Lentelli's "Water Sprites" in the Court of Abundance at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (Image from the Bancroft Library, through the Online Archive of California)
"Aspiration" Above an Entrance to the Palace of Fine Arts (Image from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection)
Leo Lentelli, an assistant to Calder, was one of the contributors to this visual memory with sculptures that today we can view through the Library’s San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection and the Online Archive of California. He did a series of equestrian statues that were part of the Court of the Universe and his sculptures of Water Sprites for the Court of Abundance was well-received. His sculpture “Aspiration” then placed above the door to a gallery of the
"Five Symbolic Figures" Above the Larkin Street Entrance to the Old Main Library (Photograph from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection)
The other major City Beautiful project that
Perhaps Lentelli’s most significant contribution to
There are still a few examples of Lentelli’s work in
Library Resources consulted:
Our department has a very helpful and extensive Vertical File that includes photocopies of several articles and documents about Lentelli. This file includes a copy of Sadakichi Hartmann’s article “An Expression of Decorative Sculpture – Leo Lentelli,” published in The Architect and Engineer volume 52, number 3 (March 1918).
On the sculpture of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, see Sculpture of the Exposition Palaces and Courts; Descriptive Notes on the Art of the Statuary at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco by Juliet James, and The City of Domes; a Walk With an Architect about the Courts and Palaces of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition by John D. Barry. The A. Stirling Calder quote may be found in “Fine Arts at the Exposition,” the Transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California (Nov. 1915).
The Historic Structure Report, Old Main Library created by Page & Turnbull for the San Francisco Planning Dept. and the
For the Market Street Light Standards see Splendid Survivors: San Francisco's Downtown Architectural Heritage by Michael R. Corbett. Information about Lentelli’s other public art can be found in A Survey of Art Work in the City and County of San Francisco prepared by Martin Snipper for the Art Commission, City and County of San Francisco.
Some research in the library’s New York Times Historical Database led to the discovery that Lentelli created the sculpted lunette above the entrance to Steinway Hall in