Historical Background

Donal Hord, 24' x 24'. Hill and 1st
Justice, an allegorical relief located above the Hill Street entrance of the County Courthouse, symbolizes the fundamental goals and purposes of the building. Several elements common to Hord's compositions--impassive facial expressions, an interest in ancient and exotic cultures and the use of kneeling figures--can be seen in this work. Justice is represented by the central female figure, dressed in judicial robes. A globe, the emblem of her universal reign, is held in her left hand, and a sword, signifying her power is supported by her right hand. The scale, decorated at the top with an American eagle, is balanced on her head symbolizing impartiality. Representing on the viewer's left "Law" and on the viewer's right "Truth," kneeling males resemble the subservient figures portrayed in tomb paintings from ancient Egypt. Measuring approximately 24' x 24', "Justice" was Hord's largest sculpture.

At the suggestion of Jess Stanton, the building's lead architect, Hord extended the length of the sword and reduced the size of the side figures. The design was finalized in 1956, modeled in clay in two halfs, cut into blocks, glazed and fired at Gladding McBean. Installation occurred in early 1957.

The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, January 1998.

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