The Court House of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the City of New York is on the east of Madison Square at Madison Avenue and Twenty-Fifth Street. It was completed in woo at a cost, including the furnishing, of $750,000. The exterior is decorated with sculptures, and the interior is rich in marbles and mural paintings.
The caryatides, by T. S. Clarke, which support the cornice of the Madison Avenue front, represent the Four Seasons. The group above (by Karl Bitter) represents Peace. The statues on the pedestals of the balustrade are of the Great Law Givers: Alfred, Confucius, Justinian, Lycurgus, Mahomet, Manu Vaivasvata, St. Louis, Solon, Zoroaster.
Flanking the entrance on Twenty-Fifth Street are two large seated statues of Wisdom and Force, by F. W. Ruckstuhl. The pedestals bear the inscriptions: "Every law not based on wisdom is a menace to the State." "We must not use force till just laws are defied."
The bas-relief of the pediment (by C. H. Niehaus) represents the Triumph of Law over Anarchy; and above is a group (by D. C. French) symbolizing Justice. Reclining on the window pediments are figures of Morning, Noon, Evening, Night, by M. M. Schwartzott.
The entrance hall has a wainscoting of Sienna marble and pilasters of the same material, with bronze gold capitals. The frieze spaces are filled with paintings, and the ceiling is modeled in two shades of gold. The Court Room is treated in the same manner. The bench, screen and dais are of dark oak, very richly carved. The stained glass dome and windows are inscribed with the names of these eminent jurists: Butler, Choate, Clinton, Fish, Hamilton, Jay, Kent, Legare, Livingston, Marcy, Marshall, O'Conor, Ogden, Pinckney, Shaw, Spencer, Story, Taney, Van Buren, Webster.
The mural paintings of the two apartments are symbolical and allegorical. The following description of the series is adapted from one published by the architect of the building:
In the ENTRANCE HALL the frieze on the north wall, facing the entrance (by H. S. Mowbray), represents the Transmission of the Law. The subject is illustrated by eight groups in the following order: Mosaic, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Norman, Common Law and Modern Law, representing distinct periods that have had their influence on our own. The groups are united in each case by an allegorical winged figure to represent their transmission from one age to another.
The frieze on the right-hand side, on the easterly wall of the entrance hall (by Robert Reid), represents Justice, supported by the Guardians of the Law with sword and fasces. She gives Peace and Prosperity to the Arts and Sciences. She holds the symbols of the Law, sword, book and scales. Peace is followed by Education teaching the youth, the book being lighted by a lamp held by Religion. Prosperity is followed by Drama (Tragedy holding the mask of Comedy), and Music with harp. The panel on the south wall is the same subject continued. From the left, in order, are Poetry, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture and Fame.
The frieze to the left, on the westerly wall (by W. L. Metcalf), rep-resents Justice. The two lunettes between the entrance doors on the southerly wall (by C. Y. Young) represent Law and Equity.
In the COURT Room the central panel (by H. O. Walker) represents Wisdom, attended by Learning, Experience, Humility and Love; and by Faith, Patience, Doubt and Inspiration. The figure of Wisdom is intended to personify Biblical or Spiritual wisdom. The figure of Love is meant to carry out the sentiment of the figure of Wisdom. The panel to the right (by E. H. Blashfield) represents The Powers of the Law. The panel to the left (by Edward Simmons) represents Justice of the Law. The two frieze panels to the right and left (by George W. Maynard) represent the seals of the City and State. The long frieze on the west wall, behind the dais of the Justices (by Kenyon Cox) represents generally the Reign of Law. The small frieze panels between the pilasters and the windows (by Joseph Lauber) represent Moderation, Veneration, Perspicuity, Eloquence, Reticence, Research, Unity, Fortitude, Justice, Truth, Philosophy, Courage, Patriotism, Logic, Knowledge and Prudence. The four end panels represent the four Cardinal virtues.
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