Thursday, July 23, 2015

Carl Milles: “The Vision of Peace” at the Saint Paul City Hall – Ramsey County Courthouse

The Vision of Peace (God of Peace)
Memorial Hall, Saint Paul City Hall / Ramsey County Courthouse
View from the third floor. All photographs ©versluis 2015

Sculptor: Carl Milles
Material: Mexican Onyx
Height: 36 feet, Weight: 60 tons

For Native Americans the ascending smoke from a ceremonial fire or the peace pipe signify prayers being lifted up. The following is from the label/didactics that identifies the monument:

This statue depicts five Native Americans [at the base] in a spiritual ceremony with their sacred pipes. From the smoke arises a Vision of Peace. One hand of the statue holds the sacred pipe, the other extends in a gesture of friendship—symbolic of the idea that with meeting and understanding comes the hope for world peace.

The figure [unnoticeably] rotates 132 degrees on its base (66 degrees in each direction).

Building dedicated in 1932
Building Architects: Holabird and Root
Construction: Ellerbe & Company

The left-handed God of Peace (right-handed in final version)
Plaster maquette made to scale by Carl Milles, 1930
The first three designs were not accepted. The image above is the fourth maquette submitted, which was finally approved by the commission.
From the collection of the Minnesota Museum of Art

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