Saturday, August 23, 2008

Like putting a hat on a horse.

After a visit to check out the re-opened galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art, I had the pleasure today of being introduced to the Garfield Memorial in Lake View Cemetery (thanks again, Betsey). It's an amazing structure. But I came away saddened more than awed.

It's painful to gaze upon the meticulousness of the interior design of this structure, to realize how painstakingly the architect selected just the right materials to achieve the complex play of colors he envisioned, only to see, plopped down in the very center of it all, a looming, doughy statue of the man that completely steals away your attention by its sheer contrast, its out-of-placeness.

No, it was not part of the original design, nor even of the finished work. But apparently the local body that commissioned the work felt it wasn't a proper memorial without a statue in the center. And so they added one. Over the protestations of the architect.

A not so subtle reminder of that sage wisdom from Ogilvy, "Don't hire a dog, then bark yourself."

1 comment:

Betsey said...

Well put. Beautiful sights. The rotunda must be unusual with the rose colored reflection..not this lifetime ;)