9.A.3. Griffins in Architecture, Museum


I wonder why griffins and gargoyles are sculptures located in high rise buildings.

Well, griffins became familiar figures that have survived centuries joining other types of grotesque sculptures on walls, floors, and rooftops of Gothic cathedrals and castles.

Now, I learned that the use of the griffin in architecture, is decorative and symbolic. Also, it serves a practical purpose on the building’s exterior—to move roof water away from its base, like a drainage gutter.

But the big reveal is … not only do they have to be seen from the street, but they also must be prominent enough to deter the menacing thieves they protect against.

In modern times, use of the griffin is the symbol of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; bronze castings of them perch on each corner of the museum’s roof, protecting its collection. Similarly essentially comparable is, a griffin formed part of the logo of HSBC.

My photo.

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