Scottish Rite Cathedral by Joel Meyerowitz (1977)

The photograph titled “Scottish Rite Cathedral” was taken by artist Joel Meyerowitz in St. Louis in 1977. The image depicts a scene from the vicinity of a grand architectural building, which has the grandeur and design of a significant historical edifice. In the foreground, there is a stone balustrade with a bronze or copper dragon-like sculpture perched on top of a pedestal, exhibiting a green patina indicative of age. The word “OUT” is stenciled in large, yellow capital letters on the stone ledge of the wall, seemingly part of a larger sign that is partially cut off by the photograph’s frame.

To the right of the dragon sculpture, we see the ornate corner of a building with classical columns and steps leading up to an entrance, partially obscured by a street lamp. The pavement shows signs of wear and lack of maintenance, with some debris and a stray wire lying about. There’s an interesting interplay of light and shadow, most notably with the shadow of the dragon sculpture cast sharply on the pavement, hinting at the presence of strong sunlight casting this defined silhouette. The image captures a sense of quiet abandonment or disuse, contrasted by the lasting stateliness of the structure. The composition is thoughtful, positioning the elements in a way that suggests a narrative or intention behind the juxtaposition of the sculpture, word, and surroundings.

Other Photographs from Joel Meyerowitz

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