Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 263

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 263

of the subject which he believed fitted for the place in mind; they could take the Grove of Academe or not, as they chose; the subject was to be of their own selection. Each artist was to receive a generous fee for his sketch, whether accepted or rejected. In due time, the six sketches were received; impartial judges were selected, no names were attached to the sketches, several conferences were held, and all the sketches were rejected!

Bok was still exactly where he started, while the building was nearly complete, with no mural for the large place so insistently demanding it.

He now recalled a marvellous stage-curtain entirely of glass mosaic executed by Louis C. Tiffany, of New York, for the Municipal Theatre at Mexico City. The work had attracted universal attention at its exhibition, art critics and connoisseurs had praised it unstintingly, and Bok decided to experiment in that direction.

Just as the ancient Egyptians and Persians had used glazed brick and tile, set in cement, as their form of wall decoration, so Mr. Tiffany had used favrile glass, set in cement. The luminosity was marvellous; the effect of light upon the glass was unbelievably beautiful, and the colorings obtained were a joy to the senses.

Here was not only a new method in wall decoration, but one that was entirely practicable. Glass would not craze like tiles or mosaic; it would not crinkle as will canvas; it needed no varnish. It would retain its color, freshness, and beauty, and water would readily cleanse it from dust.

He sought Mr. Tiffany, who was enthusiastic over the idea of making an example of his mosaic glass of such

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