Sunday, August 8, 2010

Georges Guynemer

While my French family lived in Northern California they still felt very close to France. It was not simply cultural affiliation but it was also reinforced by the close knit French community in San Francisco. These sentiments were brought to the surface during the First World War when many French emigrants in California returned to France to fight. There is to this day a plaque in the Notre Dame des Victoires church for those French emigrants to California that died fighting in France.

It is no surprise then my grandmother had a couple items of WWI memorabilia. One piece that caught my eye was a small booklet dedicated to French flying ace, Georges Guynemer who was killed in action in 1917. I was intrigued by the paintings and wanted to share them. The booklet was printed by Jean Cussac in Paris. My grandmother's grandmother was Emelie Cussac, so there may have been another connection to booklet apart from the symbolic.

Booklet Cover

Guynemer's plane is in the foregroud, while Marianne keeps the German eagle at bay.

Upon his death Guynemer is draped in the French flag and is kissed by Marianne, the national emblem of France.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition

Going through some old family papers of my French grandmother's I found these post cards from the 1915 Pan-Pacific exposition in San Francisco. I thought they were stunning and wanted to share. The only structure that is left from that time is the Palace of Fine Arts.

Birdseye View of the Pan-Pacific Exposition

Palace of Fine Arts

Tower of Jewels

Arch of the Rising Sun – Court of the Universe

Mullgardt's Tower – Court of Abundance

Palace of Horticulture

Festival Hall

Palace of Education

Palm Avenue

Fountain of Ceres – Court of Four Seasons