The Atlantic Globe ARTWORK FACT SHEET
The Atlantic Globe was commissioned for the lobby of Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City by the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts under the Public Building Arts Inclusion Act of 1978. The artwork was created in association with the Boardwalk Hall renovation, which was completed in October 2001.
The installed artwork weighs approximately 1000 lbs and contains more than 1500 individual pieces of glass. The sheets of colored glass used in the globe were manufactured by glass blowers in Germany at the Lamberts Glass factory. The shades of amber glass, which make up the starburst pattern, were blown in Poland at the Krasno Factory. The imagery was hand painted by the artist using glass-based pigments, which were permanently fused to the glass surface by firing in a kiln. This process, called glass painting, dates to the cathedrals of medieval Europe. The pieces of glass that make up the globe were fired a second time and bent over a curved mold. The glass was then assembled into panels using strips of lead in the traditional manner. The frame was fabricated from aluminum T bar and painted grey. The leaded glass panels sit in this frame like the panels of a drop ceiling. There are 74 individual panels and one large glass lens. Above the globe is a domed tin ceiling painted white. It is washed with florescent lights concealed behind the cove molding. Low voltage lighting fixtures called Wavelites project light through a pair of rotating perforated metal disks to create the image of moving water on the surface of the globe.
The globe was designed to create a dialogue with the historic stained glass globe located in the proscenium arch above the stage in Boardwalk Hall. The starburst pattern was designed to reference the ornamental plasterwork surrounding the proscenium arch globe. Striped bass, blue-backed herring, butterfish, grouper, triggerfish, a ray and a green sea turtle are depicted in the globe. These fish are indigenous to the waters off Atlantic City. The fish were researched at the NJ State Aquarium in Camden. Two female figures swim gracefully around the sphere. Inspired by a medallion on Boardwalk Halls ocean façade, these figures are symbolic twins. One, a swimmer, wears the art deco bathing costume of the medallion figure. The other is a mythical mermaid. A significant feature in the history of Boardwalk Hall is its long association with the Miss America Pageant. The first contestants of the pageant competed for a Golden Mermaid trophy. As a reference to this event, the mermaid in the design wears the Miss America Tiara. The mermaid was inspired by an original photograph by Ilkka Keskinen of Finland.