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- The Art of the Exposition - 1/15 -

The Art of the Exposition

Personal Impressions of the Architecture, Sculpture, Mural Decorations, Color Scheme & Other Aesthetic Aspects of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition

By Eugen Neuhaus University of California Chairman of the Western Advisory Committee and Member of the San Francisco Jury in the Department of Fine Arts of the Exposition

To the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. A Great Work of Peace. These lines are appreciatively dedicated May the First 1915

Publisher's Announcement

The following pages have grown out of many talks given during the year by Mr. Neuhaus to his students at the University of California. Presented to the public in the form of a series of evening lectures at the University, and repeated before many other organizations throughout California, his interpretation of the Art of the Exposition roused a demand for its repetition so widespread as only to be met by the aid of the printing press.

San Francisco, California May 1, 1915


The Architecture The architectural scheme, the setting and the style of the architecture.

The Sculpture Its relation to the architecture, its artistic meaning and its symbolism.

The Color Scheme and the Landscape Gardening The color elements as furnished by the artist and by nature; the horticultural effects.

The Mural Decorations The intellectual emphasis of the color scheme, and the significance of the mural decorations.

The Illumination - Conclusion The Exposition at night.

Appendix Guide to Sculpture, The Mural decorations, Biographical notes.

List of Illustrations

The Tower in the Court of Abundance. Louis Christian Mullgardt, Architect. (Frontispiece) Under the Arch of the Tower of Jewels. McKim, Mead and White, Architects View Through the Great Arches of the Court of the Universe. McKim, Mead and White, Architects Niche Detail from the Court of the Four Seasons. Henry Bacon, Architect The Court of the Four Seasons. Henry Bacon, Architect Northern Doorway in the Court of Palms. George Kelham, Architect Entrance into the Palace of Education. Bliss and Faville, Architects Detail from the Court of Abundance. Louis Christian Mullgardt, Architect The Palace of Fine Arts. Bernard R. Maybeck, Architect Colonnade, Palace of Fine Arts. Bernard R. Maybeck, Architect. Portal of Vigor in the Palace of Food Products (in the distance). Bliss and Faville, Architects Colonnade, Palace of Fine Arts. Bernard R. Maybeck, Architect The Setting Sun. Adolph A. Weinman, Sculptor The Nations of the West. A. Stirling Calder, Frederick C. R. Roth, Leo Lentelli, Sculptors The Mermaid. Arthur Putnam, Sculptor The Adventurous Bowman Supported by Frieze of Toilers Details from the Column of Progress. Hermon A. MacNeil, Sculptor The End of the Trail. James Earl Fraser, Sculptor Autumn, in the Court of the Four Seasons. Furio Piccirilli, Sculptor The Pacific-Detail from the Fountain of Energy. A. Stirling Calder, Sculptor The Alaskan-Detail from Nations of the West. Frederick C. R. Roth, Sculptor The Feast of Sacrifice. Albert Jaegers, Sculptor Youth - From the Fountain of Youth. Edith Woodman Burroughs, Sculptor Truth - Detail from the Fountain of the Rising Sun. Adolph A. Weinman, Sculptor The Star. A. Stirling Calder, Sculptor The Triton - Detail of the Fountains of the Rising and the Setting Sun. Adolph A. Weinman, Sculptor Finial Figure in the Court of Abundance. Leo Lentelli, Sculptor Atlantic and Pacific and the Gateway of all Nations. William de Leftwich Dodge, Painter Commerce, Inspiration, Truth and Religion. Edward Simmons, Painter The Victorious Spirit. Arthur F. Mathews, Painter The Westward March of Civilization. Frank V. Du Mond, Painter The Pursuit of Pleasure. Charles Holloway, Painter Primitive Fire. Frank Brangwyn, Painter Night Effect - Colonnade of the Palace of Fine Arts. Bernard R. Maybeck, Architect Official Poster. Perham W. Nahl Ground Plan of the Exposition

The Art of the Exposition

The Architecture

It is generally conceded that the essential lesson of the Exposition is the lesson of art. However strongly the industrial element may have asserted itself in the many interesting exhibits, no matter how extensive the appeal of the applied sciences may be, the final and lasting effect will be found in the great and enduring lesson of beauty which the Exposition so unforgetably teaches.

The visitor is at once stirred by the many manifestations of art, presented so harmoniously by the architect, the sculptor, the landscape architect, and the painter-decorator, and his attention is kept throughout by artistic appeals at every turn. It must be said in the very start that few will realize what is the simple truth - that artistically this is probably the most successful exposition ever created. It may indeed prove the last. Large international expositions are becoming a thing of the past on account of the tremendous cost for relatively temporary purposes.

There is still much of the popular conception abroad that the West has only very recently emerged from a state of semi-civilization inimical to the finer things of life, and to art in particular. But we may rest assured that the fortunate outsider who allows himself the luxury of travel will proclaim that the gospel of beauty has been preached most eloquently through the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The critic who prefers to condemn things will find small opportunity here, no matter how seriously he may take himself.

The first sight of that great mosaic, from the Fillmore-street hill, at once creates a nerve-soothing impression most uncommon in international expositions, and for that matter, in any architectural aggregate. One is at once struck with the fitness of the location and of the scheme of architecture. Personally, I am greatly impressed with the architectural scheme and the consistency of its application to the whole. I fear that the two men, Mr. Willis Polk and Mr. Edward Bennett, who laid the foundation for the plan, will never receive as much credit as is really due them. I hope this appreciation may serve that purpose in some small way.

It was a typically big western idea, an idea that as a rule never gets any farther than being thought of, or possibly seeing daylight as an "esquisse" - but seldom any farther than that. The Burnham plan for San Francisco was such an unrealized dream, but here the dream has achieved concrete form. The buildings as a group have all the big essential qualities that art possesses only in its noblest expression. Symmetry, balance, and harmony work together for a wonderful expression of unity, of oneness, that buildings devoted to profane purposes seldom show.

I do not know how many people who visit the Exposition are so constituted as to derive an aesthetic thrill from artistic balance, but I imagine that any person, no matter how inexperienced in matters of art, will rejoice at the fine feeling of orderly arrangement of major forms which runs through the entire grouping. It is simplicity itself, and it serves an excellent practical purpose, enabling one to visit the Exposition without being left a nervous wreck at the end.

The main entrance leads one into the physical center of the Exposition. From there, on the first visit, one realizes the existence of an equally large area on either side, covered with objects of interest.

The main exposition, composed of a compactly arranged group of large buildings of approximately equal size, is symmetrically placed on either side of the main central court, the Court of the Universe. This sends out its avenues into two equally proportioned side courts - the Court of the Four Seasons on the west and the Court of Abundance on the east. While the main court rests right in the center of the eight buildings, the side courts fit snugly into the center of the four buildings on either side. This arrangement of large masses, comprising the bulk of the Exposition, creates a grateful feeling of repose and of order, without being in the least uninteresting, for while there is perfect symmetry, on the one hand, in the larger masses, there is plenty and ever changing variety in the minor architectural forms and embellishments. The same balance, the same interesting distribution of architectural masses, continues on either side of the main building. In Machinery Hall, on the one hand, and the Fine Arts Palace on the western side, perfect balance is again maintained. That is, however, not the end of it all. Loosening up in a very subtle way, we find cleverly arranged

The Art of the Exposition - 1/15

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