Home -> Samuel Levinson -> What We Saw at Madame World's Fair - Our First Lesson in Sculpture

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Our First Lesson in Sculpture

Dear Cousins:

When we had looked, and looked, and looked at the Tower, and had almost counted every jewel on it, we were so delighted with it, father called our attention to the Fountain of Energy, made by Mr. A. Stirling Calder, and told us about its meaning, or symbolism.

The sculptor means to convey the idea that the Canal has been finished because of the pluck and energy and courage of our nation, and that now we are going on to better things.

The queer sea creatures at the base of the fountain are supposed to be carrying on their backs the four oceans, the North and South Arctic, and the Atlantic and Pacific.

The figure of the man on the horse certainly looks very animated, and we supposed that the figures standing on his shoulders are heralds who are to clear the way for him.

Near Horticultural Hall in the South Gardens, at the left of the Fountain of Energy, is a Mermaid Fountain by Mr. Arthur Putnam, which is repeated at the right in front of Festival Hall. That gives you a picture of the tower and what we saw from the main gate as we went in.

Father said that as we had made so good a start, it would be wise to keep on with sculpture for the rest of the day. He pointed out to us the figure of Victory, which has been placed on each one of the palaces, and then took us to the Court of Palms to see Mr. James Earle Fraser's "The End of the Trail." We felt just how tired both man and horse were, and felt sorry for them both. We asked father why they had come so far to get themselves exhausted like that, and he again told us something of symbolism.

The statue is intended to represent the redman, and denotes that the race is vanishing, and is supposed to be studied in connection with the "Pioneer," Mr. Solon Borglum's very fine statue in the Court of Flowers. That is meant to say that the white race will take up the work of progress and carry it on. We completed the lesson by going to see the Column of Progress at the end of the Court of the Universe. The bas-relief, that means the flat figures on the surface, by Mr. Isadore Konti, show men have striven for the best in life. The group at the top of the column, by Mr. Hermon A. McNeil, is a great work, father says, and is meant to express the idea of effort.

The artist has also expressed the thought that no man can accomplish anything alone, but must have the love and support of his fellow beings. We think that is a beautiful thought.

Your loving cousins,

Jane and Ellen.

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