Sculpture of the Exposition Palaces and Courts

Juliet James
Sculpture of the Exposition
Palaces and Courts

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Title: Sculpture of the Exposition Palaces and Courts
Author: Juliet James
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Sculpture of the Exposition Palaces and Courts

Descriptive Notes on the Art of the Statuary at the Panama-Pacific
International Exposition San Francisco

By Juliet James

To A. Stirling Calder who has so ably managed the execution of the
sculpture, and to the vast body of sculptors and their workmen who
have given the world such inspiration with their splendid work, this
book is dedicated.


What accents itself in the mind of the layman who makes even a

cursory study of the sculptors and their works at the Panama-Pacific
International Exposition is the fine, inspiring sincerity and uplift that
each man brings to his work. One cannot be a great sculptor otherwise.
The sculptor's work calls for steadfastness of purpose through long
years of study, acute observation, the highest standards, fine intellectual
ability and above all a decided universalism - otherwise the world soon
passes him by.
It is astonishing to see brought together the work of so many really
great sculptors. America has a very large number of talented men
expressing themselves on the plastic side - and a few geniuses.
The Exposition of 1915 has given the world the opportunity of seeing
the purposeful heights to which these men have climbed.
We have today real American sculpture - work that savors of American
soil - a splendid national expression.
Never before have so many remarkable works been brought together;
and American sculpture is only in its infancy - born, one might say,
after the Centennial Exposition of 1876.
The wholesome part of it all is that men and women are working
independently in their expressions. We do not see that effect here of
one man trying to fit himself to another man's clothing. The work is all
distinctly individual. This individualism for any art is a hopeful
The sculpture has vitalized the whole marvelous Exposition. It is not an
accessory, as has been the sculpture of previous Expositions, but it goes
hand in hand with the architecture, poignantly existing for its own sake
and adding greatly to the decorative architectural effects. In many cases
the architecture is only the background or often only a pedestal for the
figure or group, pregnant with spirit and meaning.
Those who have the city's growth at heart should see to it that these
men of brain and skill and inspiration are employed to help beautify the

commercial centers, the parks, the boulevards of our cities.
We need the fine lessons of beauty and uplift around us.
We beautify our houses and spend very little time in them. Why not
beautify our outside world where we spend the bulk of our time?
We, a pleasure-loving people, are devoting more time every year to
outside life. Would it not be a thorough joy to the most prosaic of us to
have our cities beautified with inspiring sculpture?
We do a great deal in the line of horticultural beautifying - we could do
far more - but how little we have done with one of the most meaningful
and stimulating of the arts.
Let us see to it, in San Francisco at least, that a few of these works are
made permanent.
Take as an example James Earle Fraser's "End of the Trail." Imagine
the effect of that fine work silhouetted against the sky out near Fort
Point, on a
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