Golden Gate Bridge - A Symphony In Steel

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To this day the Golden Gate Bridge stands its ground as one of the most iconic landmarks of California. With as much history behind its construction as steel in its foundation, we decided a tribute piece was an absolute necessity at the Gallery. Much like the planning and construction of the bridge, the painting of this breathtaking piece went through several development phases. Artist, Tim Huhn began this process with a pencil drawing to study and perfect the composition of the piece. Much like the original blueprints of a construction project, these initial drawings paved the road to what later would become a study painting exploring color schemes, and finally, the finished piece in all of its glory and beauty. 

 Early pencil drawing on tissue paper focusing on the line-work and composition of the piece.

Early pencil drawing on tissue paper focusing on the line-work and composition of the piece.

 Study painting in progress 

Study painting in progress 

The construction of this 1.7 mile long Wonder of the Modern World was entrusted to Chicago-based engineer Joseph Strauss, who promised the grand project could be completed for $30 million. In it's early days the proposal for the construction faced many obstacles and much opposition from some communities around the area, Southern Pacific Railroad, and even The Department of War, and Navy. However, the project managed to overcome these barriers when in May of 1923 the State Legislature passed the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act of California. On April 19th, 1937 the roadway was finally complete. The bridge opened to pedestrians on May 27th, and to vehicles one day later on the 28th.

 

 Finished Study Painting

Finished Study Painting

Upon the completion of the project, Strauss (also a poet) composed a poem titled
"A Mighty Task Is Done."

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"A Mighty Task Is Done"

At last the mighty task is done;
Resplendent in the western sun
The Bridge looms mountain high;
Its titan piers grip ocean floor,
Its great steel arms link shore with shore,
Its towers pierce the sky.
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On its broad decks in rightful pride,
The world in swift parade shall ride,
Throughout all time to be;
Beneath, fleet ships from every port,
Vast landlocked bay, historic fort,
And dwarfing all--the sea.
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To north, the Redwood Empire's gates;
'To south, a happy playground waits,
in Rapturous appeal;
Here nature, free since time began,
Yields to the restless moods of man,
Accepts his bonds of steel.
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Launched midst a thousand hopes and fears,
Damned by a thousand hostile sneers,
Yet ne'er its course was stayed,
But ask of those who met the foe
Who stood alone when faith was low,
Ask them the price they paid.
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Ask of the steel, each strut and wire,
Ask of the searching, purging fire,
That marked their natal hour;
Ask of the mind, the hand, the heart,
Ask of each single, stalwart part,
What gave it force and power.
An Honored cause and nobly fought
And that which they so bravely wrought,
Now glorifies their deed,
No selfish urge shall stain its life,
Nor envy, greed, intrigue, nor strife,
Nor false, ignoble creed.
High overhead its lights shall gleam,
Far, far below life's restless stream,
Unceasingly shall flow;
For this was spun its lithe fine form,
To fear not war, nor time, nor storm,
For Fate had meant it so.

Today 81 years later, Tim Huhn Dedicates his own tribute painting to this majestic and timeless accomplishment of mankind titled "A Symphony In Steel."