Saturday, April 26, 2008

Detroit Decorative Painting

More from the Fisher Building in Detroit. The other day I showed you some of the structural beauty of the place. On top of all that beautiful marble, mosaic, and brass decoration, there is an unbelieveable amount of decorative painting. The ceilings, the walls, the archways... it goes on and on - it is all decoratively detailed and magnificent. I hope you enjoy these images and if you are thinking of doing any decorative painting, perhaps you will get some ideas.

These are the elevator doors - in relief - such beautiful Art Deco motifs.

This brass railing was all along the balcony of the second floor of the building. Opposite, you can see one of the curved archways - each had a different subject matter illustrated in the classical style roof with columns. Subjects depicted included commerce, agriculture, peace, and more.

This is what each of the little archways looked like. It must have been gold or metallic paint because the light reflected off it making it difficult to photograph.

Borders on the curved archways - almost everyone was different.

The ceilings were decorated with animals, cherubs, birds, and all kinds of geometric designs. Here are two little sheep superimposed on a heart with a lovely undulating border.

Here's one of the figures. They too were different - all holding something else.

This bold eagle on the patterned background was one of the images above the vestibule for the Fisher Theatre. This was an immense section of painted decoration.

I loved this artichoke looking motif which was prevalent all over the building.

More flora from a section of ceiling.

My tour guide Karen found this little section of torn away canvas. I was thrilled to see it because it gave me the clue that all the painting was done on canvas and then applied later to the plaster walls.

This is the tiled bathroom floor in the basement.

I wish there was a book I could have bought to keep as a memory. The original cost of the building was 9 million dollars. It's out of another time and it's very unlikely that something like this will ever be built again.

I want to thank Karen Kendrick-Hands, owner of City Knits, for giving me such a fabulous tour of this great landmark. If you ever go near Detroit, I highly suggest a visit to this magnificent landmark.


Deborah Robson said...

Kristin, some day you must visit the Dushanbe Tea House in Boulder, Colorado. . It was made by craftsmen from Tajikistan and then reassembled in Boulder. It looks quiet on the outside . . . sort of. When you sit inside drinking tea, you realize that every pillar is different, every section of wall is different, every piece of the ceiling is different. . . . The colors and textures are exquisite. I never tire of looking at them.

Thanks for sharing these images from the Fisher Building! Some of the geometrics remind me of some of the work at the teahouse. (The tea and food there are very good, too.)

ColorJoy LynnH said...

Wowie, those buildings are a few hours from my home and I must admit I know Chicago much, much better than Detroit. Chicago is twice the distance.

I was in the Fisher Theater once in the early 1970s, to see Godspell when it was a brand new show. We had tickets in nearly the last row of the balcony, could barely see, but the colors on stage were so vibrant I was entranced. I don't remember the building at all.

Must make a trip. I am in a group called Working Women Artists, a guild where any medium is welcome. Sometimes we pile in a car and go on a road trip. Last time a few went to Grand Rapids, maybe next time we will have to go to Detroit. The Det. Institute of Arts has a wonderful Modern collection which I'd love to see again.

Hmmm... in my spare time. Maybe this summer when knitting gets slower.


woolywoman said...

I grew up near there, and we frequently went for plays at the Fisher Theater. ( Broadway used to "try out" in Det.) I love that building. Another great place to see is Pewabic Pottery- a still working Arts and Crafts pottery, and the People Mover, while failed as transportation has some excellent public art.

ellen said...

What beauty! I would love to see that all in person.
I see lots of inspiration for stitching too. Thanks so much for sharing.

Deborah said...

I see some great color and design inspiration from those few photos! Thank you for sharing, Kristin!

bernie said...

That's just amazing! Even the bathroom floor of the basement was spared no detail! What a feast for the eyes it must have been for an artist as you are. I'm glad you had a great time.

Judi A. said...

I am a fairly new reader of your blog and must say I enjoy it immensely and am especially thrilled to know about it and read about the beautiful Fisher Building. It is sad to me that so many people that live near Detroit are afraid to cross 8 Mile Rd and miss out on all that the city has to offer. I did community health nursing in Detroit for several years and also worked as a consultant in a private assisted living facility (Hannan House) just a block from the Fisher Building. I never tired of walking over there and just soaking in the beauty of it all! Besides that building, the Detroit Public Library is also worth visiting, as well as St.Paul's Cathedral and, of course, the Detroit Institute of Art. All of these within 2-3 blocks of each other! I cannot encourage enough those that live closeby to make a point of exploring Detroit and some of these old, gorgeous buildings, as well as Bell Isle, some of the other old, historic churches, etc. etc. I no longer live in Michigan, but I came to love the city of Detroit and its history, most of the people that live there, and all the other things it has to offer (great restaurants, sports activities,
4th of July fireworks, and on and on). Thank you for posting such great photos and information and presenting something favorable about Detroit!!.........Judi :-)

Ahava Hopps Brooke said...

wow. thanks for sharing these beautiful images.