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The balustrade of the top landing on either side is ornamented with the fig-
ures of three children in relief representing certain of the Fine Arts. In the
south staircase, beginning at the left as one looks up from the floor, are Com-
edy, Poetry, and Tragedy. The first has a comic mask and the thyrsus or ivy-


wreathed wand of Bacchus, to whom the first comedies were dedicated,
Poetry has a scroll, and Tragedy the tragic mask. Opposite, the figures, taking
them again from left to right, represent Painting, with palette and brushes ;
Architecture, with compasses and a scroll, and behind him the pediment of a
Greek temple ; and Sculpture, modelling a statuette.

In the ascending railing of each staircase Mr. Martiny has introduced a
series of eight marble figures in high relief. These, also, are of little boys, and
represent various occupations, habits and pursuits of modern life. The pro-
cession is bound to-
gether by a garland
hanging in heavy
festoons, and be-
neath is a heavy
laurel roll. In the
centre the series is
interrupted by the
group on the but-
tress just described.
At the bottom it
begins quaintly with
the figure of a stork.
Thence, on the
south side of the
hall, the list of sub-
jects is as follows :
A Mechanician,
with a cog-wheel,
a pair of pincers,
and a crown of lau-
rel, signifying the
triumphs of inven-
tion ; a Hunter,
with his gun, hold-
ing up by the ears
a rabbit which he
has just shot; an in-
fant Bacchanalian,
with Bacchus's ivy
and panther skin,
hilariously holding
a champagne glass

in one hand ; a Farmer, with a 'sickle and a sheaf of wheat; a Fisherman, with
rod and reel, taking from his hook a fish which he has landed ; a little Mars, pol-
ishing a helmet ; a Chemist, with a blow-pipe ; and a Cook, with a pot smok-
ing hot from the fire.

In the north staircase are : A Gardener, with spade and rake ; an Entomolo-
gist, with a specimen-box slung over his shoulder, running to catch a butterfly
in his net ; a Student, with a book in his hand and a mortar-board cap on his
head ; a Printer, with types, a press, and a type-case ; a Musician, with a lyre
by his side, studying the pages of a music book ; a Physician, grinding drugs



in a mortar, with a retort beside him, and the serpent sacred to medicine ; an
Electrician, with a star of electric rays shining on his brow and a telephone
receiver at his ear; and lastly, an Astronomer, with a telescope, and a globe
encircled by the signs of the zodiac which he is measuring by the aid of a pair
of compasses.

The Ceiling of the Staircase Hall. Beneath the second-story car-
touches on the east and west sides of the hall are tablets inscribed in gilt letters
with the names of the following authors : Longfellow, Tennyson, Gibbon, Cooper,
Scott, Hugo, Cervantes. A single moulding in the marble cornice above is
touched with gold, as an introduction to the rich coloring and profuse use of
gilding in the coved ceiling which it supports. The cove itself is of stucco,
and is painted blue the color of the sky, which it is intended to suggest
with yellow penetrations. These penetrations are outlined by a heavy gilt
moulding, and give space for ten semicircular latticed windows opening into
the rooms of the attic
story. In the centre
of each penetration is
painted a white tablet
supported by dolphins,
and bearing the name
of some illustrious
author Dante, Ho-
mer, Milton, Bacon,
Aristotle, Goethe,
Shakespeare, Moliere,
Moses, and Herodotus.
In each corner of the
cove are two female
half-figures, as they are
called, supporting a
cartouche, on which
are a lamp and a book,
the conventional sym-
bols of learning. The
figures and cartouche
are of stucco, and were modelled by Mr. Martiny. Around them the cove is
sprinkled with stars. Higher up are the figures of flying geniuses, two in each
corner, painted by Mr. Frederick C. Martin, of Mr. Garnsey's staff.

Between the penetrations, the curve of the cove is carried upon heavy gilt
ribs, richly ornamented with bands of fruit. In the spandrel-shaped spaces thus
formed on either side, Mr. Martin has painted another series of geniuses, which,
by reason of the symbolical objects which accompany them, reflect very
pleasantly the intention of Mr. Martiny's sculpture in the staircases below. The
significance of most of the things they bear is obvious. Beginning at the south-
west corner, and going to the right, the list is as follows : a pair of Pan's pipes ;
a pair of cymbals ; a caduceus, or Mercury's staff ; a bow and arrows ; a shep-
herd's crook and pipes ; a tambourine ; a palette and brushes ; a torch ; a
clay statuette and a sculptor's tool ; a bundle of books ; a triangle ; a second
pair of pipes; a lyre ; a palm branch and wreath (the rewards of success) ; a
trumpet ; a guitar ; a compass and block of paper (for Architecture) ; a censer



(for Religion) ; another torch; and a scythe and hour-glass the attributes of
Father Time.

