San Francisco Points of Interest
The de Young mounted an exhibition of
works by American glass sculptor, Dale
Chihuly. One of the works was temporarily
installed in the Pool of Enchantment.
The somewhat kitschy Pool of Enchantment was located in front of the previous M. H. de Young Museum.
With its water, rocks, plants and realistic sculptures, the Pool of Enchantment was perhaps a precursor to today's installation art minus the irony. If it was anything, the Pool of Enchantment was sincere.
Release 2.0 of the Pool of Enchantment was built at one end of the new de Young Museum, and the original set of bronze sculptures by M. Earl Cummings were installed: an Indian boy playing a musical pipe and two attentive California mountain lions.
The sculpture contributes to the Golden Gate Historic Park District.
Melvin Earl Cummings (1876-1936) was born in Salt Lake City. As a teenager Cummings was apprenticed to a wood carver in decorating the Mormon Temple.
He moved to San Francisco in 1896 and won a scholarship to the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art where he was a pupil of Douglas Tilden.
After three years at L'École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, funded by Phoebe Hearst, Cummings became a Professor of Sculpture at the Mark Hopkins Institute, a position he held until 1915. During this time, he shared a studio with sculptor Arthur Putnam.
In 1904 Cummings was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Park Commissioners, and In 1906 he began teaching at the UC Berkeley School of Architecture. He remained with both of these institution until his death.
Several of Cummings works were created for Golden Gate Park: