Thursday, October 1, 2020

Audobon Ballroom Terracotta


Audobon Ballroom Terracotta
Oil on panel
8x8 inches

One summer day pre-Covid, my friend Debbie and I went on an art stroll in Harlem and Washington Heights. All of a sudden I spotted this facade from across the street on Broadway and West 165th Street. Wow, what a fabulous facade. I hurried across to the island on the middle of Broadway and started taking photos of the building from all different angles. Just love coming upon these architectural details and this terracotta beauty is spectacular. Decided to do a painting and here is the result, another in my "kitchen table series of small works". A LOT of detail on a small scale panel. So happy the building was not torn down but restored and is still in use today.

The Audobon Ballroom was built in 1912 by Thomas W. Lamb as a theater. Here is some information about the building from Wikipedia.

Architect Thomas Lamb, who later would design the nearby eclectic United Palace, was an advocate of the use of ornamentation and color on his building's exteriors. He would write: ""Exotic ornaments, colors and scenes are particularly effective in creating an atmosphere in which the mind is free to frolic and becomes receptive to entertainment."[10] In line with this philosophy, the facade of the Audubon Ballroom presents terra-cotta glazed polychromy, encrustations and cornices.[11] Its ornamentations include brown foxes between the windows on the second floor, intended to flatter Fox,[3] and, most prominently, a colorful protruding three-dimensional statue of Neptune on a ship.[1]

Alterations to the building in 1996 were made by the architecture firm of Davis Brody Bond, who also designed Columbia University's new building, while the restoration of the facade was handled by preservation specialist Jan Hird Pokorny.[11] 

No comments: