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William Gordon Huff: GGIE sculpture and other art

working on his statue representing the Arts
Huff assembles the statue representing Art — note the smaller model for the large sculpture, on the right.
For the Golden Gate International Exposition, William Gordon Huff created several monumental works. Most prominent were the four great statues surrounding the central Tower of the Sun, representing Science, Agriculture, Industry, and Art (right).

Huff with rows of his giant female figures One of Huff's female figures in place by an archway
Left: Huff surveys row upon row of his giant female statues. Right: One of Huff's statues guards an archway.
working on the sculpted head of an extinct long-horned bison Huff's 
bas-relief of an extinct flightless bird
Left: Huff putting the finishing touches on the sculpted head of an extinct long-horned bison. Right: Huff's bas-relief of an early Tertiary flightless phororhacoid.
drawing of a mosasaur A Huff 
cartoon drawn for Ruben Stirton
Left: Huff's drawing of a mosasaur. Right: A cartoon drawn by Huff for Ruben Stirton.
Huff also created a number of caryatid-like human figures that "stood guard" over the entrances to buildings. These figures recall the kore (maiden) statues of archaic Greek art. Two photos of these are shown at left (click any photo to see an enlargement).

Other Huff creations for UCMP's exhibit at the Exposition included a sculpted head of a prehistoric long-horned bison, Bison latifrons, as well as a bas-relief of a phororhacoid, a large, flightless, predatory bird of the early Tertiary. Like most of the sculptures that Huff created for the Exposition, the whereabouts of these works are currently unknown, and they were probably destroyed. Fortunately, we have a photographic record of many of Huff's Exposition works (left).

Huff was not only an accomplished sculptor; he produced many fine drawings as well. A couple examples are pictured here. One of these is of a mosasaur, a giant marine reptile of the Mesozoic era. Mosasaurs shared the sea with other giant marine reptiles, such as plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs. They were actually fairly close relatives of the lizards of today, and were most closely related to the varanids — the lizard family that includes the "Komodo dragon" of today.

In the 1950s, UCMP mounted an expedition to collect fossil marsupials in Australia. Huff drew the whimsical cartoon at left for expediton leader, Dr. Ruben Stirton. Naming the beasts Homomarsupialansis humbugi, Huff wrote at the lower right, "Friend Stirt — This is a restoration of one marsupial fossil you will have a hard time finding in Australia — Bill Huff."

Originally created by P. David Polly, 12/3/93. All photos from the UCMP archives.