Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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Photo & Text Copyright 2009 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

This enormous terra cotta cartouche design featuring a stylized American Indian in headdress (which Seattle's History Link reports may have been inspired by the portraiture of photographer Edward S. Curtis) adorns the upper stories of the historic Cobb Building in downtown Seattle. I wondered why a headdress usually indicative of tribes much further east than Washington state would have been featured. Then I saw an early 1900s Curtis photo of a young Salish boy in a feather headdress, so, perhaps not as off base for this location as I thought; but, given stereotypes of natives common for the period, who knows what was in the artist's mind. You can see more photos of the eleven story Cobb Building at my More Seattle Stuff page and read about its interesting history in a great short article at History Link here. Many Seattlites adore this building that gracefully curves around a corner, one of the most impressive of all Seattle's terra cotta ornamented buildings. It began life as a dedicated medical office building and three years ago became a very convenient address for 92 luxury apartment dwellers. This poor fellow is going to develop allergies and start sneezing if they don't dust him off soon! He is at ground level just inside the building's entrance portico, and so doesn't receive the cleansing showers that keep all the others above him clean.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Edward Curtis's photos and movies are not the most reliable as he was known to redress native americans since in his eyes they did not look indian enough

Bibi said...

This is a beautiful piece of work. I must look up the Cobb building.

Don and Krise said...

Nice shot. I'll have to check out your other photos of it and the history.

brattcat said...

Beautiful shot, Kim. So crisp and clean despite the dust.

Kris said...

It is a good looking face!

Tash said...

I like the close up view - a stoic face.
Kim, I've been meaning to thank you for your wonderful comment from a week ago. I value them so much and consider them very high praise from a great photographer. I also remember that you were the first to comment on my 1st day of PVDP - one year ago today. Again, thanks so much for the encouragement and for your great photos - I've learned so much by looking at your blog. Best from Tash

Hilda said...

He's a magnificent entrance guardian!

carolyn said...

I loved your photograph of the (sigh) Curtis-inspired sculpture on the Cobb Building, and then I much enjoyed looking at your other shots and reading about the building, which, as it was dedicated in 1910, might have been home to my grandfather, Walter C. Woodward, who was a surgeon in Seattle just getting started then.

Kim said...

Thanks to each of you! Thanks for information and opinions and thoughts. And Tash, I hope EVERYONE is a frequent visitor to Palos Verdes Daily Photo. Your blog is such a visual treat for me! Congrats on your one year blogoversary! Please keep at it (I know it is such a commitment :-) ).

And Carolyn, what a wonderful speculation about your grandfather's practice having perhaps been in the Cobb building. I bet there is a way to find out and I'd sure be interested to know. We get so personally attached to the places we dwell, but with your comment I also am realizing that we and those we know or who are our clients, become attached to those familiar places we work, as well. I know in whatever town I have been I have looked up the work places of family members and taken photos. So, glad this brought up good thoughts and hope you get an answer to if it was here.
-Kim