PHILIP MARTINY 1858-1927

New York Public Library:

"This handsome marble palace, a dignified Beaux Arts design inspired by French Renaissance architecture, is one of New York's most splendid public structures. In keeping with the overall scheme, architects Carrière and Hastings devised a restrained sculptural program that was finally complete in 1920, nine years after the library was finished."

 

Surrogate's Court:

New York in Its Infancy and New York in Revolutionary Times, Sculptor: Philip Martiny, 1907.

"... this pair of sculptural groups flanking the main entrance on Chambers Street best illustrates his poetic use of light, shadow, and line. New York in Revolutionary Times, at left, and New York in Its Infancy, at the right, are pyramidal groups, animated by deep undercuts, graceful and abundant folds of drapery, and an irregular play of shadows. In both compositions the standing figure personifying New York dominates two smaller ones on either side. The New York of early times wears a crown, connoting colonial rule. On her right stands an Indian, on her left a Dutch settler. The New York of revolutionary times wears a phrygian cap, connoting the struggle for liberty. On her right is a man in colonial military uniform balanced by a female settler on her left, holding a scythe and flowers.

Roof Figures, Sculptors: Philip Martiny and Henry K. Bush-Brown, 1903-1908 "The figures on the courthouse are either historical or allegorical and were intended to edify the public. Among the allegorical subjects represented are the four seasons, intellectual and artistic pursuits, and industry and commerce, a reflection of turn-of-the-century American preoccupation with material and artistic progress.

Martiny did the parade of full figures standing along the cornice line above the fifth floor. On the Chambers Street facade, a mixed bag of New York officials, mostly mayors, spans some 300 years. From left to right across the building the figures represent the following: David Pietersen De Vries (17th century), patroon of the colony of Staten Island about 1640; Caleb Heathcote (1665-1721), mayor of New York, 1711-177; De Witt Clinton (1769-1828), governor of New York, 1817-1823, 1828; mayor of New York, 1803-1807, 1809-1810, 1811-1815; Abraham Stevens Hewitt (1822-1903), mayor of New York, 1887-1888; Philip Hone (1781-1851), mayor of New York, 1825-1826; Peter Stuyvesant (1592-1672), director-general of New Netherlands, 1647-1664; Cadwallader David Colden (1769-1834), mayor of New York, 1818-1821; James Duane (1733-1797), mayor of New York, 1784-1789.

On the Centre Street facade's cornice the eight female figures by Martiny represent Chemistry, Medicine, Industry, Commerce, Navigation, Industrial Art, Music, and Architecture. On the Reade Street cornice are Martiny's eight male and female figures representing Justice, Electricity, Printing, Force, Tradition, Iron Age, Painting, and Sculpture. ... The attic pieces by sculptor Henry Kirke Bush-Brown on the Chambers Street facade are Childhood, left and right side of the attic window; Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn, four caryatids grouped around the upper part of the round window; Philosophy (left) and Poetry (right), semi-reclining male figures; and Maternity (left) and Heritage (right), seated sculptures on either side of the triple window, which allude to the record keeping and judicial activities within the building.

For the Reade Street facade, around the central window on the attic roof Bush-Brown did four male figures, two semi-reclining and two seated representing intellectual pursuits, which culminate in the law as represented by the bearded old man. The statues are Instruction, upper right; Study, upper left; Law, lower right; and History, lower left. On the Elk Street facade, around the central window in the attic roof, Industry, a male, is on the left and Commerce, the female figure, on the right."

 

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