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Mural Paintings

Dear Cousins:

Father said today that he was afraid we had not learned much about the murals, and we said that we would like to study them more, but they were so high up that we got a dreadfully achy neck every time we tried to do much with them.

He laughed a little at that, but said that it was an affliction which had to be borne, as he was anxious that we should study them. He wishes us to be able to read pictures as well as we do print, or music, because they always have some story to tell which helps in life.

We are glad now that he insisted, because otherwise we should have missed seeing Mr. Robert Reid's pictures in the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts.

We liked very much the panels which symbolize the four golds of California, the poppies, the oranges, the gold, and the wheat. We have secured some photographs of all the murals in the Exposition, and shall study them when we are at home, and we shall send you some pictures with these letters.

We are of course not quite sure why we like some things better than others, but we do like very much the picture entitled "Victorious Spirit" in the Court of the Palms.

It has the most beautiful blue in it, and we love blue, though of course we know that that is not an adequate reason for liking a picture. There is something fine about being a Victorious Spirit, which we admire, especially if it is a good spirit, and this one seems to be.

In the Court of Abundance we saw Mr. Frank Brangwyn's Earth, Air, Water, and "Fire." The "Earth" picture shows in a harvesting scene all the things which the earth has given to us. In "Fire" we are shown how fire was first found, and how much more comfortable people were after that.

Next, men were learning how to use the fire, and when they had discovered that cooked food was better than the old way, they needed pots to cook their food in, and so had to make the pots.

In the "Water" picture, you will notice that the people are using the pots now for carrying the water to their homes, and the clouds show you by their heavy grayness that it will soon rain.

The "Air" picture shows that the storm has come, and the children are hurrying home to shelter. We did enjoy these pictures so much, and we wish that all pictures were as easy to read and as interesting as these. It is a bit hard to understand that there has ever been a time when people did not have fire and such things, but father says we should not say such things when we are in the Fifth Grade.

Your loving cousins,

Jane and Ellen.

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