Thursday, May 24, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 40

Spirit of the Pacific

There were at least two monolithic sculpture ideas submitted for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition to be held in Seattle in 1909.   The Norwegian born sculptor Finn Haakon Frolich was selected as the Director of Sculpture for the Exposition.  He had also submitted works for the fairs in Paris, St. Louis, and Chicago.  His appointment as director was a result of his previous successes.  This piece shown above was his design.  Two others he made for the Exposition in 1909, busts of Edvard Grieg, the famous Norwegian composer and musician and James J. Hill, United States railroad tycoon, can still be found on the University of Washington campus. 

The postcard shows a close up view of the Spirit of the Pacific a 30 foot high sculpture of a winged figure on a globe with four women representing Japan, China, Alaskan Eskimos and the Pacific Islands standing beneath the globe looking outward to each part of the fair grounds.  It was one of two suggested sculptures presented as finalists and it is unclear if it was actually placed anywhere on the fair campus. The Spirit of the Pacific was to be located at the Cascades fountain however the card below shows the other suggested sculpture called the Alaska Monument at the Court of Honor in front of the US Government building and at the head of the Cascades.  The Cascades flowed down into Geyser Basin or what is now Frosh Pond.
The beginning of the Cascades can be seen at the lower right of the card.

Court of Honor with Alaska Monument

Both pieces were somewhat similar, winged, and on a tall pillar.  It seems unlikely that they would both be placed in the same area of the fair.  It was interesting that some information about the designer of The Spirit of the Pacific could be found but no mention was made of who designed the Alaska Monument or why it was chosen instead of the other one.  

Alaska Monument

This view of the Alaska Monument is as seen in front of the Hawaiian exhibition hall on the north side of the US Government building and at the head of the Cascade fountain.  Remember that these cards were tinted from the original black and white prints.  The gold coloration on one card may look pretty but all the other pictures show the monolith as having a natural stone color.  It is hard to say exactly what the color might have been under the circumstances.  The Portland Postcard Company of Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon published all three of the cards shown.

Some additional information can be found at:

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