Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In Praise of Cass Gilbert

Cass Gilbert, circa 1907 (via the Minnesota Historical Society)

“Your own life has been a life of success gratifying to all your friends, and the gratification they feel is enhanced a hundred-fold by the consciousness that that success has been well earned by a man who deserves to possess it. For such large hearts and generous spirits as that which you possess not only make the world a brighter and a happier place in which to dwell, but also leave their marks behind them in works of beauty and of grace.”
Howard Pyle to Cass Gilbert, January 2, 1907


James Gurney said...

It's reassuring to think of artists on such close terms with architects. Did he know him through mural connections?

Ian Schoenherr said...

Yes, they met in 1905 when Pyle was commissioned to paint “The Battle of Nashville” for Gilbert’s Minnesota Capitol building. The next year Pyle did “The Landing of Carteret” for Gilbert’s Essex County Court House in Newark, NJ - and he’d just completed it when he wrote the above. And although they both wanted to work together again, their professional relationship effectively ended when “Landing” was installed in March 1907. But by then they were personal friends and so stayed in touch until Pyle’s death.

Did you see Pyle’s long lost portrait of Gilbert’s wife? It’s around this blog somewhere!