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Lee Lawrie's Architectural Sculpture > Civilization and Sphinxes by Lee Lawrie at the Los Angeles Central Public Library by Gregory Harm

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Gregory Harm Gregory Harm
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23
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1.62 Gigapixels
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1637
Date added
Sep 09, 2012
Date taken
 
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Description

"A symbolic statue representing 'Civilization' placed in the Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, California. It is a unique, majestic figure, a piece of rater beauty combining the use of bronze and Italia Marble. The breastplate and the shoulder drapes are of antique bronze, the lower side drapes of the Marble. An open book of bright bronze, held in the right hand bears appropriate inscriptions in five languages. The left hand holds a bronze torch resting on a turtle, the symbol of both land and water. The front panel of the robe is golden bronze in twelve sections....each section showing the emblem of an ancient or a modern civilization, from the long blank panel at the bottom for prehistoric and unknown ages to the top panels with the buffalo, the covered wagon and the Liberty Bell. The crown on the head shows symbols of the Public Library, the City of Los Angeles and the State of California."

From a brochure at the LAP, circa 1926.

SCULPTURES
BY
LEE LAWRIE
Sphinxes
SYMBOLIZING THE MYSTERIES Of KNOWLEDGE YET UNATTAINED.
Left Sphinx inscription (in translation):
"I am all that was and is to be and no man bath lifted my veil." —Plutarch.
Right Sphinx inscription (in translation):
"Therefore the desire of truth, especially of that which concerns the Gods, is itself a yearning after Divinity."—Plutarch.
CIVILIZATION:
SYMBOLIZING THE PROGRESS OF MANKIND.
(Italian marble and bronze)
TORCH, SYMBOL OF ENLIGHTENMENT, RESTS ON A TURTLE, SYMBOL OF DOMINION OVER EARTH AND WATER,
BELOW THE FLAME IS PEGASUS, THE WINGED HORSE, FOR INSPIRATION.
THE PANEL CONTAINS SYMBOLS OF ANCIENT AND MODERN
CIVILIZATION & A Blank for the Unknown Ages of Man
The Pyramids for Egypt
The Ship for Phoenicia
The Winged Bull for Babylonia
The Tablets for Judea
The Lion Gate of the Palace of Minos and The Parthenon
for Minoan and Grecian Civilizations
The Wolf with Romulus and Remus for Rome
The Dragon for China
Siva for India
Notre Dame for Mediaeval Christian Europe
The Serpent Head for Maya
The Buffalo, the Covered Wagon, and the Liberty Bell for the United States of America
ON THE OPEN BOOK ARE INSCRIPTIONS IN FIVE LANGUAGES: In the beginning was the word. (translated from Greek)
Knowledge extends horizons. (translated from Latin)
Nobility carries obligations. (translated from French)
Wisdom is in the truth. (translated from German)
Beauty is truth — Truth beauty.
THE CROWN: The Library. (Model of building), The City of Los Angeles. (Angels) [and] The State. (California bear and star)”
From a brochure, circa 1926, when it opened, no author, LAPL Archives.


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