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Texas Architecture | Texas Art

ARCHITECTURAL WHIMSY

“Scholarly Distractions”

The Stonecutter's Art
Lovett Hall, Rice University, Houston, Texas

by Johnny Stucco

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Whimsical Stone Carving - Rice University, Lovett Hall, Houston TX

The Stonecutter's Art
TE photo, September 2010

Sculpted into the arches of Lovett Hall on the Rice University Campus are the faces of philosophers, essayists and other wise and noble men.

One repeated figure is neither wise, nor noble. He is a chubby, bewildered-looking figure seated with a large book in his lap, holding himself erect by his right arm.
Sudent with book, Whimsical Stone Carving - Rice University, Lovett Hall, Houston TX

"Freddy" after a hard night of "study"
TE photo, September 2010

It is obvious to anyone that he is a freshman. If Rice were to have a contest to match his overall look with members of the current freshman class, scores of contestants would be caught in a huge tie for first place.

To the left of “Freddie” is his dashing alter ego. A galloping leather-helmeted footballer with quilted pants and a nose guard resembling a Norman helmet.
Running Athlete, Whimsical Stone Carving - Rice University, Lovett Hall, Houston TX

BMOC AKA Freddy's Alter Ego
TE photo, September 2010

Freddy’s main distraction appears to his left. His eyes stray from Plato to pulchritude in the form of a stone-cold figure resembling the yet-to-come Mae West. Mae, replete with purse and parasol, is wearing the latest fashions (circa 1912).

Only the fashions have changed.
Woman with parasol, Whimsical Stone Carving - Rice University, Lovett Hall, Houston TX

A shapely stone siren.
TE photo, September 2010

Student with book, Whimsical Stone Carving - Rice University, Lovett Hall, Houston TX

A more alert "Freddy"
TE photo, September 2010

Lovett Hall was the first building of the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science and Art. The cornerstone was laid in 1911.
Houston TX - Rice University, Lovett Hall cornerstone

Lovett Hall cornerstone
(It's Greek to us)
TE photo, September 2010
More Texas Cornerstones

Houston TX - Rice University, Lovett Hall

The heavily-ornamented breezeway.
TE photo, September 2010

If one needs additional proof that the Lovett stonecutters got their inspiration locally, one needs to look no further than the hedges or live oaks. Grackles outnumber owls on the Rice campus by numbers that sometimes require pedestrians to carry umbrellas – even on sunny days.
Grackle, Rice University Houston TX.

Life imitates Art - a Rice Grackle finds a caterpillar in a hedge.
TE photo, September 2010

Bird, Whimsical Stone Carving - Rice University, Lovett Hall, Houston TX

A stone bird resorts to sampling stone.
TE photo, September 2010
See Texas Birds

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  • William Marsh Rice by Archie P. McDonald
  • Houston, Texas
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    This page last modified: September 24, 2010