Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][graphic][subsumed][merged small]
[graphic][ocr errors]

THE FAÇADE OF THE ELECTRICITY BUILDING, FROM THE MALL

Photograph by C. D. Arnold.

every mod

SO

crowding waves chase one another in end- order of time the individuality of a nation less succession. And again one dreams must be developed before it can recognize of the time when power and use shall its relations to other nations; in the order wear the shape of beauty, and the vast of time nations must come to a high degree forces which have come into human serv- of self-realization before they are able to ice shall not only lessen its toil but light discern clearly the inheritances, duties, reits ways!

sponsibilities, and works which unite them The great fairs held in this country beneath all the diversities of their gifts have not only marked its material prog- and their activities. We have comress, but have been points of departure in memorated the glow of that fire which its education. The Centennial Fair, held announced to the discoverer from the Old in Philadelphia in 1876, was a revelation World that a New World lay behind the to hosts of people of the richness of the mysterious seas; we have celebrated our older civilization and of the possibilities coming of age and assumption of the of beauty in the utilities of daily life. dignity and responsibility of a nation ; at That Fair brought the Old to the New Buffalo we take account of the achieveWorld, and made Americans aware how ment of the race on the fresh soil, and, much the older countries had to teach looking at its works, become aware of the and to give the youngest of the family of essential unity of its life and the growing nations. The Columbian Fair, which harmony of its interests. When we recalled commemorated the discovery of the con- the hour of Discovery, Greece stood betinent and was possible of achievement, hind us, as she stands behind on

vast a scale, only in a city ern people, to disclose to our young eyes like Chicago, where civic pride and the the beauty of a completely developed sense of individual responsibility to architecture, so noble in form that it needsthe community have had so notable a no varying emphasis of color ; now that development, was a revelation of ordered we are taking account of what we have beauty of form, structure, and group- done in our own world, and striking ing. In the presence of the White hands with all the working races on the City it seemed as if the Greek had reap- continent, we have instinctively housed peared to give impulse and suggestion our machines, tools, products, and invento a people full of racial energy and eager tions by the aid of the oldest and most to possess the best. On the shore of picturesque architecture in use in the Lake Michigan the continuity of history, New World. The Spanish Renaissance, the unbroken co-working of the races for modified to meet the needs of a new the race, was symbolized and taught with climate and landscape, is notable, not a simplicity, a directness, and a nobility for space nor elevation nor beauty of of expression which touched first the detail, but for harmonious lines, broad imagination of the Central West, and effects, and a use of balconies, towers, later diffused its subtle and searching pinnacles, and loggias which gives richinfluence through the whole country. An ness and apparent depth to color. Red, aggressive city, throbbing with the most blue, green, and gold are boldly and vital life of trade, had shown a rare intel- even lavishly evoked to secure warmth, ligence in commissioning a group of the brightness, and that Occidental brillforemost architects, artists, and sculptors iancy to which our skies are so much to manage what promised to be a vastakin. These colors, which are used in commercial enterprise, but which, through a symbolic order to suggest the struginsight, vision, skill, and beauty, became gle of men with the elements in their a beautiful and impressive revelation of long endeavor to subdue the continent the loveliness and significance of art. and turn its forces to fruitful uses, are The White City is only a memory, but it graduated from the heavy reds of the is one of those memories which fertilize pergolas, where the Triumphal Causeway the imagination and bear the fruit of a merges into the central Court, to the finer life over the whole range of the con- cream white of the central tower. If tinent. The Pan-American Exposition there is a touch of the fanciful in this comes logically after the celebration of endeavor to suggest the evolution of Discovery and Independence. In the man by means of a scheme of color, the

[graphic][merged small]

general effect is rich and striking, and the high order. To comprehend the general eye which loves color finds delight in the scheme of the many groups of figures one warm tones modulated over a great space must begin at the point from which the with a harmonious sense of values. Chro- color scheme must also be studied, the matic effects of great beauty are secured key-point, so to speak, of the Expositionin the handling of the ornamental detail the approach to the Triumphal Causeway. of the entrances to some of the buildings. From this point on the right and left,

Neither the architectural nor the color vitally related to the buildings which they scheme is worked out with uniform flank, and interpreting them, the sucsuccess; those buildings are most satis- cessive groups portray the story of man's factory which follow most closely the struggle with and conquest of the eleSpanish order, and those are least artistic ments; in successive chapters in massive which depart from it by the introduction figures, molded in many cases with a of inharmonious, fanciful, and over-elab- noble freedom and power, the conquests orate decoration, recalling some of the of man are interpreted in plastic forms, artificial and ugly idiosyncrasies which These groups must be seen in their places disfigured the Paris Fair last year. These in the great court if their vitality and defects are, fortunately, of minor impor- beauty are to be comprehended. They tance and are hardly noted in the general constitute one of the most novel and imeffect.

pressive features of the Exposition, and One of the most effective and striking are likely to be one of its most potential features of the Exposition is the free and educational influences. More than any bold use of sculpture, an art in which other single feature they bring into clear Americans are showing genius of a very light the unity of plan behind the Exposition, and record the great and promising life which has dealt largely of necessity advance of art in this country. To see with materials, but has never been content the large groups and the individual figures with them nor rested in them. It is sigwhich face the buildings, the Triumphal nificant that the Chicago and Buffalo Causeway, or stand at points of scenic Fairs, in depth and unity of artistic importance, is ample reward for a long conception, hold a place by themselves; journey.

nothing so complete and beautiful has The three great facts in the history of been attempted or realized elsewhere. In the Americas which the successive Fairs Paris there was a richness of individual have commemorated, Discovery, Inde- exhibits which the New World cannot pendence, and Fraternity, sum up in command; but in harmony, beauty, lightlarge generalization the spiritual story of ness, and grace the New World has gone the New World. Discovery and Inde- beyond the Old and risen into prophecy. pendence are fully accomplished. Fra- The thousand inventions, machines, apternity is partly achieved and partly pro- pliances, and products which crowd the phetic. Prophecy is, indeed, one of the buildings are the work of its hands, but notes of the Exposition, as must be the the Exposition is the work of its spirit. case in any endeavor to illustrate and It predicts the spiritual synthesis of the interpret the life of a New World. The far future; the harmonious adjustment of achievements commemorated are many man to his surroundings in the New World; and great, but there is an air of expectancy his victorious accomplishment of his tasks; enveloping the whole; an atmosphere his escape from the perils, the sorrows, which issues out of the depths of a vast, the colossal toils of settling a new contistruggling, generous, aspiring life ; a life nent, into freedom, power, and individualwhich shows the crudity of freedom but ity of culture; beyond the America of also its tremendous spiritual impulse; a Toil it evokes the America of Art.

[graphic][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »