Malcolm Leland’s modernist designs in San Diego.

Malcolm Leland was an influential modernist sculptor and architectural designer whose work can be seen in important structures around Southern California. He lived in San Diego for much of his life, and the city is home to several fine examples of his work.

I became aware of Malcoln Leland recently while watching a very informative San Diego Museum of Art video here. When I visited the artist’s website, I soon realized I’ve seen many examples of his work during my walks around the city!

In the past few weeks I’ve revisited places where his often iconic mid-century modern designs can be found. In many instances his elegant designs were used to create stylish decorative elements. Most of his work is in pre-cast aluminum and concrete. I took photographs in Balboa Park, Fashion Valley, and San Diego’s downtown Civic Center, which I’ll now share!

First up are his organically intertwining aluminum gates, and his gracefully shaped concrete columns and the archlike fascia above them at the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden and Court…

Next, check out his beautifully ornate fascia along the rooftop of the Elmer C. Otto Center at the San Diego Zoo…

Next are his façades on several sides of the JC Penney building in the Fashion Valley shopping mall. They were made using panels molded out of copper sheets.

Originally water tricked down the sculptural panels, which were meant to oxidize and turn turquoise. But maintenance problems shut the unique fountains, and the panels were painted over. You can still see a little bit of copper orange in my photos…

Next is Malcoln Leland’s “Bow Wave” bronze sculpture fountain, in downtown’s Civic Center Plaza near the Community Concourse building.

In my photos the water feature is off. When on, the sculpture appears to be a ship’s bow moving forward through a spray of water. Leland’s once controversial sculpture is now much loved, and is listed in the Smithsonian’s inventory of art.

The previous photo was taken from the Civic Center’s multi-level Evan V. Jones Parkade parking garage, which features more instances of Malcolm Leland’s work.

Decorative panels around the perimeter of the parking garage and forming arches inside the garage were designed by Leland and made from pre-cast concrete.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Monument to a White Deer in Presidio Park.

A little known monument stands in a remote corner of San Diego’s Presidio Park. It remembers a white deer that once lived there.

From an article in the PRESIDIO PARK RANGER REPORT, QUARTERLY: SEPTEMBER 2006-NOVEMBER 2006…

WHITE DEER

This female white fallow deer roamed the hills of Mission Valley, Mission Hills, and Presidio Park. This doe escaped from the San Diego Zoo around 1965 and wandered free in Presidio Park for the next ten years.

The deer was spotted attempting to cross the I-8 freeway, and some locals reported seeing the deer get hit by a vehicle. Tragically, in the effort to catch the deer, Animal Control used a tranquilizer dart, which ultimately led to the deer’s death in December, 1975.

This treasured deer had been something of a community mascot. This incident led to an outpouring of community grief.

As a result, a citizen’s committee was formed to promote a suitable memorial for the gravesite. In 1976, a monument was placed at the top of the hill at Inspiration Point for the most cherished White deer named “Lucy”. A free standing monument of three native stones designed by San Diego Artist Charles Faust, sits on the hill top for all to remember the White Deer.

Margaret Price (1911-) a local artist involved in converting Spanish Village in Balboa Park to an artists enclave, truly worked diligently to establish the monument for the White deer. Many community members wrote to Price, hoping to have their poem or saying put onto the monument.

A bronze plaque beside the three standing stones reads: Bliss in solitude beneath this tree, formless, silent, spirit free. A Friend

About to head up the hill from the small Inspiration Point parking lot.
About to head up the hill from the small Inspiration Point parking lot.
Heading up under shady trees.
Heading up under shady trees.
Approaching a park bench, and three vertical stones near it.
Approaching a park bench, and three vertical stones near it.
Public art in Presidio Park remembers a White Dear named Lucy that escaped from the San Diego Zoo.
Public art in Presidio Park remembers a White Dear named Lucy that escaped from the San Diego Zoo.
A monument atop a green hill honors natural things.
A monument atop a green hill honors natural things.
Deer tracks approach the sculpted water hole, among the tracks of other wild animals.
Deer tracks approach the sculpted water hole, among the tracks of other wild animals.
A plaque is nearby.
A plaque is nearby.
The white deer of Mission Hills. Bliss in solitude beneath this tree, formless, silent, spirit free. A friend
The white deer of Mission Hills. Bliss in solitude beneath this tree, formless, silent, spirit free. A friend
Monument to a White Deer in San Diego's Presidio Park.
Monument to a White Deer in San Diego’s Presidio Park.

