Art Sleuths…Alert….

In 1959 there was an exposition celebrating Oregon’s centennial in north Portland along the Columbia river in the Kenton neighborhood…”The Oregon Centennial Exposition and Trade Fair”.  The building pictured here, the Forest Products Pavilion,  was designed by John Storrs and was built as a permanent structure, though has since been torn down.  Inside the Pavilion was a giant wooden sculpture (“Monarch of the Forest”) 24 feet high built of wood by Manuel Izquierdo.  Apparently built off-site in four sections, the piece was then assembled inside the building.  After the exposition was over, the piece continued to stand in the pavilion but eventually was burned because caretakers thought it a “nuisance” for local children.  Here is Manuel constructing the piece…

and here is a newspaper clipping (Oregon Journal, April 26, 1960) discussing the fact that piece was missing and thought to be stolen…in fact, it had been burned (even though it had been sold)…

and here is a photo of the Storrs’ building with the “Monarch of the Forest” to the left of center…we’re still looking for good photos of the piece itself …

6 Comments

  1. paul bunyan, indeed! it seems incredible to us that (1. manuel had the mind that could conceive of and construct such a complex piece, (2. that the powers that be at the time could demolish their lovely, futuristic Storr’s building, and finally (3.that “the monarch of the forest” was deliberately torched as a ‘nuisance’. what a story. it’s a legend, isn’t it?

  2. Bonnie, what a great site! Thank you so much for doing this. It is hard enough to talk with art people locally but then put 45 miles between interested people and communication suffers terribly. This is a great way to wrap us in art news.

  3. Following the Izquierdo Trail with you and Roger is like reading an Oregon art mystery. Thanks for taking us along; one suspects there’s no end in sight until the show opens–and maybe not even then.

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