Monday, February 13, 2012

Pulitzer Prize, Bitter End

Joseph Pulitzer gave $50,000 for a fountain located in Grand Army Plaza next to the Plaza Hotel. The image of a winged ram (bearer of the Golden Fleece) squishing the hell out of a poor turtle is only a sideshow of the magnificent fountain starring Pomona, goddess of fruits and fertility.

The architect was the redoubtable Thomas Hastings. The unfortunate sculptor was Karl Bitter, whom after finishing the clay model, was run over by a car.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rockin' Fella

This carving by Lee Lawrie in 1933 is above the entrance to the British Empire Building at Rockefeller Center. Mercury was used to symbolize Britain's global power in the 1930's. He is carrying a caduceus, the staff of ancient heralds.

The sun motif illustrates the motto 'The sun never sets on the British Empire'. Oops.