Contemporary Art · Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: modern-day gargoyle carver Walter Arnold

Not much is known about the medieval stone carvers responsible for the gargoyles and grotesques on Gothic edifices, but there are many equally-skilled and talented artists making gargoyles today. Walter S. Arnold is one such carver, and he has been making gargoyles, grotesques, and other stone statuary for a several decades. He created over ninety… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: modern-day gargoyle carver Walter Arnold

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Hughes High School, Cincinnati

Continuing with last week's theme of academic gargoyles and grotesques, let's take a look at the grotesques of Hughes High School  in Cincinnati. This grand building is home to over 90 grotesques representing a wide variety of subjects and skills relating to science, mechanics, fine arts, humanities, and liberal arts (1). Pictured above is the grotesque of athletics in the… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Hughes High School, Cincinnati

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: William Rainey Harper Memorial Library, Chicago

I have recently become obsessed with gargoyles and grotesques who are reading. (Possibly I feel kinship to them.) While doing research on collegiate gargoyles and grotesques a few months ago, I realized how many colleges and universities have at least one sculpture of someone reading a book. Both people and animals are shown in this studious pursuit, and they are… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: William Rainey Harper Memorial Library, Chicago

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Wells Cathedral, Somerset, UK

mouth puller grotesque Two weeks ago, I talked about the mouth puller grotesque and how common he can be in Gothic architecture. The grotesque above belongs to a related type - the thorn puller, who struggles to pull a thorn or some other painful irritant out of his foot. The thorn puller appears in many different… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Wells Cathedral, Somerset, UK

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Tokyo University of the Arts

Onigawara (from the Japanese word oni, meaning "ogre") are monster heads sometimes found on the roofs of Japanese buildings. They are similar to what we typically call "grotesques" - decorative creatures with symbolic, religious, or ideological rather than practical function. The onigawara I've seen are generally closer to relief-carvings than other types of grotesque, and accordingly, I haven't found… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Tokyo University of the Arts

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, England

This rather distressed-looking grotesque lives on Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, England. He sticks out his tongue and pokes at something inside his mouth, as though he's having some dental problems. I can't help but feel a little sorry for this odd little dude. He belongs to a subset of gargoyles and grotesques known as "mouth pullers"… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, England

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: The Britannia (527 West 110th Street), New York City

The early-twentieth century Britannia apartment building on West 110th Street in New York City counts among its residents not just one or two, but at least six grotesques. The 1909 building by Waid & Willauer architects was hailed in its day for its welcoming and "homelike" aesthetic.(1) Accordingly, its grotesques are supposed to represent aspects of… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: The Britannia (527 West 110th Street), New York City

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Chhatrapati Shivaji (Victoria) Terminus, Mumbai, India

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a railway station in Mumbai, India. Formerly called the Victoria Terminus, it was designed by Frederick William Stevens and constructed between 1878 and 1888, during British colonial rule of India.(1) The building is Victorian Gothic in style but also clearly reflects some characteristics of native Indian architectural traditions. According to UNESCO's website… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Chhatrapati Shivaji (Victoria) Terminus, Mumbai, India

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Casa della Vittoria, Turin, Italy

This dragon grotesque and his twin live on the Casa della Vittoria in Turin, Italy. The building is also sometimes called Casa dei Draghi, presumably because of decorations like this one. ("Drago" is the Italian work for "dragon".) I'm having trouble finding out more about the building, on account of the fact that my Italian is currently a bit rusty,… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Casa della Vittoria, Turin, Italy

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

Today's grotesque came to my attention via Atlas Obscura, a fantastic place to find fun, quirky facts and interesting locations to visit. This little bull figure lives on one side of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. The church is heavily-laden with sculptural decorations of many styles and subjects, but this bull has a story separate… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence