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Court of Ages
The Fountain of Earth

Court of Ages - The Fountain of Earth

While it is possible to find keen enjoyment in the Court of Ages for its delicate beauty and exquisite refinement alone, even the slightest study of its architectural and sculptural detail reveals a depth of underlying purpose and meaning that invites further analysis. The architect calls it "an historical expression of the successive ages of the world's growth." He suggests four stages: the nebulous world, symbolized by the central fountain, in which Robert Aitken of San Francisco has worked out a stupendous study of primeval passions. Out of chaos, come the elemental forces, Water, Land and Light. The braziers and cauldrons symbolize Fire. The two sentinel columns, flanking the tower on either side, are Earth and Air. The eight paintings, by Frank Brangwyn of London, in the corridors in great richness of color depict Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Thus the first state is indicated.

The second stage is symbolized by the decorative motifs employed on the arcade surrounding the court, where on piers, arches, reeds and columns, in marvelously wrought sculptural ornament, is shown the transition from plant to animal life through kelp, crab, lobster and other sea animals and shell motifs.

- M. W. R.

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