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The sculptural decorations of the Exposition are so much a part of the architectural scheme that their consideration must no longer be delayed. The employment of sculpture has been most judicious and has never lost sight of certain architectural requirements, so frequently overlooked. While there are a great many examples of sculptural decorations at the Exposition, there does not seem to be that over-abundance of ornamentation so often confused by the public with artistic effect.
The best compliment that can be paid to the Exposition sculpture is that it is not evident at first and that one becomes aware of it only in the course of studying the architecture. I do not think that, with the exception of the Column of Progress and the groups of the Nations of the East and of the West, the Exposition has produced, through its very unusual and novel opportunities, any great work, or presented any new talent heretofore not recognized; but it will most certainly stand a critical examination and comparison with other Exposition sculpture and not suffer thereby. As a matter of fact, a number of the sculptors of our Exposition were commissioned to do similar work at St. Louis.
In one respect our Exposition must immediately claim originality - that is, in the elimination of the glaring white, with its many ugly and distracting reflected lights, insisted upon for years, in practically all the great expositions of the past. This absence of white is surely a very novel and very helpful feature, from an artistic point of view. The Travertine staff material used, the highly successful work of Mr. Paul Denneville, with its innumerable fine accidental effects, so reminiscent of the tone and the weather-beaten qualities of really old surfaces, is an asset that the sculptors among all the collaborating artists gratefully acknowledge.
The artistic value of the Travertine lies in its beautiful expression of architecture as well as of sculpture. A plain wall becomes a matter of interest and comfort. An ornamental feature or sculpture obtains a wonderful charm and delicacy in this material which is particularly unique in sculpture. The natural Travertine is a sedimentary deposit dating back, it is claimed, to the glacial ages. That imitated here forms the bed of the River Tiber near Rome and was extensively used for ages in the early Roman and Greek era as a building stone for their temples and works of art. While a poor material in cold climates, because of its striation, it was always sought in Italy for its wonderful texture and tone. It was used in the Coliseum and in many other buildings erected during the Roman period.
It is evident that there has been a very happy and close co-operation between the architect and the sculptor - a desirable condition that, unfortunately, does not always exist. Architects will sometimes not allow the sculptor to give full expression to his ideas, will put unwarranted restrictions upon him, and the result is very one-sided.
I had the pleasure of seeing much of the sculpture grow from the sketch to the finished full-scale work, and the kindliness and the vigorous personality of Mr. Stirling Calder added much charm and interest to this experience. Mr. Calder has been the director of the department of sculpture and the inspiration of his own work penetrates that of all his fellow-artists. Among them are many specialists, such as Frederick Roth, for instance, as a modeler of animals, who shows in the very fine figure of "The Alaskan" in the Nations of the West that he is not afraid nor unable to model human figures. Practically all of the animals in the grounds show the hand of Roth.
Like Roth, Leo Lentelli did a good share of the task. His work is characterized by much animation and spirit, but well balanced wherever necessary, by a feeling of wise restraint. I remember with much horror some of the sculptural atrocities of former expositions that seemed to jump off pedestals they were intended to inhabit for a much longer period than they were apparently willing. Repose and restraint, as a rule, are lacking in much of our older American sculpture, as some of our Market-street statuary testifies. It seems that our unsettled conditions find an echo in our art. It is much to be hoped that a certain craving for temporary excitement will be replaced by a wholesome appreciation of those more enduring qualities of repose and balance.
