Monday, January 12, 2009

Long Beach 1928: Palace of Fine Arts.....

The Palace of Fine Arts was located at the south-east corner of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's main court. The building, which also partially faced the garden-court, featured a heavily-buttressed facade with a domed pavilion forming the main entrance. The interior contained numerous works of modern art gathered throughout the western United States. Director of Fine Arts, Theodore B. Modra, selected art that would appeal more to the novice, as opposed to those who already possessed a strong appreciation of art. Mr. Modra's intention was to show that art made life more beautiful, and gave one a better understanding of the wonders of nature. Numerous pieces of sculpture were effectively displayed at the center of the building; with hundreds of fine paintings, miniatures, and choice examples of decorative & graphic arts filling the remainder of the galleries. The building's near-perfect illumination was an achievement in color filtration, which allowed a mellow diffusion of natural light to enter the interior. The exhibition in the Palace of Fine Arts was deemed as being the most interesting collection of art ever assembled in the west, with over ninety medals, mentions, and cash-prizes awarded. Many persons greatly regretted that the City of Long Beach did not then contain an art museum where the collection could have been permanently transferred after the close of the exposition.

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