The fountain at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion has an interesting history

by Russell's Rants

First installed in 1969, the fountain at the Music Center between the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion and the Mark Taper Forum has been updated through the years.  The original fountain, which contained a dark surface reflecting pool, was dismantled in 1987.  It was replaced two years later by the new fountain, which features a computer-driven system of 280 vertical jets that systematically shoot water up into the air on a 14-minute cycle.

The one commonality between the old and new fountains is the  sculpture of “Peace on Earth” that has been present since the 1969 dedication.  It took 3 years for the artist, Jacques Lipchitz, to design and manufacture the cubist sculpture in Italy.  Lipchitz was a Lithuanian-born Jewish sculptor who fled Nazi-occupied France and settled in the United States.  The sculpture became the artist’s “prayer for peace” in response to the Vietnam War.

“Peace on Earth” is a hallow cast-bronze sculpture mounted on a granite clad base.   It depicts a dove descending to earth bearing the spirit of peace.  Stylized figures stand within a tear-shaped canopy of sails below and supporting the dove.

It is said that Dorothy Chandler herself named the sculpture, which has kept it safe from those members of the Music Center’s board that have from time to time demand its removal as being outdated.

As the water jets subside next to the 29-foot statue, a clear view emerges of City Hall and the newly renovated fountain across the street at Grand Park.

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