To see this simple but very beautiful monument, turn up the steep driveway off Taylor Street, just east of Presidio Park’s main entrance. The driveway leads to the Inspiration Point parking lot.

Then walk up the nearby hill.

This monument is very close to some homes in Mission Hills, so be quiet and respectful.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Help zoos, aquariums during the pandemic!

Rex the Lion, inspiration for the San Diego Zoo's creation, now lives eternally in Balboa Park!

Zoos and aquariums rely on visitors for most of their revenue. The coronavirus pandemic has closed their doors, but the animals still need care. They need to eat!

I just learned that someone is now walking from the LA Zoo to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to raise funds to help out zoos and aquariums!

Dr. Monica Metzdorf, who loves animals, is approaching the Safari Park as I write this blog!

Help her raise funds for the animals! Proceeds will go to the LA Zoo, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the San Diego Zoo, to purchase food for the fish and animals.

Go to her website and look for the PayPal link! Spread the word!

A new Children’s Zoo is under construction!

The Sanford Children's Zoo will contain two acres of new animal habitats and kid friendly experiences.
The Sanford Children’s Zoo will contain two acres of new animal habitats and kid friendly experiences.

Yes, I spent another Sunday in Balboa Park. It’s close to where I live, and I love it.

Look what I discovered while walking around today!

For a while I’ve been wondering about a very large crane rising above the southeast corner of the San Diego Zoo. You can see it just west of the Spanish Village Art Center, behind a construction fence that runs along the walkway connecting the zoo to the center of Balboa Park.

I noticed banners have been hung on the fence!

A new Children’s Zoo is under construction! It will be called the Sanford Children’s Zoo and will feature two acres of new habitats and fun things for kids to do. It appears the new Children’s Zoo will open in 2021.

Check out these banners to see come cool renderings and description!

The world-famous San Diego Zoo's new Sanford Children's Zoo is now under construction. It's due to open in 2021.
The world-famous San Diego Zoo’s new Sanford Children’s Zoo is now under construction. It’s due to open in 2021.

There will be a shallow stream for kids to play in and a rope bridge to a fun treehouse.
There will be a gentle stream for kids to play in and a rope bridge to a fun treehouse.

There will be a waterfall and cave behind it.
There will be a waterfall and cave behind it.

Visitors will be able to view a complex network of underground tunnels and burrows used by naked mole-rats!
Visitors will be able to view a complex network of underground tunnels and burrows used by naked mole-rats!

There will be some sort of big water globe near the new Children's Zoo's entrance. (Will there be fish in it?)
There will be some sort of big water globe near the new Children’s Zoo’s entrance. (I wonder how kids will interact with it. Will there be fish in it?)

A new walk-through aviary will include beautiful hummingbirds!
A new walk-through aviary will include beautiful hummingbirds!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sand sculpture murals show San Diego history!

Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.
Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.

Two amazing works of art can be viewed inside an office building in Bankers Hill. The small murals–sculptures made of sand that appear as bas-relief panels–decorate a wall in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, the building best known as the home of Mister A’s restaurant.

Commissioned by the now defunct Great American First Savings Bank to celebrate their Centennial in 1985, the two panels depict important San Diego landmarks and aspects of local history.

The two sand cast panels were created by Charles R. Faust (1922 – 2000), a prolific artist who for many years worked as the director of architectural design at the San Diego Zoo. His invention of moated animal enclosures in the mid-1950’s revolutionized how the world famous zoo and their Wild Animal Park near Escondido exhibited animals. He also designed the San Diego Zoo’s huge walk-in aviary–the first of its kind in the world.

After retiring from that job, Charles opened Faust Sand Casting in Ocean Beach with his son. Over his creative lifetime the art of Charles Faust would also include fine drawings, watercolors and oil paintings, many of which depicted life in the Old West, a theme he loved.

His sand sculpture murals have added beauty to many locations around San Diego. I photographed a couple of these murals in the past for Cool San Diego Sights, without realizing at the time they were created by Charles Faust. You can spot them here and here!