Calder's work, no matter how animated, no matter how full of action, is always reposeful. His "Fountain of Energy" gives a good idea of what I mean. It is the first piece of detached sculpture that greets the Exposition visitor. Its position at the main gate, in the South Gardens, in front of the Tower of Jewels, is the most prominent place the Exposition offers. It is worthy of its maker's talent. Its main quality is a very fine, stimulating expression of joyousness that puts the visitor at once in a festive mood. The Fountain of Energy is a symbol of the vigor and daring of our mighty nation, which carried to a successful ending a gigantic task abandoned by another great republic. The whole composition is enjoyable for its many fine pieces of detail. Beginning at the base, one observes the huge bulks of fanciful sea-beasts, carrying on their backs figures representing the four principal oceans of the world: the North and South Arctic, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. Some are carrying shells and their attitudes express in unique fashion a spirit of life and energy which makes the whole fountain look dynamic, in contrast with the static Tower of Jewels. Everything else in this fountain has the dynamic quality, from its other inhabitants of the lower bowls, those very jolly sea-nymphs, mermaids, or whatever one may want to call them. They are even more fantastically, shaped than the larger figures. In their bizarre motives some of the marine mounts look like a cross between a submarine and a rockcod.
Rising from the very center of the fountain basin, a huge sphere, supported by a writhing mass of aquatic beasts, continues the scheme upwards, culminating in the youth on horseback as the dominating figure of the whole scheme. The sphere is charmingly decorated with reclining figures of the two hemispheres and with a great number of minor interesting motives of marine origin. The youth on horseback is not exactly in harmony with the fountain; one feels that the aquatic feeling running through the rest of the fountain is not equally continued in this exceedingly well-modeled horse and youth and those two smaller-scaled figures on his shoulders - I feel that the very clever hand of a most talented artist has not been well supported by a logical idea. Their decorative effect is very marked, taken mainly as a silhouette from a distance. They are no doubt effective in carrying upwards a vertical movement which is to some extent interfered with by the outstretched arms of the youth. Mr. Calder has given us so very many excellent things, alone and in collaboration with others throughout the Exposition, that we must allow him this little bizarre note as an eccentricity of an otherwise well-balanced genius.
As long as we are in the South Gardens, we might take the time to investigate the two fountains on either side of the center, towards the Horticultural Palace on the left and Festival Hall on the right. There we find a very lithe mermaid, used alike on either side, from a model by Arthur Putnam. Many of us who for years looked forward to the great opportunity of the Exposition, which would give Arthur Putnam a worthy field for his great genius, will be disappointed to know that the mermaid is his only contribution, and scarcely representative of his original way in dealing with animal forms. The untimely breakdown, some two years ago, of his robust nature prevented his giving himself more typically, for his real spirit is merely suggested in this graceful mermaid.
Sherry Fry's figural compositions on the west of Festival Hall might well be worthy of a little more attention than their somewhat remote location brings them. The two reclining figures on the smaller domes are reposeful and ornate. A stroll through the flower carpets of the South Gardens, amidst the many balustrade lighting Hermae, discloses a wealth of good architectural sculpture, which in its travertine execution is doubly appealing.
There are four equestrian statues in different places on the north side of the Avenue of Palms. Two are in front of the Tower of Jewels, the "Cortez" by Charles Niehaus, and "Pizarro," by Charles Cary Rumsey. The third is in front of the Court of Flowers, and the last at the entrance to the Court of Palms. The two latter, Solon Borglum's "Pioneer," and James Earl Fraser's "The End of the Trail," belong as much together as the two relatively conventional Spanish conquerors guarding the entrance to the Court of the Universe.
The symbolism of the "Pioneer" and "The End of the Trail" is, first of all, a very fine expression of the destinies of two great races so important in our historical development. The erect, energetic, powerful man, head high, with a challenge in his face, looking out into early morning, is very typical of the white man and the victorious march of his civilization. His horse steps lightly, prancingly, and there is admirable expression of physical vigor and hopeful expectation. The gun and axe on his arm are suggestive of his preparedness for any task the day and the future may bring.
Contrast this picture of life with the overwhelming expression of physical fatigue, almost exhaustion, that Fraser gives to his Indian in "The End of the Trail." It is embodied in rider and horse. Man and beast seem both to have reached the end of their resources and both are ready to give up the task they are not equal to meet.
