Nostalgia Among Lava and the Mythological Savage

Daily Draw April 11th, 2012


Eugene Savage 1938

This artist was commissioned by the Matson Navigation Company to create murals for its ocean liners that went to Hawaii. The postcard refers to this as the “preeminent example of Hawaii nostalgia artwork.”

I noticed the lava rocks scattered here and there and what looks like a bride and groom on horseback at the slope of the mountains. I will take these as symbols of hope and how life goes on with new growth and new relationships.

I was interested in looking up Eugene Savage and thought his work was reminiscent of Diego Rivera’s murals. Sure enough, Rivera was an influence on him. He seems to have had a more classical personal style than the Hawaiian paintings suggest. His human figures are exquisite which you can see in this postcard as well as his self-portrait.

I found it interesting to learn of Savage’s contributions to Bailey Fountain in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza which is situated at the entrance to Prospect Park. In the late 1920s they replaced the old fountain and had a competition for a new design; Savage was the sculptor for these figures representing Felicity and Wisdom. Frank Bailey, the gentleman who funded the competition, was once chairman of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a place I have a dream of visiting one day. Now that I know a bit more about Prospect Park thanks to Eugene Savage, I would like to go there too AND historic Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn as well.

I could spend days reminiscing among plants and sculpture.


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