‘Service in Nature’, c. 1930s
Price Code: SOLD
Service in Nature: a unique, specially commissioned panel, an allegory taking for its central theme the sustaining influences of nature, and invoking the solid virtues of the founder of Philadelphia’s first modern-day department store. The inscription above the panel reads: FROM THE AIR, FROM THE SEA, AND FROM THE EARTH, MAN DRAWS THE THINGS THAT SUFFICE HIS NEEDS. THE SERVICE NATURE RENDERS MAN HAS INSPIRED HIM TO SERVE HIS FELLOW BEING. AND IN SO DOING HE HAS GAINED A NEWER AND BETTER CONCEPTION OF LIFE. The panel dates from the 1930s, and was displayed on the spacious men’s clothing and accessories floor of Wanamaker’s Philadelphia department store. John Wanamaker, one of the most assiduous and instinctive retailers of his generation, hired top Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham to build a lavish shopping Mecca in Florentine style, spanning 12 floors and including numerous galleries. Wanamaker’s, once a Philadelphia institution, was taken over, after many vicissitudes, by Hecht’s (now Macy’s) in 1995, and the remaining Wanamaker archive preserved by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Dimensions 120 x 200 cm (48 x 78 inches).
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