Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How McKim, Mead, and White celebrated a big commission

When the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White won the competition to design the Rhode Island State House in 1892, they made paper hats and costumes and conducted an "architectural mass" to celebrate the commission.

They marched around swinging a Venetian lamp like a censer and singing the following words to the tune of "Onward Christian Soldiers":

"Onward, All ye Draughtsmen,
Marching as to War,
With our office T. Square
Going on before.

We are not divided
All our office, we,
In all competitions,
Ours the Victory . . .

Foes may struggle vainly,
We will Vanquish all,
For they are not in it,
They will have to crawl.

Providence is with us
Thro' the darkest night;
In our blest profession
We're simply out of sight."


ben said...

I've found the best thing for creativity is silliness.

Steve said...

I'm guessing the partner Stanford White was the primary creator of this celebration. As the son of a Shakespeare critic, White was known for his flamboyant, "theatrical" personality.

According to one source: "White was a versatile artist who designed jewelry, furniture, and a wide range of interior decorations. An enthusiastic and extroverted man, he was noted for his lavish entertainments. He was shot to death at Madison Square Garden by Henry Kendall (“Harry”) Thaw, the jealous husband of the showgirl Evelyn Nesbit, with whom White had had a love affair."

McKim, Mead, and White designed the version of Madison Square Garden in which White was shot. The murder trial was dubbed "The Trial of the Century" and inspired the movie "Ragtime."

Kate said...

Hillarious! I am not silly enough. Note to self: Relax more.