Yesterday morning I spoke to a security guard in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, and he said these two “sand art” panels were moved from a suite in the building where there used to be a bank. I believe they were in Suite 120, once the home of Pacific Premier Bank, and the future home of an upscale Italian restaurant. But I’m not sure about the exact history of these particular panels. If you know anything more about them, please leave a comment!

(Please note these photographs make the panels seem more yellowish than they are in reality, due to the indoor lighting and my modest camera.)

The panel on the left. It depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.
The panel on the left. It depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.

A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.
A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.

The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in Alta California.
The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in Alta California.

Scenes from the Old West in San Diego, including an old wagon and a ride on a bucking horse.
Scenes from the Old West in San Diego, including an old wagon and a ride on a bucking horse.

A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.
A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.

The panel on the right. It depicts many later San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.
The panel on the right. It depicts many later San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.

GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL – 100 YEARS – 1885-1985
GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL – 100 YEARS – 1885-1985

A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an early 20th century Navy warship. In the upper right corner I spy a tiny Old Point Loma Lighthouse!
A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an early 20th century Navy warship. In the upper right corner I spy a tiny Old Point Loma Lighthouse!

I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower of Balboa Park.
I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower of Balboa Park.

I think I recognize the historic Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill. The house to the right of it might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but it appears a bit different.
I think I recognize the historic Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill. The house to the right of it might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but it appears a bit different.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Rex the Lion sculpture debuts at San Diego Zoo!

An amazing Rex the Lion sculpture has debuted in front of the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park!
An amazing Rex the Lion sculpture has debuted in front of the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park!

Wow! Look what debuted this morning in the recently renovated plaza in front of the San Diego Zoo! A gigantic sculpture of Rex the Lion, whose roar during Balboa Park’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition inspired Dr. Harry Wegeforth to establish a city zoo!

The amazing, mind-boggling 27-foot sculpture is made of 10 tons of stainless steel and bronze. It was created by the obviously talented people of Blue Rhino Studio. This landmark public artwork is sure to become an iconic sight known by people all around the world!

When I saw a mysterious construction fence here weeks ago, I originally surmised the historic Jessop’s Street Clock presently in Horton Plaza would be installed near the zoo’s entrance. Boy, was I wrong!

During the ceremony this morning, colorful puppeteers and costumed stilt walkers entertained the crowd right next to the sculpture, while a couple brief speeches were made. I noticed lots of huge smiles lit up faces–including my own!

Super cool!

The 27-foot 10 ton sculpture of a lion that inspired the San Diego Zoo's founding stands in a newly renovated plaza by the zoo's entrance.
A 27-foot 10 ton sculpture of a lion that inspired the San Diego Zoo’s founding now stands in a newly renovated plaza by the zoo’s entrance.

Reporters and lovers of the zoo have gathered for a special dedication ceremony on Sunday morning.
Reporters and lovers of the zoo have gathered for a special dedication ceremony on Sunday morning.

People wait for the historic event to begin.
People wait for the historic event to begin.

I learned this cool It Began With a Roar t-shirt logo was designed by a lady in the zoo's marketing department. Very nice!
I learned this cool It Began With a Roar t-shirt logo was designed by a lady in the zoo’s marketing department. Very nice!

The ceremony is starting! Looks what's entering the area near Rex the Lion!
The ceremony is starting! Looks what’s entering the area near Rex the Lion!

A fun blue rhino circles around the sculpture to the delight of young and old alike!
A fun blue rhino circles around the sculpture to the delight of young and old alike!

These cool costumed stilt-walkers circled around from the other side!
These cool costumed stilt-walkers circled around from the other side!

Oh, man! What fun!
Giraffes, too! Oh, man! What fun!

Councilmember Chris Ward makes a short speech.
Councilmember Chris Ward makes a short speech. Who knew sparsely populated San Diego a century ago would originate one of the world’s most famous zoos?

In the plaza around the base of the Rex lion sculpture are a bunch of fun inlaid animals.
In the plaza around the base of the Rex lion sculpture are a bunch of fun inlaid animals.

Inlaid near the public art's base is the shiny inscription Rex's Roar. One Man - One Lion - One Encounter. 1916-2016. Celebrating 100 Years.
Inlaid near the public art’s base is the shiny inscription Rex’s Roar. One Man – One Lion – One Encounter. 1916-2016. Celebrating 100 Years.

