Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Molded Ornaments on Prospect Avenue

Living in Brooklyn is like living in a museum. Details like this are common and yet rare and precious, you won't find them available at Home Depo. It's amazing how differently things were made in the past. I get the sense that builders' pride rested in the artisans' graceful hands. These pressed metal ornaments are lovely by today's standards but back in the day perhaps people saw them as inferior to the kind of carved stone ornamentation you see on brownstones North of this apartment building, which is on the corner of Prospect Avenue and 7th.

Pragmatism trumped Grace long ago. It confounds me. How is it that back when life was so much harder for people, the things they created had so much more appeal? I guess these days we are artists of convenience.

If anyone can give me a vocabulary lesson regarding these motifs or techniques please shout. I know I don't know the correct names for these materials.


Ed said...

It just seems the only art in business today is how to make the most money out of something; hence large unoriginal housing developments, inferior products, and unoriginal strip malls and franchises. It's a shame...

seaweedhooves said...

"business" is a broad term, and there's all kinds of art umbrellaed in (although if we're going to sigh over greedy development/ers we might as well sigh over the impatience and undue speed with which things are built, and the sustainability of the structures, etcetcetc).

these buildings remind me of other kinds of relics, most explicitly of old goat leather books, with colored page-edges.