The psychology of this great group is particularly fine. It is in things like these that our American sculpture will yet find its highest expression, rather than in the flamboyant type of technically skillful work so abundantly represented everywhere. "The End of the Trail" could have been placed more effectively in the midst of, or against, groups of shrubbery in a more natural surrounding, where so close a physical inspection as one is invited to in the present location would not be possible.
The Tower of Jewels, however, with its lofty arch and suggestion of hidden things behind it encourages the spirit of investigation. On entering this great arch, one is suddenly attracted by the pleasing sound of two fountains, sheltered in the secluded abutting walls of the great tower. Minor arches, piercing the base of the tower west and east, open up a view toward these sheltered niches, harboring on the right the Fountain of Youth, by Mrs. Edith Woodman Burroughs, and the Fountain of Eldorado at the left, by Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney. These two fountains are totally different in character, and they could well afford to be so, since they are not visible as a whole at the same time, although physically not far apart.
Mrs. Burrough's fountain is very naïve in feeling, very charming in the graceful modeling of the little girl. The decorative scheme of this poetic unit is very simple and well-sustained throughout its architectural parts.
Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney's fountain is of the intellectual, dramatic kind. The treatment of this almost theatrical subject is well balanced. While it does not possess any too much repose, it is very effective. In general there are three parts to this fountain; the central doorway of Eldorado, just ajar, disclosing faintly this land of happiness; while on either side are two long panels showing great masses of humanity in all manner of positions and attitudes, all striving toward the common goal. Some are shown almost at the end of their journey, overtaken with exhaustion; others more vigorous are lending a willing arm to the support of their less successful brothers and sisters about to fall by the wayside. The whole composition of those two friezes shows Mrs. Whitney as a very skillful and imaginative artist. It is a gratifying spectacle to see a woman such as Mrs. Whitney, so much heralded, possibly against her own inclinations, in the society columns of New York, find the time to devote herself to so serious and professional a piece of work as the Fountain of Eldorado.
Passing through the Tower of Jewels into the Court of the Universe, one's attention will be attracted to a number of pieces of detached statuary. The most important among them is "The Four Elements," by Robert Aitken. We all remember Aitken as the very promising young man who left us before the fire to make a career in the East, after having exhausted all local possibilities, the Bohemian Club included. His figures of the Four Elements are typical of his temperament and he acknowledges in them his indebtedness to Michael Angelo without being in the least imitative. These four figures are allegorically full of meaning, and taken simply as sculpture, they are excellently modeled. His "Fire," showing a Greek warrior defending himself from the fiery breath of a vicious reptile, is novel in its motive, while "Water" discloses Father Neptune bellowing out into the briny air, accompanied by dolphins in rhythmic motions. "Air," on the south, discloses Aitken as the skillful modeler of less muscular forms of a winged female figure, which in itself, without the birds, is suggestive of its meaning. It was very daring to introduce the story of "Icarus" in this group, by the small-scaled figure of this first mythological aviator on the outside of the wings of the larger figure. It helps to add a note of interest to an otherwise not so interesting part of the group.
The Fountains of the Rising and the Setting Sun are most impressive by their architectonic quality, and Weinman's clear style of modeling is seen at its best in the Tritons in the fountain bowl. The figure of the Setting Sun is one of the finest figures of the entire Exposition. The suggestion of the termination of day, indicated in the folding of the wings and in the suggestion of physical fatigue, is very well conveyed. A fine relaxation runs through the whole figure.
The Rising Sun, on the other side, has all the buoyancy of an energetic youth ready for his daily task. With widespread wings, looking squarely out into the world, he seems ready to soar into the firmament. The contrast is admirable in these two figures, and Weinman deserves all the popular applause bestowed upon his work.
Paul Manship has contributed two groups at the head of the east and west steps leading to the sunken gardens, each group consisting of two figures, one representing Festivity, the other, Art and Music. These groups are used alike on either side. Manship deserves to be better represented in the Exposition than by these two groups alone. His position as one of the very successful of our younger men would have warranted a more extensive employment of his very strong talent.