I've spotted some flamingos nearby!
I’ve spotted some flamingos nearby!

Kids rush up to touch the golden sculpture!
Kids rush up to touch the golden sculpture!

Another nearby sign indicates Rex's Roar was made possible by a generous gift from Craig and Mark Grosvenor and their families.
Another nearby sign indicates Rex’s Roar was made possible by a generous gift from Craig and Mark Grosvenor and their families.

Everybody wants a close look!
Everybody wants a close look!

A gigantic golden lion now guards the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. It's Rex!
A gigantic golden lion now guards the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. It’s Rex, truly King of Beasts!

An historic day at the much-beloved San Diego Zoo.
An historic day at the much-beloved San Diego Zoo.

Parrots take flight underfoot.
Parrots take flight underfoot.

Rex the Lion, inspiration for the San Diego Zoo's creation, now lives eternally in Balboa Park!
Rex the Lion, inspiration for the San Diego Zoo’s creation, now lives eternally in Balboa Park!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Something new at the zoo will be roaring in soon!

Something at the zoo will be roaring in soon...and what it might be is a complete mystery!
Something new at the zoo will be roaring in soon…and what it might be is a complete mystery!

Something new will be “roaring in soon” at the entrance to the world-famous San Diego Zoo! A tall fence surrounds a construction site, and tantalizing banners invite visitors to ponder the mystery.

I asked three zoo guys standing near the fence what exactly will be roaring in, and they said it was a secret. I did manage to find out that whatever it might be will be debuting in mid-March.

So what do you think it will be? Cool new artwork? Perhaps some sort of sculpture? Animatronic lions?

I’ve read that the Jessop’s Clock, which has stood for many years in Horton Plaza, might find a new home at the zoo, but plans to move it hit a snag years ago because of the clock’s status as an historical object. Moving the clock would entail digging a really deep hole for the winding mechanism–12 feet deep to be exact. Now that I think about it, this location would be ideal for the historic street clock.

That is the only logical guess I can come up with!

These San Diego Zoo guys were mum about what's being built inside the fence in front of the zoo's entrance. They did say whatever it is will debut in mid-March.
These San Diego Zoo guys were mum about what’s being built inside the fence in front of the zoo’s entrance. They did say whatever it is will debut in mid-March.

Something new is coming at the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. Your guess is as good as mine!
Something new is coming at the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. And your guess is as good as mine!

UPDATE!

After learning a bit more, I’m now pretty sure it’s not the Jessop’s Clock, but some sort of new art installation. We shall see during the unveiling!

ANOTHER UPDATE!

Looking at a couple mysterious photos on the San Diego Zoo’s Twitter timeline, I’m now pretty sure a gigantic sculpture of a lion will be placed here!  It began with a roar! I’ll take photos when I see it!

FINAL UPDATE!!!

I caught the artwork’s debut! It’s a gigantic sculpture of Rex the Lion!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Joan Embery’s My Animal World at Bonita Museum.

Joan Embery appears with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. Carol the Elephant paints on a canvas for the national audience.
Joan Embery appears with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. Carol the Elephant paints on a canvas for the national television audience.

Who doesn’t know Joan Embery? As a frequent guest on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, as Goodwill Ambassador for the San Diego Zoo, and as an international spokesperson for animal conservation, Joan Embery is loved by people all around the world. She is truly a San Diego legend.

So it’s fitting that the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center is now showing an exhibition about her life and career, titled Joan Embery’s My Animal World.

It was my first visit to this museum, and I was surprised to discover such a fine exhibition. Viewing all the displays gave me a great deal of pleasure. They brought back so many San Diego memories.

These few photographs only provide a small taste of what you will see at the museum. If you’re in San Diego, you really ought to head over to Bonita and check it out. The exhibition runs through December 3, 2016.

The Bonita Museum and Cultural Center is hosting a great exhibition about San Diego legend Joan Embery through December 3, 2016.
The Bonita Museum and Cultural Center is hosting a great exhibition about San Diego legend Joan Embery through December 3, 2016.

An elephant saddle is one of many cool artifacts on display at the Joan Embery's My Animal World exhibition.
An elephant saddle is one of many cool artifacts on display at the Joan Embery’s My Animal World exhibition.

