Saturday, January 20, 2007

Prometheus: OMOM Essay 28

Since Prometheus is now an icon of New York, it's jolting to read the negative comments made when it was unveiled in 1934: "just sprung from a bowl of hot soup," for example. In "About the Sculpture" I discuss this, and also return to the matter of subject vs. theme (see Charging Bull, Essay 5) - specifically how the theme would have differed had Manship chosen another episode from the Prometheus myth.

"About the Subject" in Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan explains how the artists and themes for Rockefeller Center artwork were chosen, and why by the 1930s it was almost inconceivable that statues celebrating capitalism and businessmen would have been erected there, even though Rockefeller Center was built by America's wealthiest businessman.

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