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In the Commons


This student study for a fountain and shelter was done, perhaps, in the 1920s in the very typical medium of pencil, a minimum amount of ink line work, and ink or watercolor washes. Part of the Beaux Arts legacy, this sort of presentation style lingered into the WWII years, only to be supplanted by Modernism.

Don’t let that word “Modernism” suggest watercolor-ink washes went the way of the dodo. They worked perfectly well on the sharp-edged planar surfaces of something a la LeCorbusier as they did a Beaux Arts casino on Lago Magiore.

I bought this for $25, thinking it would make a good addition to the most collection of architectural drawings in our library. But as I unrolled it from its mailing tube — it just arrived from France today — it occurred to me that Agincourt’s public park, The Commons, has needed a fountain for some time and this might fit. Not sure that it requires a backstory of any substance. It’s just nice the way it is.

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