Dwight Eisenhower is getting a memorial in Washington, DC. That’s the good news to those who are fans of Ike.
The memorial is being designed by Frank Gehry. It’s about what you would expect from the king of post-modern design.
I guess it could be worse, but it’s certainly not a design befitting a figure like Eisenhower. This is an opinion shared by Eisenhower’s family and a growing number of Congressmen. The family issued this statement on May 30:
The scope and scale of the metal scrims, however, remain controversial and divisive. Not only are they the most expensive element of the Gehry design, they are also the most vulnerable to urban conditions, as well as wildlife incursions and ongoing, yet unpredictable, life-cycle costs. This one-of-a-kind experimental technology, which serves as the memorial’s “backdrop,” is impractical and unnecessary for the conceptual narrative. For those reasons, we do not support a design that utilizes them.
Indeed, not only is the design not very attractive, it’s a nightmare from a conservator’s perspective. It’s so bad that the National Civic Art Society has developed a website dedicated to fighting against the design.
As the Daily Caller article mentions, Representatives as diverse as Jim Moran and Darrell Issa are expressing their objections to the design. This is one of those rare times where you might be able to contact your local Congressman and persuade him to take action.
I know that art is a subjective matter, but is it possible to create designs in the 21st century that are actually attractive?
Here is a snippet: The age of these works of art, isn’t the reason they’re deteriorated. Even though they go back a couple centuries, until a year ago, they were still intact. But on April 6th 2009, the ground shook in the Italian city of L’Aquila.
This exhibition doesn’t aim to show the artistic value of the paintings or sculptures rather it’s a metaphor for the damaging consequences of the earthquake.
Video courtesy of Rome Reports.
Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral seems to be safe for now from the raging wildfires in Santa Barbara north of Los Angeles and from Orange County which is south of Los Angeles, both approximately 30 miles away. Sadly two firefighters have lost their lives in service to Angelinos.
Maps of the wildfires are temporarily out of service as servers have been overloaded for the Los Angeles Times, Google Maps, and Associated Content.
From the pictures it looks like all hell has broken loose. Smoke continues to envelope major sections of Los Angeles and the fluorescent red light from said wildfires give an eery glow to the landscape.
The beautiful architecture of Our Lady of Angels is at risk of destruction from these wildfires. The Cathedral’s exterior echoes the Famsa Warehouse District with its soaring brownish brick buildings and rectangular gray-stained windows. The Plaze of the Cathedral resembles that of your local community college with directionless paths and no shading.
The treasure trove of art that this Cathedral holds is breath-taking. Where else can you find non-Christian imagery than that on the giant bronze doors depicting images from pre-Christian Europe. These giant bronze doors are conveniently located away from the narthex. Neo-post-Christian artists such as Robert Graham decorated the door with an unveiled Mary showing her bare arms welcoming people to come in for happy-clappy Masses and liturgical dances.
Once your inside and find your way to the “church” you can marvel at the hand-crafted tabernacle sculptured by Max DeMoss. Mr. DeMoss designed the tabernacle to blend with the the rest of the architectural style of the cathedral which is delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.
As you turn around from those three deteriorating pipes sticking out of the ground called the tabernacle you can view the complete interior of the Cathedral of the Angels. Imagine one of those special liturgical celebrations as a Chinese dragon parades up and down the kneelerless rows with Cardinal Mahony waiting in the wings with pitchers of Jesus waiting to be distributed among the faithful.
What priceless treasures that this Cathedral holds that may well be burned to the ground along with the post-neo-Christian architecture.
One can only pray.
All information for this posting was done entirely from the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral website.
Pictures courtesy of Quintero from L.A. Catholic.