Entrance facing intersection of the Avenue of Patriots and Hamilton Place Banner ?>

New York 1939 World's Fair: Medicine and Public Health, Science and Education Building Complex

Flushing, NY

Entrance facing intersection of the Avenue of Patriots and Hamilton Place

(3) Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, and the Dragon of Ignorance, 1939

Commissioned by: Mayers, Murray & PhillipMedium: aluminum and brass reliefExecuted by: RambuschNonextant

Detail of map from Official Guide Book – New York World

Detail of map from Official Guide Book – New York World's Fair 1940 showing location of Mayer, Murray & Phillip's Medicine and Public Health, Science and Education Building Complex

To-scale model of the Medicine and Public Health, Science and Education Buildings with the placement of Meière

To-scale model of the Medicine and Public Health, Science and Education Buildings with the placement of Meière's murals indicated as follows: (1) Modern Medicine (2) Primitive Man and Modern Man (3) Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine and the Dragon of Ignorance (4) Comte de Rochambeau (5) Tadeusz Kosciuszko (6) The Family (7) The School (8) The Picnic (9) Man between the Past and the Future

(3) Medicine and Public Health, Science and Education Building Complex filmed by Hildreth Meière, 1939. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

For the entrance to the Science and Education Building, Meière designed a metal-relief sculpture, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, and the Dragon of Ignorance.1

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine and the Dragon of Ignorance above entrance to Science and Education Building

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine and the Dragon of Ignorance above entrance to Science and Education Building

The aluminum and brass sculpture showing Hippocrates banishing superstition and introducing the scientific method measured approximately fourteen by twenty-one feet.

Detail of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine and the Dragon of Ignorance

Detail of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine and the Dragon of Ignorance

Meière made several maquettes for Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, and the Dragon of Ignorance in her personal Art Deco style:

Study in relief cut from paperboard with gouache

Study in relief cut from paperboard with gouache

Model to scale in foil cut-outs on paperboard

Model to scale in foil cut-outs on paperboard

A model to scale of the Dragon’s head forms part of the Rambusch Company Collection:

Model to scale of head of the Dragon of Ignorance in aluminum with brass. Rambusch Company Collection, Jersey City, NJ

Model to scale of head of the Dragon of Ignorance in aluminum with brass. Rambusch Company Collection, Jersey City, NJ

The monumental scale of the full-size sculpture is apparent in a photograph of Rambush craftsmen fabricating the figure of the doctor:

Rambusch craftsmen fabricating figure of the doctor

Rambusch craftsmen fabricating figure of the doctor

The principle behind Meière’s work was her belief that “good exterior decorations are uncomplicated and easy to read, and that the heavy, the involved, and the gloomy have no place on the outside of a World’s Fair Building.”2

1

For a full discussion, see Catherine Coleman Brawer, Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière (St. Bonaventure, New York: St. Bonaventure University, 2009): 76-77, and Brawer and Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière (New York: Andrea Monfried Editions, 2014): 178-79, 185-87.

2

Hildreth Meière, “Working for a World’s Fair,” Journal of the Associated Alumnae of the Sacred Heart 4 (1939-40): 37.