Many photos show Joan Embery through the years--in Bonita, at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, travelling the world, and on the Pillsbury Ranch.
Many photos show Joan Embery through the years–in Bonita, at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, travelling the world, and on the Pillsbury Ranch.

Joan Embery was born in San Diego and was raised by a family who loved animals. As a kid, she never could get enough pets.
Joan Embery was born in San Diego and was raised by a family who loved animals. As a kid, she never could get enough pets.

In Junior High School, Joan Embery took horse riding lessons in Bonita. From an early age she dreamt of having her own horse.
In Junior High School, Joan Embery took horse riding lessons in Bonita. From an early age she dreamt of having her own horse.

Wonderful photos of Joan Embery with Carol the Elephant. The two became good friends when Joan worked at the San Diego Zoo. She would become the zoo's world-famous Goodwill Ambassador.
Wonderful photos of Joan Embery with Carol the Elephant. The two became good friends when Joan worked at the San Diego Zoo. She would become the zoo’s world-famous Goodwill Ambassador.

Display at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center documents a moment in the life and career of Joan Embery.
Display at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center documents a moment in the life and career of Joan Embery.

Ms. Zoofari. While working at the San Diego Zoo, Joan learned about different animal behaviors and about daily zoo tasks.
Ms. Zoofari. While working at the San Diego Zoo, Joan learned about different animal behaviors and about daily zoo tasks.

Today, the 50-acre Pillsbury Ranch is the home of Joan Embery and her husband Duane Pillsbury. Students visiting the ranch learn about the many different exotic animals that live there.
Today, the 50-acre Pillsbury Ranch is the home of Joan Embery and her husband Duane Pillsbury. Students visiting the ranch learn about the many different exotic animals that live there.

Joan Embery's Tack Room with many related photographs can be found at her museum exhibit in Bonita. Above all, she loves riding horses.
Joan Embery’s Tack Room with many related photographs can be found at her museum exhibit in Bonita. Above all, she loves riding horses.

Joan oversees The Embery Institute for Wildlife Conservation. She has been involved with many programs dedicated to animal and habitat conservation.
Joan oversees The Embery Institute for Wildlife Conservation. She has been involved with many programs dedicated to animal and habitat conservation.

Mountain lion head sculpted by Joan Embery's talented artist husband, Duane Pillsbury.
Mountain lion head sculpted by Joan Embery’s talented artist husband, Duane Pillsbury.

Joan Embery participated on a mountain lion tracking team at Rancho Cuyamaca State Park east of San Diego.
Joan Embery participated on a mountain lion tracking team at Rancho Cuyamaca State Park east of San Diego.

Joan Embery is a San Diego legend loved by many around the world. She has appeared on numerous book covers, magazines and television shows.
Joan Embery is a San Diego legend loved by many around the world. She has appeared on numerous book covers, magazines and television shows.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to enjoy!

Amazing animal bronzes at San Diego Museum of Art!

Dog Gnawing Bone, Arthur Putnam, 1904. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.
Dog Gnawing Bone, Arthur Putnam, 1904. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.

Wow! I enjoyed another awesome visit to the San Diego Museum of Art last weekend, courtesy of my docent friend Catherine! She provided a spellbinding tour of several exhibits!  The one I liked most–possibly because I love animals and because the artist has a San Diego connection–concerned the bronze sculptures of Arthur Putnam.

The exhibition, titled Ferocious Bronze, features artwork so utterly amazing that Arthur Putnam has been called the American Rodin. He was such a gifted sculptor that his pieces have sometimes been mistaken for those of Frederic Remington. Most of his bronzes depict animals in the wild:  hunting, in mortal combat, at play or at rest.

Arthur Putnam lived from 1873–1930 and was considered one of the greatest sculptors of his era. At the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco he won a coveted Gold Medal.  During his lifetime his work was exhibited in major cities, including New York, Chicago, Paris and Rome. Many of his monumental public sculptures still stand in San Francisco, Monterey and San Diego.

Check out these photos! They provide a small taste of what you’ll experience should you visit Ferocious Bronze. You can get an idea of Putnam’s tremendous artistry. The superb realism is partly due to the fact that he personally loved the outdoors, and spent many days observing animals in the wild and at zoos. A mostly self-taught artist, Putnam even worked for a brief time at a slaughterhouse. (Yuck!)

