Friday, March 4, 2011
the Sullivan gates, Denver Colorado, USA
It has been a long time since I posted here, but it's time, as the pioneers used to say, to get back in the saddle.
Many, perhaps a majority, of the Pioneer Women in sculpture that I have encountered dated from the 1920s and 1930s. However Leo Lentelli's "Sullivan Gates" are from earlier, 1918. The gates feature two 40 foot tall pylons, each topped by two figures. The two females represent "Agriculture" while the men are "Mining." One of the features of Pioneer women statues are the bonnets that most of them are adorned with, one being found on this pair.
The figures were produced by Lentelli in his studio in New Jersey, in clay. Plaster versions were made from the clay and then a mold was produced from the plasters. This was sent to Denver where the works were cast in cement over a metal armature. The pieces, not almost a century old have not worn well. Patches and repairs can be seen on them. Hopefully they well be preserved before it is too late.