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Panama-Pacific International Exposition

The Jewel City:

Its Planning and Achievement; Its Architecture, Sculpture, Symbolism, and Music; Its Gardens, Palaces, and Exhibits

Ben Macomber

With Colored Frontispiece and more than Seventy-Five Other Illustrations

John H. Williams, Publisher
San Francisco and Tacoma

Copyright, 1915, By
John H. Williams

Press of
H. S. Crocker Co.
Printers and Binders


No more accurate account of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition has been given than one that was forced from the lips of a charming Eastern woman of culture. Walking one evening in the Fine Arts colonnade, while the illumination from distant searchlights accented the glory of Maybeck's masterpiece, and lit up the half-domes and arches across the lagoon, she exclaimed to her companion: "Why, all the beauty of the world has been sifted, and the finest of it assembled here!"

This simple phrase, the involuntary outburst of a traveled visitor, will be echoed by thousands who feel the magic of what the master artists and architects of America have done here in celebration of the Panama Canal. I put the "artists" first, because this Exposition has set a new standard. Among all the great international expositions previously held in the United States, as well as those abroad, it had been the fashion for managers to order a manufactures building from one architect, a machinery hall from another, a fine arts gallery from a third. These worked almost independently. Their structures, separately, were often beautiful; together, they seldom indicated any kinship or common purpose. When the buildings were completed, the artists were called in to soften their disharmonies with such sculptural and horticultural decoration as might be possible.

The Exposition in San Francisco is the first, though it will not be the last, to subject its architecture to a definite artistic motive. How this came about it is the object of the present book to tell, - how the Exposition was planned as an appropriate expression of America's joy in the completion of the Canal, and how its structures, commemorating the peaceful meeting of the nations through that great waterway, have fitly been made to represent the art of the entire world, yet with such unity and originality as to give new interest to the ancient forms, and with such a wealth of appropriate symbolism in color, sculpture and mural painting as to make its great courts, towers and arches an inspiring story of Nature's beneficence and Man's progress.

Much of Mr. Macomber's text was written originally for The San Francisco Chronicle, to which acknowledgment is made for its permission to reprint his papers. The popularity of these articles, which have been running since February, has testified to their usefulness. In many cases they have been preserved and passed from hand to hand. They have also won the endorsement of liberal use in other publications. It is proper to say, however, that similarity of language sometimes indicates a common following of the artists' own explanations of their work, made public by the Exposition management.

Mr. Macomber has revised and amplified his chapters hitherto published, and has added others briefly outlining the history of the Exposition, and dealing with the fine-arts, industrial, and livestock exhibits, the foreign and state buildings, music, sports, aviation, and the amusement section. Apart from the smaller guides, the book is thus the first to attempt any comprehensive description of the Exposition. Without indiscriminate praise, or sacrificing independent judgment, the author's purpose has been to interpret and explain the many things about which the visitors on the ground and readers at home may naturally wish to know, rather than to point out minor defects.

For the general exhibit palaces, anything more than a brief outline of their contents would fill several books. But the chapter entitled "The Palace of Fine Arts and its Exhibit, with the Awards," supplies such an account of the plan of the galleries and of the important works therein as will furnish a clear and helpful guide to this great collection. The awards of the Fine Arts juries, just announced, have been incorporated in the account, while a full list of the grand prizes, medals of honor and gold medals also follows the chapter. With the artists thus named are noted the rooms where the works of each may be found. The Appendix offers a practical aid to the study of the "Exposition Art" in the list there given of the mural paintings and sculptures which form the notable decorations of palaces and gardens. With these are cross-references to the pages in the text where they are described.

In selecting the photographs here reproduced, the aim has been not so much to show exhibits as to illustrate the plan, architecture and decorative art of the Exposition, and to indicate the advance which it scores over its predecessors. The pictures, with their full "underlines," will aid those who have not yet visited the Exposition to apprehend its spirit and much of its unprecedented beauty. Cross-references from text to illustrations increase their helpfulness. But even these abundant illustration can do little more than suggest how far the artistic achievement is the finest yet seen in America. No book can adequately represent this World's Fair. Its spell is the charm of color and the grandeur of noble proportion, harmonizing great architectural units; its lesson is the compelling value, demonstrated on a vast scale, of exquisite taste. It must be seen to be understood.

