City and Architecture

The Prologue and The Promise by Robert McCall

Robert McCall spent nearly 10 months planning and painting the Horizons mural on a 19’ by 60’ canvas.

The Prologue and The Promise is a mural that was commissioned by Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center in Orlando, Florida for their Horizons pavilion. The mural could be seen as you exited the Horizons pavilion and exhibit. The pavilion is gone but the legacy of this great work of art still remains.

It took almost three months to develop the concept for the mural at his studio in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The second phase, the painting phase, took more than six months to finish and was completed at the Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

The mural was completed in March of 1983 with the help of Robert’s wife Louise McCall.

Robert McCall’s family can be seen in the mural as well. “If you look close enough, you’ll see my daughters, Cathy and Linda, their husbands and my four grandchildren as well as Louise and myself. And, oh yes, you’ll also see Linda’s pet dog.” ~ Robert McCall

Retrofutiristic Vacation Home

A vacation home for the Atomic Age from 1957.

Farm of the Future by David Meltzer, 1970

Farm of the Future - David Meltzer, 1970.

From February 1970 issue of National Geographic:

Farm of the future: Grainfields stretch like fairways and cattle pens resemble high-rise apartments in a farm of the early 21st century, as portrayed by artist David Meltzer with the guidance of U. S. Department of Agriculture specialists. Attached to a modernistic farmhouse, a bubble-topped control tower hums with a computer, weather reports, and a farm-price ticker tape. A remote-controlled tiller-combine glides across a 10-mile-long wheat field on tracks that keep the heavy machine from compacting the soil. Threshed grain, funneled into a pneumatic tube beside the field, flows into storage elevators rising close to a distant city. The same machine that cuts the grain prepares the land for another crop. A similar device waters neighboring strips of soybeans as a jet-powered helicopter sprays insecticides. Across a service road, conical mills blend feed for beef cattle, fattening in multilevel pens that conserve ground space. Tubes carry the feed to be mechanically distributed. A central elevator transports the cattle up and down, while a tubular side drain flushes wastes to be broken down for fertilizer. Beside the farther pen, a processing plant packs beef into cylinders for shipment to market by helicopter and monorail. Illuminated plastic domes provide controlled environments for growing high-value crops such as strawberries, tomatoes, and celery. Near a distant lake and recreation area, a pumping plant supplies water for the vast operation.

City of the Future, 1908

Just Imagine, 1930

Just Imagine is a 1930 science fiction musical comedy directed by David Butler. The film is probably best known for its art direction and special effects in its portrayal of New York City in an imagined 1980 with 250-story buildings, connected by suspension bridges and multi-lane elevated roads..

The Metropolis of Tomorrow, 1929

The metropolis of the future — as perceived by architect Hugh Ferriss in 1929 — was both generous and prophetic in vision. Largely an illustrated essay on the modern city and its future, Ferriss' book incorporated his philosophy of architecture. Includes powerful illustrations of towering structures, personal space, wide avenues, and rooftop parks. 59 illustrations. The book in Amazon.

Hugh Ferriss influenced popular culture, for example Gotham City and Kerry Conran's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Illustration from book "After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism" (1986) by Andreas Huyssen

"Today's challenge to the divide between mass culture and modernism goes by the name of the postmodern. Andreas Huyssen argues that postmodernism itself cannot be regarded as a radical break with the past, as its artistic and political strategies are indebted to that other trend within the culture of modernity - the historical avant garde." The book in Amazon.

Illustrations by Frank R. Paul, 1928

Future City, c.1960

City of the Future from The Wonderful World, The Adventure of the Earth We Live On, 1954 

Illus by Kempster & Evans