Street Photography: Radio City

This expression is a mystery. In my last two posts, I presented photographs of the comedy and tragedy masks adorning the grating above Radio City Music Hall’s stage entrance on 51st Street.

Those masks are based on theatrical symbols from Greece. In Greek mythology, Thalia is the goddess of comedy and poetry. Melpomene is the goddess of tragedy. The exaggerated features depicted on the masks were worn by actors so that the audience could tell from a distance what emotions were involved the scene.

I have not come across any information, however, regarding a third mask or expression. I returned to the stage door today to see if maybe this mystery mask was paired with another that I neglected to photograph. But, no. The grating’s design was a pattern having only these three expressions.

My guess is that this third mask was a special design of the music hall’s own making. Judging by the expression, perhaps it represents a “middle” expression between the two extremes of happiness and sadness.

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Published by Xiomáro

Nationally exhibited artist, photographer, speaker, teacher, and curator. Author of "Weir Farm National Historic Site" (Arcadia Publishing).

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