausi, Persia.
(e) Small panel at right of center:
A Wise Man Teaches Be Not Angry. From Untrodden Ways Turn Aside. —Phra Ruang, Siam.
(f) Small panel at left of center:
He That Honors Not Himself Lacks Honor Wheresoe'er He Goes. —Zuhayr, Arabia.
II. Arch of the Setting Sun, west side of the Court.
(a) Panel at center of attic, east side of the Arch, facing the Court:
Facing West From California's Shores—Inquiring Tireless Seeking What is Yet Unfound—I A Child Very Old Over Waves Toward the House of Maternity the Land of Migrations Look Afar—Look Off the Shores of My Western Sea the Circle Almost Circled. —Whitman, America.
(b) Small panel at right of center:
Truth—Witness of the Past Councilor of the Present Guide of the Future.—Cervantes, Spain.
(c) Small panel at left of center:
In Nature's Infinite Book of Secrecy A Little I Can Read. —Shakespeare, England.
(d) Panel at center of attic, west side of the Arch:
It is Absolutely Indispensable For the United States to Effect A Passage From the Mexican Gulf to the Pacific Ocean And I Am Certain That They Will Do It—Would That I Might Live to See it But I Shall Not.—Goethe, Germany.
(e) Small panel at right of center:
The Universe—An Infinite Sphere the Center Everywhere the Circumference Nowhere.—Pascal, France.
(f) Small panel at left of center:
The World is in its Most Excellent State When Justice is Supreme. —Dante, Italy.
The Court of the Ages (Officially called "The Court of Abundance.")
An artist's dream in romantic Orientalism—Mullgardt's own title for it - His great "Tower of the Ages"—Mullgardt interprets his architectural masterpiece—Brangwyn's splendid murals, "Earth," "Air," "Fire" and "Water"—The "Fountain of Earth," by Robert Aitken, realism set amidst the romantic.
The Court of the Universe is not Oriental, the Court of the Ages is. Not in architecture, but in feeling, in the atmosphere with which the architect has invested it, this court brings to mind those brilliant lands of the Mediterranean touched by the East through the Moors. You pass under its arcades and walk out into a region of the Sun, warm, bright, dazzling. The architect, Louis Christian Mullgardt, has caught the feeling of the South,—not the rank, jungle South of the tropics; nor the mild, rich South of our own Gulf states; but the hard, brilliant, arid South of the desert. This court expresses Arizona, New Mexico, Spain, Algiers,—lands of the Sun. The very flowers of its first gardens were desert blooms, brilliant in hue, on leafless stalks. There are orange trees, but they, also, are trees of the Sun, smooth of leaf, to retain moisture.
It is a court, too, of romance. It might be a garden of Allah, with a plaintive Arab flute singing, among the orange trees, of the wars and the hot passions of the desert. It might be a court in Seville or Granada, with guitars tinkling and lace gleaming among the cool arcades. It is a place for dreams.
The architecture has been called Spanish Gothic, but, according to the architect, it "has not been accredited to any established style." We may well be content to call it simply Mullgardt. The court is an artist's dream, rather than a formal study in historic architecture; and it is the more interesting, as it is the more original, for that. Except for the central fountain, which, fine though it is as a sculptured story, is out of harmony with the filigreed arcades around it, all the sculpture in the court is, in feeling, an intimate part of the romantic architecture. This portion of the art of the court is best considered as decoration, finding its justification in the beauty it imparts to the whole. It has genuine meaning, but what that is remains inscrutable so long as the court is called that of Abundance.
Mullgardt called his creation the "Court of the Ages." He was overruled because the officials deemed the name not in accord with the contemporaneous spirit of the Exposition. They called it the "Court of Abundance." In spite of the name, however, it is not the Court of Abundance. Mullgardt's title gives a key to the cipher of the statues. Read by it, the groups on the altar of the Tower become three successive Ages of Civilization. (See p. 70.)
Tower of the Ages.—This is the most admired of all the Exposition towers, and with reason. The originality, strength and beauty of its design set it above anything else of the sort yet seen in America; and the symbolism of its sculptures, which are the work of Chester Beach, is of almost equal interest with the tower itself. At the base, on the gable above the arch, rude of face and form, with beasts low in the scale, are the people of the Stone Age. Above them is a mediaeval group, the Crusader, the Priest, the Peasant Soldier armed with a cross-bow, with similar figures on the side altars. Enthroned over all, with a crown on her brow, is Modern Civilization, expressed as Intelligence. At her feet are two children, one with an open book, symbolizing Learning; the other, a boy with a part of a machine, representing Industry. The supporting figures on the sides are the Man and Woman of the Present, sprung from the earlier types. The delicate finials rising from the summit of the tower express Aspiration.