It is rather a flight from those Manship figures to the colossal groups of the Nations of the East and of the West, but one is irresistibly drawn to these wonderfully effective compositions. Their location makes them the most prominent groups in the Exposition ensemble.
The harmonious co-operation of Calder, Roth, and Lentelli has resulted in the creation of a modern substitute for the old Roman quadriga, which so generally crowns triumphal arches. Both groups are so skillfully composed as to have a similar silhouette against the blue sky, but individually considered they are full, of a great variety of detail. It was an accomplishment to balance the huge bulk of an elephant by a prairie schooner on the opposite side of the court. Considering the almost painful simplicity of the costumes and general detail of the western nations as contrasted with the elaborately decorative accessories, trappings, and tinsel of the Orient, it was no small task to produce a feeling of balance between these two foreign motives. But what it lacked in that regard was made up by allegorical figures, like those on top of the prairie schooner, used not so much to express an idea as to fill out the space occupied by the howdah on the other side. There is a great deal of fine modeling in the individual figures on horse and camel back and on foot.
In either one of the two groups much has been lost in the great height of the arches. Figures like "The Alaskan," "The Trapper," and "The Indian," for instance, are particularly fine and they would be very effective by themselves. "The Mother of Tomorrow" in the Nations of the West is a beautifully simple piece of sculpture.
The Nations of the East, like the West, in its entirety, is the conception of A. Stirling Calder, who modeled the pedestrian figures. With Mr. Calder, Messrs. Frederick G. R. Roth and Leo Lentelli collaborated. The huge elephant in the center of the group was modeled by Mr. Roth, also the camels. The mounted horsemen were modeled by Leo Lentelli. From left to right the figures are - an Arab warrior, a Negro servitor bearing baskets of fruit, a camel and rider (the Egyptian), a falconer, an elephant with a howdah containing a figure embodying the spirit of the East, attended by Oriental mystics representing India, a Buddhist Lama bearing his emblem of authority, a camel and rider (Mahometan), a Negro servitor, and a Mongolian warrior. The size of the group, crowning a triumphal arch one hundred and sixty feet in height, may be inferred from the fact that the figure of the Negro servitor is thirteen feet six inches in height.
On the arch beneath this group are inscribed these lines by Kalidasa: "The moon sinks yonder in the west, while in the east the glorious sun behind the herald dawn appears. Thus rise and set in constant change those shining orbs and regulate the very life of this our world."
The Nations of the West, crowning the arch of the Setting Sun, is also the conception of A. Stirling Calder, who modeled the imaginative figures of "the Mother of Tomorrow," "Enterprise," and "Hopes of the Future."' Messrs. Leo Lentelli and Frederick G. R. Roth collaborated in their happiest style, the former producing the four horsemen and one pedestrian, the Squaw, and the latter the oxen, the wagon, and the three pedestrians. From left to right the figures are, the French Trapper, the Alaskan, the Latin-American, the German, the Hopes of the Future (a white boy and a Negro, riding on a wagon), Enterprise, the Mother of Tomorrow, the Italian, the Anglo-American, the Squaw, the American Indian. The group is is conceived in the same large monumental style as the Nations of the East. The types of those colonizing nations that at one time or place or another have left their stamp on our country have been selected to form the composition.
The following lines by Walt Whitman are inscribed on the arch beneath the group of the Nations of the West: "Facing west from California's shores, inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound, I a child, very old, over waves towards the house of maternity, the land of migrations, look afar: look off the shores of my western sea, the circle almost circled."
It is popularly conceded that these two groups are magnificently daring conceptions, richly worked out. They are probably the largest groups of the kind ever made, the dimensions of the base being fifty-two by thirty-eight feet, and the height forty-two feet.
