Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gothic Ornament at Washington University

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in Saint Louis is known for its fine architecture, particularly those buildings done in the Academic Gothic style. Here are some photographs of Gothic ornament, found while I made a brief visit to the school. This is hardly a thorough survey, and some of the pictures are a bit blurry.

Danforth University Center, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - front view at dusk

One of the newer buildings on campus, the Danforth University Center.

McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - front view at dusk

Here is McMillan Hall, where the following photos were taken.

Gothic Ornament 12, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

I  imagine that hardly anyone today knows the principles of Gothic proportion; however, the elaborate designs were produced with simple rules and tools, which took into careful consideration the relative ratio in size between design elements.

Gothic Ornament 6, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Often the meanings of various design elements are obscure; but these are undoubtably largely humorous. Even very fine Gothic churches will have some element of humor, especially in the more worldly and outer parts, far from the altar.

Gothic Ornament 5, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 3, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 2, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 1, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 8, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Diploma — the goal of most students!

Gothic Ornament 10, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 11, McMillan Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Fleur-de-lys.

The following were taken at the entrance to Graham Chapel, and in the authentic Gothic tradition, include natural scenes as well as fantastic beasts. Both McMillian Hall and Graham Chapel date from the early 20th century.

Gothic Ornament 6, Graham Chapel, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 1, Graham Chapel, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

The Green Man.

Gothic Ornament 2, Graham Chapel, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Eagle in thistle.

Gothic Ornament 3, Graham Chapel, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Both this figure and the following one are indeed sideways.

Gothic Ornament 4, Graham Chapel, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 5, Graham Chapel, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Gothic Ornament 7, Graham Chapel, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Beast and man as purely decorative gargoyles.

Busch Hall, Washington University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - view at dusk

Some other newer buildings on campus.

http://www.wustl.edu

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