Nm l0rii a&ritame
January 11, 1920
r\ k^^r^<m33u^)h An Appreciation of the
WILLIAM COTTON murals at the Capitol Theater
by ROBERT W. CHAMBERS
The great mural paintings by William Cotton in the Capitol Theater stand to-day unrivaled. There are in America no decorations to compare with them ;
none better in any public building. A new painter of mural pictures makes his d?but among us, and, without question, takes his place beside Abibey, Alexander
and 31um, the three great mural painters o? America. What Abbey did for the Boston Public Library ; what John Alexander did for Pittsburgh, William
Cotton has done for New York, and. like his predecessors, he offers to the public in these decorations a liberal education in color, composition and design.
I'nfoMwI fia? copy of the Color?
iera phtc Beetton, admirably ?ult?-<l
tur framing, will tu- mail??) poat
pai'l on rfc?-lpt of '?I c?nta: thre*
eopi?a for 60 eentm
The work of William Cotton in the Capitol Theater is purely decorative
?as it should he?part of the entire architectural scheme, and belonging
to the ensemble as fundamentally as .the hidden masonry and iron construc?
Through all the charm of delicious color and bcwilderingly beautiful composi?
tion runs an almost hidden note of delicate irony, the ghost of a smile, half
fender, half amused; as when we tell our children those fairy tales, which
shall Ik- told and retold as long as there arc children and as long as there is
a bedtime moon to flood the world with magic.
The panel called "Parnassus" is a masterpiece of luminous color. Here is the
surface of the peak toward which, in some measure, all hearts are addressed.
And it does not appear to be the chilly, lonely, naked solitude that the world
suppose. For there is the Listener there?that lonely phantom biding in all
hearts, to whom our best is offered?and to whom, we hope, one day we may (iM (f n Q7Jy(Dr y\ r/l
offer our best in the living world?this One Woman who is to listen, under- \)A??-J^"^ ^^^-?J/ III
stand and reward what we do in creative work on earth! L<^ "" "-"w^B??/
In the panel called "Song" nothing can compare with the rich wine-glow that
flushes the picture. It is a rare and exquisite inspiration?the central figure
of youth incarnate, dreamy vague eyed, possessed of that deathless vision,
which is youth's twin and other soul?listening to the song of youth, and to
the vague accompaniment of her own heart. Wonderful is the other figure
at her elbow, more mature, more ripely beautiful, mistress perhaps of myster?
ies unsolved for the girl beside her. And over all the sun-touched glow of
grape foliage and purple grapes.
The Tribune will reproduce next Sunday two more of the Cotton murals?
"Chivalry" and "Youth."
xml | txt