Did I mention Arthur Putnam’s unique San Diego connection? His very first commission was from newspaper magnate E. W. Scripps, which he received at the Scripps Ranch located in Miramar. In addition, two of Putnam’s monumental works stand today near the spot where San Diego was founded–the very place where European civilization took root in California.

(I’ve included my own photos of the two splendid sculptures that now grace San Diego’s Presidio Hill.  I wrote a blog several years ago that concerned a fun walk past these sculptures.)

Ferocious Bronze, curated by Dr. James Grebl, showcases 28 of Putnam’s amazing animal pieces.  They were selected from the over 100 pieces that the San Diego Museum of Art has in their collection. This special exhibit was inspired by another Balboa Park institution: the world famous San Diego Zoo! They are now celebrating their centennial year!

If you happen to be in San Diego, and if you love fine art or have a special place in your heart for wild animals, I recommend that you head over to see Ferocious Bronze at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park! This very cool exhibition runs through October 11, 2016.

Big Combat, Arthur Putnam, undated. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.
Big Combat, Arthur Putnam, undated. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.

Ambling Bear, Arthur Putnam, 1910. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.
Ambling Bear, Arthur Putnam, 1910. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.

Fighting Buffalo, Arthur Putnam, 1900. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.
Fighting Buffalo, Arthur Putnam, 1900. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.

Lynx Ready to Spring, Arthur Putnam, 1909. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.
Lynx Ready to Spring, Arthur Putnam, 1909. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.

The Indian, Arthur Putnam, 1905. This amazing sculpture stands today on San Diego's Presidio Hill beneath the Serra Museum.
The Indian, Arthur Putnam, 1905. This amazing sculpture stands on San Diego’s Presidio Hill beneath the Serra Museum.

The Padre, Arthur Putnam, 1908. This sculpture stands among some trees on San Diego's Presidio Hill beneath the Serra Museum.
The Padre, Arthur Putnam, 1908. This sculpture stands among some trees on San Diego’s Presidio Hill beneath the Serra Museum.

Wild Cat, Arthur Putnam, 1908. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.
Wild Cat, Arthur Putnam, 1908. Photo courtesy San Diego Museum of Art.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to enjoy!

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

San Diego Zoo seed bank protects endangered plants.

Visitors at the San Diego Zoo Centennial Festival in Balboa Park learn how rare, threatened and endangered native plants are being saved by the zoo.
Visitors at the San Diego Zoo Centennial Festival in Balboa Park learn how rare, threatened and endangered native plants are being saved by the zoo.

Many know how the San Diego Zoo is a world leader in working to protect animal species from extinction. One important task is to store critical genetic material. Their world-renowned Frozen Zoo has been storing cryogenically preserved biological samples since 1976.

When I walked through the San Diego Zoo Centennial Festival in Balboa Park last Saturday, I learned something that really impressed me. Not only is the zoo striving to save the world’s most endangered wild animals, but San Diego Zoo Global has developed an important native plant seed bank, in an effort to conserve rare and threatened local plant species.

The zoo is member of the California Plant Rescue Partnership, whose goal is the long term conservation of wild plant species through seed banks and field work. One of the people with whom I briefly spoke has the job of hiking about San Diego County, searching for and monitoring populations of these rare plant species. What a fantastic job that must be!

The zoo has developed an extensive seed collection. Some native plants being protected are the San Diego golden star Bloomeria clevelandii, Dudleya brevifolia, Monardella stoneana, Comarostaphylis diversifolia ssp. diversifolia, and Corethrogyne filaginifolia var. linifolia, which is commonly called the Del Mar sand aster.

The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is also working hard to save the Tecate Cypress in Southern California and Baja California, a tree that the rare Thorne’s hairstreak butterfly depends upon. A poster at the zoo’s centennial event helped to explain why this effort is so urgent.

San Diego Zoo Global's Native Plant Seed Bank and horticulture departments have planted 500 Tecate Cypress trees to establish a field gene bank.
San Diego Zoo Global’s Native Plant Seed Bank and horticulture departments have planted 500 Tecate Cypress trees to establish a field gene bank. (Click to enlarge.)

The San Diego Zoo's important conservation efforts extend beyond protecting animal species threatened by extinction.
The San Diego Zoo’s conservation efforts extend beyond protecting animal species threatened by extinction.  Plants are important, too!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!