Earlier in the day we stopped by the used book store so's I could use me coupon good for 50% off any one item. I looked & looked expecting to find some pricey reference book or CD box set that I'd been longing for but the only thing I found was The City is my Canvas by Richard Haas. I'm still delighted. I've been looking for this book for months. I saw it on display a while back & only casually flipped through it, thinking it was merely clever photo editing. I browsed through again the next time I saw it but this time found something familiar! Richard Haas paints pictures of buildings... onto the sides of other buildings. So I'd been searching for the book again ever since. We stopped at the West side branch today & my friend Ken happened to be working. I asked him, he remembered the book & led me straight to it in the architecture section! And here I'd been looking for it in "paintings" & "photography" all this time. Needless to say I was quite delighted. Not only for the collection of such awe-inspiring painting, but also because his work can be found right in our own city of Madison!
The artist chose this site specifically because it was the rejected site of Frank Lloyd Wright's proposed Convention Center. The Center had been turned down by the City on three different occasions since the early 1940s. When Haas undertook the mural project, he assumed the Center would never be built, but a revised version of it was completed in 1995. In the mural, a reflection of Wright's project could be seen in the painted windows. The mural was covered over when the City of Madison built the Convention Center. ~ Direct quote from The City is my Canvas
Fortunately for us the caption is not entirely correct. You can still see part of Haas' work on the side of the Olin Terrace's Retaining Wall as you drive under the parking ramp that connects it to the new Monona Terrace. It's still there & it's still beautiful. But if you want to see it now you'll have to go look for yourself as I'm hard pressed to find any current photos of the painting. It's something I never noticed until well after it was hidden away, & now it's one of my favourite little secrets of Madison.
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