c. 18th century
75.5 in HIGH x 60 in WIDE
(191.77 cm HIGH x 152.40 cm WIDE)
Museum Purchase

Gates. Description: pair of wrought iron gates with copper-like flowers. History: Spanish From the History Information Station: Object: Wrought iron gates similar to the type made in Spain in the 18th or 19th century. History: Gates such as these were typically used to enclose patios. They provided security without blocking the view, and allowed air and sunlight to circulate freely. Wrought iron gates were used in both the missions and private homes of early California. The ironwork used in these gates had its origin in medieval Spain. The Moorish people of North Africa invaded Spain in the 8th century bringing with them iron forging techniques and designs. In the following centuries, Spanish craftsmen adapted the Moorish style, incorporating Gothic and early Renaissance influences. These Spanish craftsmen passed their unique style and skills on to their counterparts in the New World. Museum Purchase Around and About the Patio If you were a traveler in Alta California, you might stay in the "motels" of that era, the missions. You would be greeted in front of the church by hospitable padres eager for news of the outside world. As you walked to your room in the convento, you would pass by the padres' private rooms, the reception salas, and in the more prosperous missions, the library and small chapel. Before supper, there would be time to tour the patio, the adjacent buildings housing workshops and storerooms, and to peek through the grilled windows of the monjeria where the unmarried women live. During supper, the padres might explain the role the building plan played in their mission to Christianize the local Indian population. Defense and control, they would tell you, are paramount--defense from Indians hostile to the mission and control of the Indian converts who had become part of its cloistered community. And, as you relished the best meal you had in a long time, you would become aware that severe discipline and hard labor were part of mission life.

Used: Spanish

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