John H. Williams.

San Francisco, July 15, 1915.


I. Motive and Planning of the Exposition
II. Ground Plan and Landscape Gardening
III. The South Gardens
IV. "The Walled City": Its Great Palaces and their Architecture, Color and Material
V. The Tower of Jewels
VI. The Court of the Universe
VII. The Court of the Ages
VIII. The Court of the Seasons
IX. Courts of Flowers and Palms
X. The Fountains
XI. The Palace of Machinery
XII. The Palace of Fine Arts and its Exhibit, with the Awards
XIII. The Exposition Illuminated
XIV. Music at the Exposition
XV. Inside the Exhibit Palaces
XVI. The Foreign Pavilions
XVII. The State Buildings
XVIII. The Live-Stock Exhibit
XIX. Sports and Games; Automobile Races; Aviation
XX. The Joy Zone

Appendix: Lists of Sculptures, Mural Paintings, and Artists. Roster of the Exposition. Index.


Unless otherwise noted, these are from photographs by the official photographers, the Cardinell-Vincent Company.

Roman Arch of the Setting Sun, Color Plate from Photo by Gabriel Moulin
Ground Plan of the Palace of Fine Arts
Aeroplane View of the Exposition, Photo copyrighted by Gabriel Moulin
Avenue of Palms
The South Gardens
The Palace of Horticulture
Festival Hall - George H. Kahn
Map of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition
"Listening Woman" and "Young Girl," Festival Hall
South Portal, Palace of Varied Industries - J. L. Padilla
Palace of Liberal Arts
Sixteenth-Century Spanish Portal, North Facade
"The Pirate," North Portal
"The Priest," Tower of Jewels
The Tower of Jewels and Fountain of Energy
"Cortez" - J. L. Padilla
Under the Arch, Tower of Jewels
Fountain of El Dorado
Column of Progress - Pacific Photo and Art Co.
"The Adventurous Bowman"
Arch of the Setting Sun - J. L. Padilla
Frieze at Base of the Column of Progress (2)
The Court of the Universe and Arch of the Rising Sun
"Earth" and "Fire" (2)
"The Rising Sun" and "The Setting Sun" (2)
Tower of the Ages - J. L. Padilla
Fountain of the Earth - J. L. Padilla
"Air," one of Brangwyn's Murals
The Court of Seasons
Arch in the Court of Seasons - George H. Kahn
Court of Flowers, Detail - Pacific Photo and Art Co.
"The End of the Trail" - J. L. Padilla
"The Pioneer"
The Court of Palms.
Portal between the Courts of Palms and Seasons - Pacific Photo and Art Co.
Fountain of Summer - J. L. Padilla
The Mermaid Fountain
Fountain of "Beauty and the Beast"
The Palace of Machinery
Palace of Machinery, Interior
Vestibule, Palace of Machinery - Gabriel Moulin
Palace of Fine Arts
Open Corridor, Palace of Fine Arts
Detail of Rotunda, Palace of Fine Arts
Colonnade, Fine Arts, and Half-Dome, Food Products Palace - J. L. Padilla
"The Mother of the Dead"
"High Tide; the Return of the Fishermen" - Gabriel Moulin
"Among the White Birch Trunks" - Gabriel Moulin
Tower of Jewels at Night - J. L. Padilla
"The Outcast"
"Muse Finding the Head of Orpheus"
Palace of Fine Arts at Night - Paul Elder Co.
Tympanum, Palace of Varied Industries
Tympanum, Palace of Education
"The Genius of Creation"
Pavilions of Australia and Canada (2), - H. W. Mossby, J. L. Padilla
Pavilions of France and the Netherlands (2)
Rodin's "The Thinker" - Friedrich Woiter
A Court in the Italian Pavilion
The Pavilion of Sweden
Pavilions of Argentina and Japan (2)
The New York State Building - Pacific Photo and Art Co.
California Building
Illinois and Missouri (2)
Massachusetts and Pennsylvania (2)
Inside the California Building
Oregon and Washington (2)
Aeroplane Flight at Night

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