Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Descending Night
Descending Night
Descending Night, detail
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Both Descending Night and its companion piece, Rising Sun, were sculpted by Weinman for two outdoor fountains in the Court of the Universe at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The Fountain of the Rising Sun was at the east end of the sunken garden designed by McKim, Mead and White, while Descending Night graced The Fountain of the Setting Sun at the west end. Weinman used symbolism typical of art nouveau work, the youth in Rising Sun with winged arms outstretched, poised as if to launch into flight, while this figure suggests the closing in of night in its relaxed body, folded-in wings, and slightly drooping figure. Art nouveau, a style characterized by flowing, sinuous lines and asymmetrical compositions based on plant forms, was popular from 1890 until 1910; in addition to Weinman, some of its leading artistic advocates were Louis Tiffany, Rene Lalique, and Antonio Gaudi.