Looking seaward from the Court of the Universe the Column of Progress commands attention, crowned by the "Adventurous Bowman" and decorated at the base with a frieze symbolizing achievement, or progress. The very fine symbolism in this column deserves to be studied. The position of the column itself is most artistic in its relation to the surroundings. It is too bad, however, to see the view from the main court toward the column spoiled by a music pavilion of dubious architectural merit. The effect of the column as seen from any point is inspiring in its monumental grandeur. The group on top, the Bowman, represents man's supreme effort in life. He is supported on the left by his fellow-man, adding strength and steadiness to his aim, while on the right the crouching figure of a woman watches anxiously the sureness of his aim. She holds ready in her hand the laurel wreath which she confidently feels will be his just reward.
The great Column of Progress is the first column in the world, so far as I know, whose design was inspired by a purely imaginative motive, and the first sculpture column at any exposition. It must be considered the most splendid expression of sculpture and architectural art in the Exposition. Mr. Calder may justly feel proud of this great idea and Mr. Hermon MacNeil has added new laurels to his many accomplishments in the free modeling of the very daring group on top.
The column itself is decorated with the spiral ascending motive of the Ship of Life, while at the base Isadore Konti expresses the striving for achievement in four well modeled panels of huge scale, representing human life in its progressive stages, showing men and women in attitudes of hope and despair, of strength and weakness, in the never ending task of trying to realize human destiny.
The Court of the Four Seasons harbors four groups by Piccirilli, representing the seasons in the conventional way, dividing the year into four distinct parts - spring, summer, autumn, and winter. These four groups of Piccirilli are not equally successful. By far the most effective is the one representing winter. The severe rigidity of the lovely central standing figure expresses well that feeling of suspended activity which we associate with the conventional conceptions of the season of dormant life. The kneeling side figures are in full harmony of expression with the central figure. They support very well the general scheme.
The next best, to my mind, seems "Spring," on account of the very fine psychological quality of the standing figure in giving expression in a very graceful fashion to that invigorating and reviving quality of our loveliest season. The two side figures seem to be gradually awakening to the full development of their powers.
Next to "Spring," "Fall," by the fullness of the decorative scheme, suggests Peace and Plenty in the preparation for the Harvest Festival and in the touch of family life of the mother and child on the right.
Mr. Piccirilli's naturalistic modeling does not express itself so well in "Summer." There is so little strictly architectural feeling in that group. I think that Albert Jaegers, with his two single figures on top of the two columns flanking the Orchestral Niche, actually represents our own two seasons much more successfully than does Piccirilli. Jaegers' "Rain and Sunshine" should be used to name the court properly - "The Court of the Two Seasons," as we know them in California - the dry season, the season of harvest; and the wet season, the one of recuperation. I regret that here an opportunity was lost to add distinction to the many different features of a great undertaking.
Jaegers has contributed also the figure of "Nature" on top of the music niche and the capital bulls on the pylons toward the north of the court. These terra cotta bulls are surely worthy of the adjective derived from them. Their relative size is very good, and to see them in the richness of their color against the upper regions of a dark blue sky is very effective.
Directly north of the Court of the Four Seasons stands Miss Beatrice Evelyn Longman's Fountain of Ceres, originally planned for the center of the court, but so very effective all by itself between the dignified colonnades of the avenue. The fountain is most impressive by its fine architectural feeling, so uncommon in the work of many women sculptors. The general feeling of it is refinement, combined with great strength. It is fully deserving of monopolizing a fine setting of dignified architecture, so richly emphasized by some of the finest old yew trees in the grounds.
