Item No: c090020
Title: Art Gallery
Additional Title: Art Gallery
"Kunsthalle, Palais de beaux arts."
"Length 365 ft. width 210 ft."
This building, the most ornate and striking among the edifices on the Centennial grounds, was constructed for the State of Pennsylvania, and is intended to remain a permanent ornament of the Park. It stands north of the Main Building, in a commanding position overlooking the river Schuylkill. The ground is elevated, and is 122 feet above the level of the river. The materials are granite, brick, glass and iron, no wood being used in construction. The building is 365 feet long, 210 feet wide and 59 feet in height. The dome over the rotunda rises 150 feet above the ground, and is capped by a colossal bell, upon which stands an emblematic figure of Columbia, cast in zinc. The main front, facing the south, presents a grand entrance, with arcades on either side and square pavilions at the corners. The centre consists of three large arched doorways, each 40 feet high by 15 feet wide, standing upon a platform 70 feet wide, the ascent to which is by 13 steps. Between the arches of the doorway are clusters of columns terminating in emblematic designs illustrative of Science and Art. Colossal sitting figures of Science and Art crown the cornice of the main entrance. The arcades east and west of the main entrance are each 90 feet long and 40 feet high. They connect the principal centre building with the pavilions at the corners. They are of 5 groined arches, and open upon garden plots, each 90 by 36 feet, ornamented in the centre by fountains and statuary. The pavilions are 45 feet square. There are two of them on the north end of the building, connected with those at the south by saloon galleries. The pavilions are each lighted by two large windows, each 12 ½ feet wide and 34 feet high, fitted up with paintings, stained glass, etc. In front, upon pedestals, opening the approach to the building, are two bronze figures of heroic size, representing Pegasus led by the Muses, which were brought from Vienna and presented some years ago to the Fairmount Park Commission by R. H. Gratz. The outside walls on the east and west sides display the pavilions and the walls for pictures, relieved by niches, above which is a highly ornamented frieze. The north front is of the same character as the south, except that instead of arcades there are small windows opening into small rooms or galleries. There are 13 of these. The dome is of glass and iron, and at the corners are figures representing the four quarters of the globe. All the statuary of the exterior is cast in zinc from designs by Mueller, a German artist. The main entrance, on the south, opens upon a hall 60 feet wide, 82 feet long and 53 feet high. Great doorways open from this hall into the centre hall, which is 83 feet square and 80 feet to the ceiling of the dome. East and west of the rotunda are galleries each 98 feet long, 88 feet wide and 35 feet in height. The centre hall and galleries form a grand hall, 287 feet long and 85 feet wide, capable of holding 8000 persons, nearly twice the dimensions of the largest hall in the country. East and west of the long galleries are two others, each 89 feet long and 28 feet wide, which are connected with apartments that open into the pavilion-rooms. On the north side there are 13 smaller rooms, which open on a corridor 14 feet wide, and may be used for studios or exhibition-rooms. The interior halls are lighted from above; the pavilions from the sides; the northern rooms from the front. The interior doors are of iron and bronze, richly ornamented. All the apartments are embellished with ornaments in rich bas-relief. The floors are laid with marble tiles, and the entire building, in exterior appearance and interior finish, is rich and tasteful. The pavilions are devoted to statuary; the galleries mainly to paintings. The total area covered by the building is about 1 ½ acres. The total wall-space is 87,990 square feet. The architect was H. J. Schwarzmann; builder, R. J. Dobbins. Cost
1 lithograph; 12 x 22 cm.
Architect: H.J. Schwarzmann.
Removed from: Centennial portfolio / Thompson Westcott. Philadelphia : T. Hunter, 1876.
The Building, situated in a landscaped field, with people strolling in the foreground.
Westcott, Thompson. Centennial portfolio.
Thomas Hunter, lithographer.