Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Art About Town... San Francisco

"Only through art can we emerge from ourselves, and know what another person sees."

-Marcel Proust

It's been a while since I have done an "Art About Town" entry, so I thought it would be nice to post my first one for 2007. I actually took this photo the day after last Thanksgiving, but somehow never got around to doing an entry about it. This sculpture is one of my very favorite pieces of public art in San Francisco. It sits as the centerpiece of Ghiradelli Square, and is considered the most photographed feature of the square. It's titled, "Andrea's Fountain," and was created by artist, Ruth Asawa.

Andrea's Fountain has sat in Ghiradelli Square since it's debut in 1968. According to the fountain's legend, the artwork was initially met with some criticism by landscape artist, Lawrence Halprin, who felt the sculpture was not to be considered "serious art." However, Asawa's vision for the fountain, was to create a piece which could be enjoyed by all ages. "I wanted something related to the sea... I thought of all the children, and maybe even some adults, who would stand by the seashore waiting for a turtle or a mermaid to appear. As you look at the sculpture, you include the Bay view, which has been saved for all of us, and you wonder what lies below that surface."

Andrea's Fountain, Ghiradelli Square, San Francisco

I can tell you, from the upper floors of Ghiradelli Square, you can see the most lovely views of the bay. It is truly one of the best parts of North Beach. I can sit and study this sculpture all day, it's a sculpture honoring the legend on the mermaid after all, and as you know, I was the mermaid Ondine in a former life, or in this life, I keep forgetting which is right. ;) Andrea's Fountain is named for the model who posed for it, Andrea Jepson.

"Andrea's Fountain"
Ghiradelli Square
San Francisco, California
November 24th, 2006
Early Morning


Pondering Pig said...

Hi Carly, I'm a transplanted native San Franciscan and I just recently discovered your sweet blog. Really looking forward to sharing more of your vision, both verbal and photographic, of the city of my heart. By the way, when my kids were growing up the mermaid statue was always their favorite, I think because it hinted of upcoming hot fudge sundaes at Ghiradelli's!

Anonymous said...

How odd. I think I somehow missed taking a photo of that fountain when I was in San Francisco. Your photos are so nice, I'm sorry I did miss it.

Charley said...

This picture reminds me very much of Botticelli's Birth of Aphrodite. You can see it here:



Anonymous said...

I was in Ghirardelli Square in about 1988 and somehow missed the fountain. I was with my sister and her then-husband and daughter, so kind of followed along with them, and they must not have shown it to me. I do remember the view of the bay from there as being spectacular, though!

Nancy said...

I miss SanFrancisco. I've been there a few times. You give me the "bug" to go back! pretty fountain/sculpture too...



Carly said...

Hi Pondering :)

It is really nice to meet you. Welcome to Ellipsis! I hope to see you come back soon. :) It's always fun making new friends.


sunflowerkat119 said...

You live in one of the most fabulous places. Thanks for sharing it with us again and again.