In the Court of Abundance a riot of interesting architectural sculptural details invites the attention of the visitor. Beginning with the lower animal forms, such as crabs and crayfish, etc., the entire evolution of Nature has been symbolized, reaching its climax in the tower, where the scheme is continued in several groups in Chester Beach's best style. The lowest of these groups shows the Primitive Age, followed above by the Middle Ages and Modernity. The great charm of this finest of all the towers in the Exposition is its wonderful rhythmic feeling. The graceful flow of line from the base toward the top is never interrupted, in spite of the many sculptural adornments used on all sides. In front of the tower are two very ornate illuminating shafts, showing Leo Lentelli's diabolical cleverness in making ornament out of human figures. Leo Lentelli's style is particularly well adapted to Mullgardt's Court of Abundance. Its care-free, subtle quality, full of animation, presenting new motives at every turn, is most helpful in the general spirit of festivity which characterizes this most interesting of all the courts.
Aitken's Fountain of Life in the center of the court is totally different. Full of intellectual suggestion, it is almost bewildering in the storytelling quality of its many details. Aitken's fountain, which is situated in the center of a basin a hundred and fifty feet long by sixty-five feet wide, rises directly from the water. The main structure consists of a series of four groups of heroic-sized figures, carved in pierced relief, each flanked by colossal bronze Hermes, their arms reaching around the structure and held together by animal forms of reptilian or fishy origin. All these forms and figures surround a globe of enormous size, typifying the Earth, over the surface of which streams of water are thrown from the reptilian chain motive.
Leading up to the main structure is a group of ten crouching figures, symbolizing Destiny in the shape of two enormous arms and hands, giving life with one and taking it with the other. Here, on the left side, are arranged figures suggesting the Dawn of Life, while on the right are men and women depicting the fullness and the end of existence.
In the first, Prenatal Sleep, is the crouched form of a woman, while successively come the Awakening, the Ecstatic Joy of Being - or it may be the Realization of Living; the Kiss of Life, with the human pair offering up their children, representative of the beginnings of fecundity; a female, strong of limb and superb of physique, enfolds in her arms two infants, while her mate, of no less powerful build and rude force, kneeling beside her, gives her an embrace typical of the overpowering parental instinct. Here is the suggestion of the elemental feelings, the beginnings of things.
Between the first group and the central one comes a gap, a space typical of that unknown time in history when conjecture alone permits speculation, and the story is taken up again with the first of the central groups, wherein stands a figure of Vanity, glass in hand, symbolizing the compelling motive of so much in human endeavor. To her left, in enormous contrast, are primitive man and woman, treated with great realism, these two carrying their burdens of life, in the form of their progeny, into the unknown future, their expression that of rude but questioning courage, the man splendid in his virility, superb in the attitude of his awkward strength, ready to meet whatever be the call of earth. His mate meanwhile suggests the overwhelming and eternal instincts of motherhood.
An archaic Hermes, dividing these figures from the next group, allows for a space of time to elapse, and we come to their children, now grown to manhood and womanhood, in their rude strength finding themselves, with the result of Natural Selection. This is a group of five personages, the center figure a man of splendid youth and vigor, suggesting the high state both of physical and intellectual perfection, unconsciously attracting the female, two of whom regard him with favor, while two males on either side, deserted for this finer type, give vent to deep regret, despair, and anger. One attempts by brute force to hold the woman; the other reluctantly gives up his choice, in the obvious futility of his unequal intellectual endowment to comprehend.
From this to the Survival of the Fittest we have a militant group, in which physical strength begins to play its part, and perhaps discloses the first awakening of the war spirit, the woman in this case being the exciting cause. The powerful chieftains struggle for supremacy of their time and tribe, their women making futile efforts to separate them. Here the sense of conquest receives its first impression and is finely indicated, with admirable action, while there is the symbolism of the conflict of the nations that has ever gone on, for one cause or another, and that struggle for the female which has ever been the actuating motive in war, conquest, and, for that matter, peace.
