Tuesday, August 25, 2009

GOTHIC ARCHES - "Cities"



This week the theme for Gothic Arches was "Cities-make an arch showing your favorite city or a special place that tugs at your heartstrings"-this was a challenge for me. I LOVE San Francisco; this city holds a very special place in my heart. I looked and looked at vintage images of the city and, because so many old photos are about the 1906 earthquake, I chose to use one of my favorite landmarks in SF (and there are SO many there) on my arch. I found a copy of a hand-colored 1915 photo of this landmark, and started with that to create my arch. You can see more detail if you click on the photo of the arch.

The Palace of Fine Arts was built out of wood, plaster, and burlap fiber, one building of many exquisite ones, for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, a World's Fair held near the Marina in San Francisco. There were many elaborate structures created for this exposition which celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal and showcased San Francisco's recovery from the huge earthquake and fire of 1906, but the buildings were only meant to be temporary, and most were torn down after the fair was over. Looking at old photos, this was a very, very elaborate event, and I find it sad that most of the fair buildings were demolished. The Palace of Fine Arts was only one of two remaining buildings not destroyed. It fell into disrepair over the years, and I remember it was not safe to walk near the Palace of Fine Arts in the early 1960s when I lived there as a child. It was cordoned off, and we had to look at the Palace from a distance across the lagoon. The Palace of Fine Arts was saved and refurbished during the 1960's and then was renovated again and seismically retrofitted early this year (2009). Fascinating information about this beautiful structure can be found here and here.

I'm including photos below, the first one taken in 1915, the second a photo from Wikipedia taken in 2004, and then a photo I took when I was there just a few days ago, for comparison. Can you tell why I'm so fond of vintage things? Isn't it beautiful?!!!


11 comments:

Louise (KardKrazy) said...

Jann, I've been to SF several times but don't think I've ever seen this! You have created a gorgeous arch depicting your favorite city, such a soft touch to it!

Carol Anne's Boutique said...

Oh, Jann...your arch is absolutely stunning!! I just loved visiting The Palace of Fine Arts, it is so very beautiful! Tom, Jeff & I were in SF about 8 years ago and stopped there on a bus tour we were on. Visiting SF was one of our most memorable vacations.
Love, Carol Anne

Christine said...

Beautifully done and such an original take on the theme

Martina2801 said...

So creative! Lovely arch, Jann!

Sandy said...

Wow what a beautiful arch.
Amazing design. Love them.

Lori Saul said...

Wow- I live in Marin Co. (just across the GG Bridge)and was so pleased to see your gorgeous arch ! What a beautifully done arch and wonderful perspective of the Palace of Fine Arts- I just passed by it last night . Brilliant work!!

The French Bear said...

Hi Jann, I just popped in to say a big thank you for stopping in and entering the blog and I have put your name in for joining the followers and leaving a comment! I may be at this all night!! Ha ha it is so nice to meet new friends and to see what others create. I just love the arch you made.
There is something so beautiful about old buildings and architecture!!!
Hugs and good luck!
Margaret B

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

OH Jann ~ your SF arch is so wonderful, the look and feel of it are really special! I just happen to have a photograph of the rotunda you show with swans swimming in front of it hanging in our powder room that has mermaids, swans and such. Also Loved reading what you wrote, I would Love to visit SF again one day, it's a magical place!

lena said...

Lovely piece of art!

Nancy Maxwell James said...

Jann
the colors and composition are brilliant! lovely piece and very romantic! :)

JeanFB said...

Gorgeous! Love your soft coloring and beautiful embellies!