Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 03:49 pm
When a statue is posed in a park or place of significance, what are the general rules of etiquette that are followed? If for example, a well known explorer or mariner was posed on the waterfront but with his back to the water as opposed to facing it, or if he has an arm outstretched, are these significant or just the whim of the person casting the figure and setting the statue?
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Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 03:57 pm
It probably depends on the historical context of the explorer/mariner. One would hope that the artist would have designed and sculpt these details with certain reasons in mind.

Having the statue point inland to say this explorer spent much of his known expeditions exploring the territories in the direction in which he was pointing in (or something along those lines).

Or the relative position could be a lazy artists rendering of the stereotypical explorer memorial and not have any historical symbolism used in the creation of this particular statue.

You probably need to do some research regarding the commission of the statue through the local or state government (if this is public land).
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 04:02 pm
Thank you. The particular statue that i was asking about is of Capt. James Cook on the foreshore in Victoria B.C.
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Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 06:18 pm
I'm fairly sure there is something equivalant to heraldry going on with historic statues, but it's not something I have ever run across. Interesting question.
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 06:35 pm
Hmm. This made me check up on an old statue in the area I used to live in Humboldt County, California.

The Fisherman -

quoting this site -

"The Fisherman," a memorial statue created by renowned artist Dick Crane, commemorating the mariners who have lost their lives at sea"
It's on Woodley Island in Humboldt Bay. I used to eat breakfast at a coffee shop near the statue.

Seems to me he is facing the correct way..
Joe Nation
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 09:19 pm
In Memorial Park near the center of my hometown, Manchester Connecticut, there is a statue of a Union Soldier. It replaced a much smaller stone that had been dedicated to the fallen of the Civil War in the late 1860's. When the Soldier Statue was dedicated in 1905, it was placed facing to the South, "On vigilant guard against the Confederacy rising again."
The soldier's vigilant guard duty ended in 1961 when, during the Bi-Centennial Civil War Celebration, he was about-faced to the North with a new view of city hall and the First Congregationalist Church.

I noted two things in my journal from those days: one, I couldn't understand why they started a 'celebration' of the Civil War in 1961. Even then I found it odd to mark the beginning of a war.

Two, it was noted in the local paper that a large tree had been cut down in order for the statue's new position to be both be seen by the passing traffic and so the statute wouldn't just be staring North at the big tree and it's two oak companions. It was a big tree, over 90 feet tall and about 36" inches around the largest part of the trunk. It had big branches which curved out and then drooped down like a weeping willow but with larger much more leaf-like leaves than a willow.

As they were cutting the big tree down, a reporter asked members of the cutting crew what kind of tree it was. They said they didn't know and, in fact, that they had never seen trees like it anywhere else in town. It had a mottled green and grayish black trunk, with large areas of curled up green bark and in several places, splashes of a yellowish bark. More mystery, several people claimed that every few years, the tree had borne a kind of fruit, but none of them had ever eaten any of it and there was no fruit that year.

Several samples of the tree's leaves and bark were sent off to the State Department of Forests for identification. Several months later, as I was getting ready to leave town, word came back that they had been unable to identify whatever kind of tree it had been. I really thought that was something.
Flash forward about twenty years:
I'm riding my bike somewhere near No Head Hollow and Welling, Oklahoma when I stop to find a little shade on a scorching hot day. As I bring my water bottle up to my mouth, I see the same tree as used to grow in Memorial Park. Not as big, but I know it's the same tree. Same weird bark, same drooping branches. It's in a yard with a bunch of other, taller trees. Just then a pick-up truck comes up the road and into the driveway.
"Howdy," I say to the fellow as he gets out of the truck, "How ya'll doing?"
"You're crazy to be out in this heat." he says and we talk a little bit about how hot it is and how far I've got to go before making the turn back toward the lake.
"Say" I say, "Do you have any idea what kind of tree that is?"
He looks at me and then he looks at the tree.
"That?" He says," That's a paw-paw tree"
Flash forward about ten years, about 1995.
I've moved back East to New York City but about once a week I drive up to Manchester to see the folks and help out with whatever.
Pop and I are driving through the center of town one day and as we pass the park I say I figured out what kind of tree it was they cut down when they turned the solider statue around to face North. Pop didn't remember a thing about the tree, so I told him the story about the tree cutters not knowing and the State Department of Forestry not knowing and about the hot day on the road in Oklahoma.
Pop's got one of those huge Trees of North America books and we look it up. Paw-paw trees don't grow in Connecticut and they don't get 100 feet tall, 25 feet tops. They do grow throughout the Southern States and as far North as parts of New York, but not Connecticut.

Huh. Okay. Sure looked like it.
Flash forward about three hours - I swear I'm getting close to the end of this story. Hang in there.
I'm on the Wilbur Cross Expressway about an hour outside of the city when it hits me.
Someone planted those two oaks and that paw-paw tree when they put in the first memorial stone at the end of the war. Maybe some Yank ate some paw-paw down in the South (It tastes, they say, like bananas) and maybe he brought a tree or two back with him to try growing in the North.

You can make up your own story, maybe he was about to starve when some Johnny Reb showed him how he could eat that funny looking fruit and he planted the tree at the memorial as a kind of thank-you for to the Reb and the tree for saving his life. I don't know.
I do know it got left alone to grow as big as it wanted to, much bigger than any other paw-paw ever. Maybe the oaks gave it just the right shade at first. Who knows.

I do know that in 1995 I typed up everything I knew about paw-paw trees and I sent it to the Mayor of Manchester with the suggestion that a paw-paw tree and two oaks be planted again somewhere near the Union Soldier.
Flash forward to May of 2010----
I still haven't heard back from the Mayor.
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Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 05:20 pm
"The Fisherman" on Woodley Island, faces land because when your ship is going down, your thoughts are toward home and of those you love, as quoted the artist and The Fishermans' Wives Organization of Humboldt County
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