September 15, 2005 - Ed Quixote
Twice this week, we have featured a hand in our Daily Edhat. On Tuesday, we showed a women’s hand wearing a wedding ring. Yesterday, we showed a bronze hand, reaching out to the sky. It could be that the two hands were part of a “lend a hand” theme in honor of all the help people are offering for Hurricane Katrina victims. But, we cannot tell a lie. It is really just a coincidence.
The hand in yesterday’s picture belongs to a statue of Don Quixote, that windmill-chasing anti-hero who has grown through the years to symbolize, “noble though impractical idealism.”
There are many Don Quixotes in Santa Barbara and elsewhere. Many people would say that Ed is one. Wouldn’t it be nice if a friendly local website could help people to get more involved in their local community, help them to appreciate the world around them … and support itself financially?
The Don Quixote statue in the picture is located in front of the back entrance to the Pitts & Bachmann Real Estate office at the corner of State Street and Micheltorena. The dedicated staff of edhat.com set out yesterday to learn more about this statue. Who created it? Why is it there? Why does it look so familiar? Does it have anything to do with Don Q. Billiards 4 blocks away?
Right away, we discovered that the name of the piece and the artist is written on the back of Don’s sombrero, and no, this Don Quixote has no relation to the pool hall.
Unfortunately, the dedicated staff spent an hour trying to find out information about Richard Hellis. But, as it turns out, the H is a middle-initial, and the sculptor is actually named, Richard H Ellis. Oops.
Richard H. Ellis was commissioned by Home Savings to create bronze pieces for eight of its branches. As you may have guessed, the Pitts & Bachmann office was a Home Savings in a prior life. The Santa Barbara Home Savings branch was built on the site of former Shell gas station in 1972. The statue was created at the same time. This is not the first time we have seen a big company funding publicly displayed art. Great Western Savings commissioned the Sacagawea statue at the corner of State and Victoria, Richfield Oil funded the art deco pieces in front of the UCSB Health Services Building, and ARCO funded the Chromatic Gate down by the beach.
After doing some dedicated Google research, we believe we discovered why the Don Quixote sculpture - a sculpture we have never seem before - looks so familiar.
It’s because Ellis’ representation of the subject looks strikingly similar to a famous drawing of Don Quixote by Pablo Picasso. We’re thinking that maybe it was done on purpose.
There were no 100% correct answers in yesterday’s contest. A lot of people guessed that the sculpture was in front of Washington Mutual. It could have been that these people were referring to the fact that between the time Home Savings left, and Pitts and Bachmann moved in, the building housed the Washington Mutual Loan Department. The most correct answer was provided by LostGirla, who said that it was, “behind the old Home Savings on State and Sola.” Sola … Micheltorena … maybe that’s why Girla gets lost. LostGirla wins an Edhat t-shirt.
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