Wheels of Progress
The man next to America pushes a wheel of progress. Other wheels of progress appear at Grand Central Terminal (see Glory of Commerce): look for them on the arches over the semi-circular windows of the Concourse ceiling.
The sculptures on the cornice of the Customs House represent nations engaged in international trade through the ages.
“But playing a zombie will not give you omniscience”
The Continents show states of mind. When I look at the figure on the far right, I’m reminded of of these lines from John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged.
Do not say that you’re afraid to trust your mind because you know so little. Are you safer in surrendering to mystics and discarding the little that you know? Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority. Accept the fact that you are not omniscient, but playing a zombie will not give you omniscience - that your mind is fallible, but becoming mindless will not make you infallible - that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error. --Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Daniel Chester French
French (1850-1931, b. Exeter, N.H.) was one of America's most notable sculptors. He studied with John Quincy Adams Ward and with Thomas Ball in Florence. Among his most notable works are the Minuteman, 1875 (Concord, Mass.); the Milmore Memorial, 1893 (copy at the Metropolitan Museum); the enormous Republic for the 1893 Columbian Exposition (smaller reproduction still standing on the south side of Chicago); the doors of the Boston Public Library, 1904; the Melvin Memorial (Mourning Victory, 1908; copy in the Metropolitan Museum) and the Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, 1922 (Washington).
Aside from works in the Metropolitan Museum, Manhattan has the Hunt Memorial, Alma Mater, and Four Continents. Brooklyn has allegorical figures of Brooklynand Manhattan, ca. 1900 (in front of the Brooklyn Museum), and a lovely relief of Lafayette, 1917 (9th Street entrance to Prospect Park).
Copyright (c) 2013 Dianne L. Durante