Woodminster: Foulkes Sculptures – Oakland CA

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The Woodminster Amphitheater design is Art Deco (Moderne) by Edward Foulkes. This is especially clear in the appearance of the south facade, which looms over the cascade and the rest of the park (though now somewhat shrouded by untrimmed trees).  

The capitals of the inward columns have capitals with lion-head reliefs and the two outer flanking columns are topped by human torsos.  Lower down, on the sides of the facade, are two bas-relief panels. The name of the amphitheater is inscribed along the top.  There are also decorative element on the ceiling of the corridor below.

The design of the sculptures and bas-reliefs is almost surely by Foulkes himself, but further confirmation is needed. 

The sculptures were funded in 1939 by the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) – both absorbed into the reorganized Federal Works Agency later in 1939.

There are two forgotten bas-reliefs sitting against an abandoned storage shed a hundred yards uphill of the amphitheater; these appear to be by the same hand as those on the exterior of the amphitheater.



Source notes

Project originally submitted by New Deal Art registry on July 22, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Joaquin Miller Park
Oakland, CA 94602

Coordinates: 37.8111, -122.189

One comment on “Woodminster: Foulkes Sculptures – Oakland CA

  1. I have worked at Woodminster Amphitheater for some years, and we have a modern problem with this old site. It’s on an access road in a park, and the road doesn’t have a name. So before GPS, we used 3300 Joaquin Miller Road as the address, but it’s not a real address, just a spot on a public road that’s sort of across from the place in the park where the amphitheater is. So when people use GPS to get there, they hear “you have arrived,” but they’re just on a road with nothing in sight and no obvious direction to go. We are trying to get the city to name the road and give us an address, but until then we’re asking people to use 3540 Sanborn Drive, Oakland CA 94602. That’s actually the ranger station, but it does get people into the park where it’s easier to find the Amphitheater. Thanks in advance for changing it.

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