Thursday, February 25, 2016
We're back at the World's Fair, circa October 1964!
Let's start with this first view. The Unisphere can't help overwhelming everything around it, but in the foreground is a smaller bronze armillary sphere (or spherical astrolabe), originally created for the 1939/40 World's Fair by Paul Manship, who is perhaps most famous for his golden statue of Prometheus at Rockefeller Center. As you can see, the constellations are represented by signs of the zodiac.
In the 1970's, 8 of the 12 zodiac sculptures were pilfered by thieves. and in the 80's, 2 more figures, and even some of the circular bands holding the piece together were stolen. Copies of the missing pieces were made from the artist's original casts, and eventually the bull representing Taurus turned up in the home of a plumber, but the armillary still needs to be restored before it can be shown in public again. This is why we can't have nice things!
Next is this photo of a statue in front of Spain's pavilion (which LIFE magazine called the "jewel of the Fair"); the statue represents Queen Isabella, who was the patron of Christopher Columbus. The bronze statue is almost 9 feet tall, and was sculpted by artist Jose Luis Sanchez. I was very curious as to why there seemed to be so many floral tributes left at the foot of the statue, and was happy to find this bit of info at the wonderful nywf64 website:
"October 12th was proclaimed to be the Day of Spain at the Fair. On account of this there were different events held in which the affection of the Ibero-American countries toward Spain became manifest and was symbolized principally in the offerings of flowers and fruits before the statue of Queen Isabella the Catholic which presides over the Pavilion of Spain".
Interesting! I think we have an exact date for today's three photographs.
And finally, here's a photo of the Masonic Brotherhood Center. where one would have found displays of Masonic memorabilia and history going back many hundreds of years. Note the structure in the shape of the square and compass, two of the key symbols of the Masons. I had seen this glyph with the letter "G" before, but never knew what it stood for... apparently the "G" stand for "The Great Architect of the Universe" (though it might also stand for "Geometry"). There was an 11-foot tall statue of George Washington; did you know that the first 14 American Presidents were Freemasons?
I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the 1964 New York World's Fair.