Douglas Newby
Architecturally Significant Homes
Horse & Trolly

Basque Sculpture

This sculpture, to me, represents Basque Country. The iron could have come from the Pyrenees, emerging from the ground and blending into trees reflects the countryside, and the fluidity of these monumental shapes invokes the power of the sea. Why are some regions known for smokestacks or technology centers and others are known for artisanship? It has just occurred to me that the roots of any indigenous art/architecture is artisanship. Distinctive Basque houses, similar in style, materials, color are not monotonous because of the obvious and subliminal artisanship. San Sebastian might have the most Michelin Star restaurants per capita of any city in the world. The Mayor of San Sebastian, visiting Dallas for the international New Cities conference, gave me a San Sebastian apron. Of course, I had him sign it! From the hand-crafted, flavorful, hearty pintxos found along the old city streets of San Sebastian to the 20-course foam-dominated tasting menu of Arzak, by Chef Elena Arzak, previously named best female chef in the world, culinary artisanship is a way of life. San Sebastian is even the site of the international fireworks competition. After formulamatic fireworks displays to which we are accustomed, one can really appreciate the one-off artisanship of pyrotechnics at its best. So, it makes sense in the San Sebastian countryside town of Hernani, there is the Chillida Leku sculpture garden celebrating a Basque artist, Eduardo Chillida. A friend and fervent international traveler, Harriet Rubin, first mentioned this museum to me. Like a new vocabulary word, it immediately appeared in the Wall Street Journal as a museum to visit while abroad. Accustomed to the size and scale of the fabulous Nasher Sculpture Center, I was thinking the Chillida museum would be of a similar scale and what a fabulous surprise to find Chillida sculpture spread out over 25 glorious acres and surrounded by countryside. Now, it is my turn to recommend that you visit this Chillida Leku garden and museum also. *Basque Sculpture
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