Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

Westinghouse Memorial (part 2)

Almost no one ventures behind the Westinghouse Memorial, but a special reward awaits those who do. Instead of a blank wall, we find reliefs as detailed as the ones in front. We can see the backs of the standing figures, and the leafy ornament that surrounds the figures and the panels turns out to arise very logically from tree trunks in the rear. Since the effect from the front would be the same if the rear were blank, there seems to be no real reason for having gone to this much trouble—except that knowing what’s behind changes our perception of the front. The front view has a kind of aesthetic truth that it would not have if the ornament did not have its logical foundation in the rear.

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