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Palace of Education
Architect - W. B. Faville of San Francisco.
There are three portals on the south in the Spanish Renaissance style, with twisted columns of the Byzantine school. Notice that the screws twist in opposite directions.
Above the central portal is Gustav Gerlach's tympanum relief "Education." The tree of knowledge is seen in the background. The kindergarten stage, the half-grown, and the mature periods are shown, the last showing the man no longer under a teacher, but working his problem out by himself.
The modern costumes, combined with the classical styles, suggest that the knowledge of today rests upon that of the old schools. Mr. Gerlach is a pupil of Karl Bitter of New York, the Chief of the Sculpture.
Below the tympanum is the open book of knowledge from which light radiates in all directions. The curtains of darkness have been drawn aside. The hour-glass says, "Improve the shining moments as they pass."
The crown awaits those who will seek knowledge.
Atop this portal is the globe suggesting that education extends around the world.
The panel on the left shows the female teacher in the center. She is instructing her hearers who discuss their interests.
This panel is by Peters.
The companion panel with the male teacher is by Cesare Stea.
Both panels are quite evident in meaning. Messrs. Peters and Stea are pupils of the Beaux Arts of Paris and the National School of Sculpture of America, respectively.
The Palace of Education and Social Economy shows developments since 1905. Comparative exhibits of educational interests of all nations are shown.
Child welfare, playgrounds, care of the feebleminded, treatment of the insane, missionary work, the Red Cross system, criminology, park systems, street improvements, methods of disposing of sewage, and many other allied subjects are interestingly worked out for public benefit.
The flora is just about the same in front of these palaces as that which you have noticed. The veronica buxifolia is grouped around the lawn at the corner of Palm and Administration Avenues.
The west side of the Palace of Education, as well as that of the Palace of Food Products, has great Roman half domes above the entrances. Again your architecture at the portals is changed to suit the style of the palace opposite. The Fine Arts Palace is mainly old Roman.
These are called respectively "The Dome of Philosophy" and "The Dome of Plenty." The female figures carrying the books "Ex libris," as well as the male figures carrying cereal wreaths, are by Albert Weinert and Earl Cummings, respectively.
"Out of books comes much knowledge," says the woman.
"If you wish to be as physically strong as I am, eat my food," says the man. This figure then represents physical vigor.
The fountains of the vestibules are by W. B. Faville of San Francisco. That in the vestibule of the Palace of Food Products is strongly reminiscent of the fountain of Perugia.
The great Siena pedestals beside these palaces carry Ralph Stackpole's "Thought."
The niches have alternate groups of "Abundance" and "Triumph of the Fields," both by Chas. Harley of Philadelphia (studio in New York).
Abundance expresses to you the overflowing amount of all that we have today. Her symbol, the cornucopia, is seen on either side. Her large hands are spread out as if to say:
"I give you all that I have. Take. Choose what you will."
One certainly has a bountiful choice.
The eagle's head is on the prow of the vessel in which she sits. It surely suggests that considering all we have put before us today, we have reason for inspiration (the eagle being the symbol of inspiration).
The Triumph of the Fields shows man surrounded by the symbols of the harvest festivals when the Celtic cross, to take one case, or the standard with the bull atop, to take another, was carried through the fields at the time of the bringing in of the harvests.
Man has been the guiding hand to the bull, but the bull has really triumphed since it has actually done the work, while man receives the credit. Man has surmounted the bull, as it were.
Above is the wheel of the wain of old.
The seed in the black earth appears almost to possess intelligence. You get that idea by the head below. Has not the seed produced the bearded barley head you see represented? Does not that power of production appear to be intelligence in the seed?
Below the niches are facsimiles of old Roman baths such as one sees in the Lateran Museum, in Rome. (See picture in Bannister Fletcher's History of Architecture, page 170.)
Fronting the Esplanade are four great palaces:
The Palace of Food Products, which allows you to see how a number of our dry groceries are made;
The Palace of Agriculture, dealing with the many interests of the farmer and the orchardist, the fisheries, forestry, reclaimed land, etc.;
The Palace of Transportation, which enables one to see the remarkable progress made in automobiles, aerial navigation, ocean liners, overland trains, etc.;
The Palace of Mines, which has been spoken of before.
These four palaces have the same kind of doorway. The style is the Spanish Plateresque, the same kind of work that was used on the fine portals of the Palace of Varied Industries.
The Spanish Cavalier (by Allen Newman) is the type of man who came to America in the 16th century, during the period following its discovery. He is the type of Spanish conqueror (conquistador).
The Pirate (by Allen Newman) is the type of man who infested the shores of Spanish-America and preyed upon the commerce.
The Palaces are intimately placed for several reasons.
From experiences at previous Expositions "tired feet" are strongly to be considered, hence the nearness of the buildings.
San Francisco has a few (?) windy and foggy days in the Trade Wind Season, so if the walls are high and near together, the courts on the inside of those walls will be well protected from both winds and fogs. The high walls lift the cool air so that it passes over the buildings of the great block, thus sheltering the courts within.
Now that you have walked around the façades of the palaces of this great block system, you can start with your courts.
I would strongly suggest that you study all of your buildings of this group first, before entering the courts for close work.
The Aisles Between the Palaces
The aisle between the Educational Palace and the Palace of Food Products is called The Aisle of Spring, tho the name will probably not be applied very often, as the aisle is not important.
The flora seen here is eucalyptus, acacia, laurestinus with its white bloom, and veronica decussata with its purple flowers.
The border is cistus.
The Aisle of the Setting Sun is between the Court of the Universe and the Court of the Four Seasons.
The Aisle of the Rising Sun is between the Court of the Universe and the Court of the Ages.
These two aisles are very much alike, the great difference being in the flora used.
The style is Italian Renaissance and should not be called Venetian, as many have named it.
The walls are covered with a diaper design of ochre, pink and travertine.
Blue rondels are used with telling effect. They give a delightful touch of color and have a fine Italian feeling. These rondels have no special meaning, being purely decorative.
The coupled columns with different decorations have their prototypes in the columns of the churches of southern Italy.
The arched windows have interesting grotesque keystones.
Notice that the spirals of the great Siena marble columns turn in opposite directions. Think how they would appear if they all turned the same way!
Notice also the beautiful manipulation of color on the Triumphal Arches.
The latticed windows are strongly suggestive of Mohammedan work and are a beautiful turquoise green. They are among the many Oriental touches at this splendid Exposition. The area of deep pink and the burnt orange medallions must be seen to realize their beauty.
No wonder Pegasus is seen in the spandrels! Who would not mount Pegasus at such a glorious Exposition?
In these aisles are many remarkable conifers. Yews from many different countries, junipers of various kinds, pines, firs, spruces, cypresses of countless varieties, many thuyas, beside euonymus, holly, datura, India rubber, aralias, the beautiful nandina domestica, a most lovely foliage massed in the corners of the west side of the Aisle of the Rising Sun.
In March and April these courts receive glorious rich coloring from beds of California poppies and anemones, bordered with creeping juniper.
The gay spring flowers will be followed by summer annuals, and later by our autumn blossoms,