Thursday, March 31, 2016

Plaster / Chalk Souvenir Building Replicas

Carillon Tower & Christ The Redeemer Statue

Souvenir buildings and monuments have been made with chalk, sometimes called ‘Chalkware,' and ‘plaster of Paris,’ but what’s the difference?  Plaster of Paris is a mixture of powdered and heat-treated gypsum. When mixed with water, the substance hardens into a smooth, solid object. Because the plaster hardens before the water can evaporate, the plaster maintains its size and shape. Plaster of Paris is used in constructions as well as sculpture, where it can be used to mold material or be molded by material. Chalkware is a a form of plaster of Paris used to create figurine collectibles that was popular in the 19th Century in the United States. The finished pieces are sometimes painted and other times left a natural white. The material is easily chipped and does not hold up to abuse. I wrote a few years ago about historic plaster building models made by the WPA. Below are some examples and photos of building replicas made of plaster. Do you know of others?

Stratford Hall in Virginia

Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.

Sydney Opera House & Wisconsin State Capitol

Wright Brothers Memorial & Nebraska State Capital

First Oil Well in Titusville, Pennsylvania

Temple of Bacchus in Baalbek, Lebanon

California Mission Series of Preston Architectural Models 

Alamo, made for Jewelry Co.

Tower of Jewels from the San Francisco World’s Fair

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