The next group - always separated by the solemn and dignified Hermae - discloses "The Lesson of Life," wherein the elders, with the experience of the years, offer to hot-headed youth and to the lovelorn the benefit of their own trials and struggles. A beautiful woman is the central figure. She draws to her side splendid manhood, the Warrior, willing to fight for his love and his faith. To his left his mother offers him her affectionate advice, while to the right a father restrains a wayward offspring who, rejected by the female, is in a state of frenzied jealousy. Finally two figures represent Lust, a man struggling to caress the unwilling woman who shrinks from his embraces, and we are led down from this pair out of the composition to the crouching group at the approach of the structure, referred to at the beginning of this description, who here are departing from the central composition.
First is a figure of Greed looking back on the Earth. He holds in his hands a mass suggestive of his futile and unsavory worldly possessions, the unworthy bauble toward which his efforts have been directed. Back of him we have the group of Faith, wherein kneels a Patriarch, who offers consolation to a woman to whom he presents the hope of immortality, holding in his hands a scarab, ancient symbol of renewed life. Next come two recumbent figures, a man and a woman, the first, Sorrow, the other typifying Final Slumber. These are about to be drawn into oblivion by the relentless hand of Destiny.
In the center of a formal parapet at the end of the basin of water, sixty feet from the fountain, is a colossal figure symbolic of the setting sun, Helios, the great orb having thrown off the nebulous mass that subsequently resolved itself into the earth.
In the immediate neighborhood of this Court of Abundance is found Sherry Fry's figure of Neptune's Daughter, in the open court north of the tower. The figure is not in keeping with the scheme of Mullgardt's court, extending in this direction. The effect of this figure, no matter how graceful it may be, is unquestionably too physical, in a certain measure owing to the opportunity for close inspection.
On the south of the Court of Abundance, in the Court of Flowers, Edgar Walter's fountain has been placed. "Beauty and the Beast" have been combined in contrasting fashion, with much effect, by associating the youthful charms of a graceful maid with the angular ugliness of a dragon, who seems to feel honored by having been selected as the resting-place of a creature from outside his realm. He seems to be almost hypnotized into a state of abject lifelessness. The effect of this juxtaposition of the round forms of the human body and the almost geometrical angularity of the fabulous beast is very interesting and adds a new note to the many other ideas presented. The architectural scheme of the fountain is made doubly interesting by a rich use of animal forms of humorous character.
The immediate vicinity of the Laguna remains still to be investigated in regard to sculptural adornments. The dozen or so niches in the west front of the main building present a repetition of two individual groups by Charles Harley, of New York, of decidedly archaeological character "The Triumph of the Field" and "Abundance." They are most serious pieces of work, possibly too serious, and they are in great danger of remaining caviar to the masses on account of the complexity of their symbolism and the intellectual character of their motives. Their setting is most attractive, amongst groups of trees and shrubs.
Maybeck's Palace of Fine Arts is so overwhelming in its architectural effects that one seldom feels like doing justice to the fine sculptural detail everywhere in this building. Ralph Stackpole's interesting Shrine of Inspiration is the most charming bit of sculpture, more detached in its effect than most of the other motives. Bruno Zimm's eight fine friezes, showing the development and influences of the arts in a very severe, almost archaic style of modeling, add a fine note to the dome, and Ulric Ellerhusen's equally architectonic friezes are in good style and are in thorough harmony with the classic quality of this great palace.
It is, of course, not possible to name all of the many pieces of architectural sculpture used at the Exposition. The general effect one receives is that it represents the best that is possible in Exposition sculpture today. It gives evidence of the increasing development of the qualities of design, as contrasted with the so much looser work of former expositions. Seldom before have sculptors anywhere, since sculpture and architecture first worked hand in hand, so played their most important roles together in the ensemble setting that constitutes our Exposition visually. On arch or column, in niches, in fountains, and in free-standing groups, they sing of many themes, and always in harmony, but with no loss of character or individuality. There is no doubt of it, that, for an Exposition, sculpture is the most important of all the arts, because it is the most human. Without it, architecture would be cold and without appeal. I foresee a great future for sculpture in America, where our temperament demands it. The educational value of sculpture at an exposition is incalculable. It is a school for the sculptors, too, as well as for the public.