Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
Newspaper Page Text
to Live in Bronze th® TSaW FSgiir® si Mis Gte« §@ri®§ ©I Tyjpdi Tto& Stow H<bM ©©mSiiiifoßu @Ba A@; Starts ©£ fe® IFtodißic ° - ° - - Katharine Clark Prosser CALIFORNIA, has come into a ; new historian. Her progress has f been noted in /prose*and; verse, and her glories told in : song and "story since the coming of Balboa, but it remains : for Arthur/- 1 Putnam of San .-'. Francisco to • chronicle ; her ' growth in -- figures ;of bronze.' > .•: //;/, «*-Putnam has been called the ; sculptor of'; California: Some" call him , the greatest sculptor in :the west. ■ Few artists approach him in conception and | eltimate creation of things human and otherwise. ;He -: has the gift of • - im-'-. ■ •.- - ■-.--.. --. . -.;•■-■■ ,,~ parting animate. expression to inani- . ,mate ; clay, of ./making his -1 bronzes liv- , ing, breathing entities. ; His figures are more than anatomically correct, theyj; are instinct/ with action and grace and bespeak/; the,/ master in f every line. J .They have the appearance of ■ creatures; suddenly stricken ■ dumb ;in and "; amidst -' the fullness of \ life, and. one can not help but /wonder how long before the •pell will be lifted, and, -like Her mione, they rbe at;liberty • to, descend from their pedestals. ; * '/..> ;--/In the fall?of-1905 Putnambegan/" work? on his great idea, which was j no* more* nor ; less .than; the perpetuating of California's historical /epochs m-. a; series -of figures executed fin . bronze. /Beginning with the early Indian, Put •■ nam :. planned to follow this • period *up * with the, Franciscan /monk, the later occupation of j the Spanish Vto be em bodied in an equestrian figure." After this' would come ; a type representative *■ of the '/Fremont; invasion (and .another. typical fof the ■ men ,of '49. The plow man, emblematic of the great agricul ; tural / activity i of trie / state succeeding; the gold fever, "was the next or the '; series,/while ? a- couple ? of J intermediate ''types',': their 'nature/not -/"definitely set tled, will complete, the -group. Owing • to the press other things, the sculp \ tor > has not been able ;to devote /all -of his time/ to the"/projected work, only . three -off the seven for '•; eight /f, pieces); planned having been completed. These are the Indian, the padre and the plowman, the /latter^beirig,the. last to emerge 'from, the studio. * The- figures are not/ cast in the heroic size, being just a fraction over life. . - • - _• In-the Indian, Putnam has' depicted the type of the. early California Indian. -The;splendid;body, with the sugges tion of/rippling; muscles beneath ; the bronze flesh, the head in profile show ing the high cheekbones, aquiline nose, and firm mouth, with just a hint of cruelty ;' in its » lines, are alive with the g rimitive : force of the man. The sin gle feather in his hair proclaims his' chiefhood, and there is an . uncon ->•*■•. ■ir"Tjanji»»<*Sw*«*wlr.'-,k--, . - V■-'• — .-'•; scious arrogance *in his : careless pose.- The sculptor has taken his subject from one 'of the higher types of the western aborigine, and not the gen erally .^accepted /^digger type of, the California Indian. - f The > next of the series to claim the ' artist's ; attention was the Franciscan monk. Looking on this presentation of the padre, one marvels at the; com bination of' religieuse and man, the dual ■ forces which Putnam has so clearly ■< defined in the monk. The mart," his gaunt, body wrapped about in: the ; loose; brown : robes of * his ; calling,, his bare feet encased in sandals, the crucifix showing the body of the Christ at his side, -is f dominant, de spite - the devoutly bowed head; and. close ..clasped hands of the.; priest. L--.-;--'--:-; ~:-»~'-'~. "*' '.---.-■-■£. :;-. -;-"* ' ..-: '... '-..-'■- ■-■-■' »--' ';.- '','• There is that strength in every line of the figure which dominated the idle redmen made of them farmers and workmen, and brought out* of a comparative wilderness the proverbial land of milk and honey. // ;/ i •■:.-;? But it is in his interpretation of the plowman s that» Putnam m has excelled; •,« s -f v-!f- iV -■ ■•-■-: r- ----- r -,- -/., '■- --J v^^-'X ~ ';;j;?^®w**SJ^jK t-TaßffißHW> himself. The figure f"of - the farmer seated upon j the upturned plow is v ex pressive of the utmost weariness. The The San Francisco Sunday Call relaxation of the body in its unstudied, dropping, pose, the lines 'of fatigue in the face, the. careless sprawl of. the limbs, bespeak the most "complete ex haustion, evidently//* shared by the hound; pup. at his side. *' The entire series is being worked fout at the commission of E. W ; Scripps, the / San f Diego millionaire, aVid as soon as a piece is finished it is shipped south to the owner's beautiful ; estate at -Miramar. It is believed rii't f Scripps is planning.; eventually to do nate the work to fthe-state.- but untfl its completion the statues will remain in his possession amid the beauties off /thelMiramar/' grounds. Whire notning definite has-/been settled regarding it,. there is. a. possibility/ that they will be placed "on exhibition at the time of the big exposition in 1915. - In addition to the - historical / group, Putnam is also -busy/with a number of small; figures fto be' used in ornamen tation of a fountain soon to be in stalled on ;the; Scripps; ranch. There will be four pieces, one at each cor ner of. the square base of the. foun tain, and /in each a typical California animal; .will be shown, including iAe puma, bear, jackrabbit and wild cat. It was in his f puma/ figures / that Put /■nam first achieved fame. ;.-/■/, '-;■'.'-.--'- ..f. **. ' ■■' "■ ■ ' -"