Art Deco Jewel

This quilt, “Where is the Quilt Show?” by Anna A. Faustino (The 2010 Quilt Fest of New Jersey, for which Ms. Faustino won “Best Pictorial Quilt,” is at the Garden State Exhibit Center, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset, March 4-7), has me feeling all warm and nostalgic for the Chrysler Building.

I do love the way it’s presented here, with its rays accentuated, and with a moving billboard of the New York skyline plastered on its facade. The colors and shapes of this interpretation of the city pulsate. It reminds me of the day last month that my son Everett and I walked to Times Square. He wanted to take a photo, and when I teased him about that, he said fine, let’s sit down and draw it. (Did I mention it was 7 degrees that day?)

So we sat at the bistro tables that have been added to the road, now closed to traffic (no trouble getting a table that day!) and drew. It’s amazing how much more you see when you draw — the hot dog vendors, the pigeons. There’s just so much going on in Times Square, you can focus on so many different facets. The moving billboards alone present their own set of challenges!

Did you know that the gargoyles of eagles on the Chrysler Building were modeled after hood ornaments of some of the cars? Here’s what Wikipedia says about its amazing terraced crown: “Composed of seven radiating terraced arches, William Van Alen’s design of the crown is a cruciform groin vault constructed into seven concentric members with transitioning setbacks, mounted up one behind each other. The stainless-steel cladding is ribbed and riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern with many triangular vaulted windows, transitioning into smaller segments of the seven narrow setbacks of the facade of the terraced crown. The entire crown is clad with silvery “Enduro KA-2” metal, an austenitic stainless steel developed in Germany by Krupp and marketed under the trade name “Nirosta” (a German acronym for nichtrostender Stahl, meaning “rust-proof steel”).

“It was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. After the destruction of the World Trade Center, it was again the second-tallest building in New York City until December 2007, when the spire was raised on the 365.8-metre (1,200 ft) Bank of America Tower, pushing the Chrysler Building into third position. In addition, The New York Times Building which opened in 2007, is exactly level with the Chrysler Building in height.

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2 Responses to Art Deco Jewel

  1. Ilene-

    Came across your blog today and love the coverage you’re giving to the arts/artists in NJ. I’m bookmarking your page!

    We are a non-profit arts center located in Rahway, NJ – our monthly exhibits present work from many NJ-based artists. If you would like more information on our upcoming shows, we would be pleased to put you on our distribution list – just send us an email. Thanks!

  2. Lesley says:

    What an absolutely fabulous quilt. Love the idea of you sitting drawing in the cold. Only wish I could draw, you must get a much better appreciation of the world. Anyway, I love the Chrysler Building, so much I wrote a page on my website about Art Deco on it. Wonderful to see it celebrated in such a great art form as the quilt.
    Thanks for sharing. Lesley from Decolish

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