The Colonnade of Stars was constructed to surround the Court of the Universe at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California:
Comprised of a ring of Star figures – cast bronze females with flowing robes and upraised arms, crowned by star headdresses – these figures were created by sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder who can be seen working on one below:
The Star figure was actually modeled on a real person – Audrey Munson – who could certainly qualify for an “Interesting Person Of The Day” post…
The Star figure is described quite eloquently by Stella G.S. Perry in The Sculpture and Mural Decorations of the Exposition: A Pictorial Survey of the Art of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and, as such, I shall quote her below:
A sense of eternal spaces, the feeling of calm and elemental tranquility, is given to the Court of the Universe by the surrounding Colonnade of Stars. The quiet stars look, down upon the activities of men. The semi-conventionalized Star figure, light and firm, repeated about the Colonnade is a highly important factor in the architectural beauty of the Court. She stands a-tiptoe on the globe that forms her pedestal; the circle of her arms about the starry head-dress implies the endlessness of space. The pointed headdress is hung with jewels of the kind that decorate the tower. These carry the jubilant idea of the tower around the Court. They twinkle brilliantly where the sun strikes them and are illuminated by thin shafts of searchlight at night.
Somewhat risque for the time period close to the end of the Victorian Era…. But then the Roaring Twenties were right around the corner.
Haha, well, it was San Francisco and artists have always pushed the envelope, right? Plus they were high above the crowds, presumably limiting one’s view of scandalous nipples and the like.