Panhandle Statue – the McKinley Memorial

The Panhandle is a long thin park that projects out of Golden Gate park proper along the north edge of the Haight. It’s a popular hangout for local hipsters. There’s always stuff going on – someone DJing in the park, people practicing hoola hoops. Today was the Nude Bicycle Ride. It was a sunny day, so I hope nothing sensitive got over exposed.

There’s a statue at the extreme eastern end of the park, a solitary figure holding aloft a palm frond.  Everyone calls it ‘Panhandle Statue’. It’s apparently a jumping off point for local events, as in “meet up at Panhandle Statue before the Zombie Flash Mob“.  I was principally interested in the back lighting and the dark fan of trees behind the statue – so I’m just doing some research now….Apparently it’s depicting  a certain William McKinley? (Oh wait, my Canadiana is showing). This is McKinley the 25th president of the United States, who was eventually assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz.  Or at least it’s a monument to Mr. McKinley – since the figure appears to be a neo-classical allegorical female.  The appearance of an angelic figure holding a palm frond is apparently meant to signify Victory over Death.

Here’s a 1906 photograph of a earthquake refugee camp set up around the base of the Memorial.  The displaced San Franciscans were slightly more victorious than McKinley in this case.

4 thoughts on “Panhandle Statue – the McKinley Memorial

  1. Man i do love your watercolors. very inspiring. i love that you post regularly, it gets me motivated to do some art. Would love to see some videos or tutorials in the future.

    Rock on man,


    1. Hey John – ya I’m trying to figure out how to get good video without too much hassle. I did a few tests, but the exposure was poor and the painting too small in the frame – but I’ve got a new tripod-boom-gadget that might do the trick with the camera I have. One day I’ll spring for a more appropriate camera – but for now I’m tinkering with what I’ve got. More on that next time I get some better footage!

  2. I like your decision to make the McKinley painting layout like a portrait. Very effective – pulls the viewer in and gives a feeling of depth. Both paintings (including the sketch!) are lovely.

    1. Thanks! Glad you like the composition – it wasn’t’ my first instinct – but I saved it a the last min. I’ve alwasy enjoyed the effect of a large foreground space to bring you into the painting. (when I’ve seen other artist do it). I’m alwasy zooming in too close to the subjects, (since I love the details) but then I find the drawings flat and lacking context. So, this time I erased a sketch of the head and shoulders of the figure, and pulled way back to get the backlighting and ‘staging’…

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