The ceiling proper rests upon a white stylobate supported on the cove. It
is divided by heavy beams, elaborately panelled, and ornamented with a profusion
of gilding, and contains six large skylights, the design of which is a scale pattern,
chiefly in blues and yellows, recalling the arrangemen* in the marble flooring

First Floor Corridors: the Mosaic Vaults. The North, South, and
East Corridors on the first floor of the Entrance Hall are panelled in Italian
marble to the height of eleven feet, and have floors of white, blue, and brown
(Italian, Vermont, and Tennessee) marble, and beautiful vaulted ceilings of
marble mosaic. These last will immediately attract the attention of the visitor.
The working cartoons were made by Mr. Herman T. Schladermundt from pre-
liminary designs by Mr. Casey as architect. The body of the design is in a light,
warm grayish tone, relieved by richly ornamental bands of brown which follow
pretty closely the architectural lines of the vaulting springing from pier to
pier or outlining the penetrations and pendentives. In all three corridors
tablets bearing the names of distinguished men are introduced as a part of the
ornament, and in the East Corridor are a number of discs, about eighteen
inches in diameter, on which are depicted " trophies," as they are called, em-
blematic of various arts and sciences, each being made up of a group of repre-
sentative objects such as the visitor has seen used to distinguish the subjects of
Mr. Martiny's staircase figures.

The method of making and setting such a mosaic ceiling is interesting
enough to be described. The artist's cartoon is made full size and in the
exact colors desired. The design, color and all, is carefully transferred by
sections to thicker paper, which is then covered with a coating of thin glue. On
this the workman carefully fits his material, laying each stone smooth side down.
The ceiling itself is covered with a layer of cement, to which the mosaic is
applied. The paper is then soaked off, and the design pounded in as evenly as
possible, pointed off, and oiled. As the visitor may see, however, it is not
polished, like a mosaic floor, but is left a little rough in order to give full value
to the texture of the stone.

At the east end of the North and South Corridors is a large semi-elliptical
tympanum, twenty-two feet long. Along the walls are smaller tympanums,
below the penetrations of the vault. At the west end, over the arch of the
window, is a semicircular border. These spaces are occupied by a series of
paintings in the North Corridor by Mr. Charles Sprague Pearce, and in the
South Corridor by Mr. H. O. Walker. Like most of the special mural decora-
tions in the Library, they are executed in oils on canvas, which is afterwards
affixed to the wall by a composition of whitelead.

Mr. Pearce's Paintings. Mr. Pearce's decorations are seven in number.
The subject of the large tympanum at the east end is The Family* The smaller
panels along the north wall, taking them from left to right, are entitled
Religion, Labor, Study, and Recreation. The single painting on the south side
of the corridor, occurring opposite the panel of Recreation, represents Rest.
The broad, arched border at the west end contains two female figures floating

1 The panel of The Family is shown in the view of the North Corridor, given on the oppo-
site page. The border referred to a few lines below is reproduced in the Handbook on Page 21, as
a heading to the present description of the Main Entrance Hall.


in the air and holding between them a large scroll on which is inscribed the
sentence, from Confucius : " Give instruction unto those who cannot procure
it for themselves."

The series, as seen by the list of titles just given, illustrates the main phases
of a pleasant and well-ordered life. The whole represents the kind of idyllic
existence so often imagined by the poets showing a people living in an
Arcadian country in a state of primitive simplicity, but possessing the arts and
habits of a refined cultivation. This life is very well summed up in the first of
Mr. Pearce's paintings that representing The Family. The subject is the
return of the head of the household to his family, after a day spent in hunting.
He stands in the centre, his bow not yet unstrung, receiving a welcome home.
His aged mother, with her hands clasped over the head of her staff, looks up
from the rock on which she is sitting, and the gray-bearded father lays aside the


scroll in which he has been reading. The hunter's little girl has hold of his
garment, and his wife holds out his baby son. An older daughter leans her
elbow against a tree. The scene is in the open air, at the mouth of a cave,
with a view beyond into a wooded valley bounded by high mountains.

The smaller tympanums illustrate the simple occupations and relaxations of
such an existence as is here depicted. Recreation shows two girls in a glade of
the forest playing upon a pipe and a tambourine. In the panel of Study, a girl,
sitting with her younger companion on a great rock, is instructing her with the
aid of a book and compasses and paper. Labor is represented by two young
men working in the fields. One is removing the stump of a tree, and the
other is turning over the newly cleared soil to fit it for planting. In Religion,
a young man and a girl are kneeling before a blazing altar constructed of two
stones, one set upon the other. In Rest, two young women are sitting quietly
beside a pool, where they have come with their earthen jars for water.


The penetrations in the vault of Mr. Pearce's corridor contain the names of
men distinguished for their work in furthering the cause of education : Froebel,
Pestalozzi, Comenius, Ascham, Howe, Gallaudet, Mann, Arnold, Spencer. It
is of some interest to note that among the hundreds of names inscribed in the
Library only three are those of men still living. Herbert Spencer, the last-
named in the list just given, is one, and the other two are Alexander Graham
Bell and Thomas A. Edison.

Mr. Walker's Paintings. The general subject of Mr. Walker's deco-
rations is Lyric Poetry. Like Mr. Pearce's, in the corresponding position, the
painting in the large tympanum at the east end of the corridor sums up in
a general way the subject of the whole series. The scene is a wood, with a
vista beyond into a wide and open champagne. Down the centre a brook
comes tumbling and splashing over its rocky bed. Although wild, and thus
suggestive, perhaps, of the inspiration of poetry, the landscape purposely has,


as a whole, a touch of artfulness, hinting therefore at the formalities of metre
and rhyme. The titles of the figures which enter into the composition all,
with one exception, those of women are named in the conventional border
with which the artist has enclosed his painting. The figure standing boldly
forward in the centre represents Lyric Poetry. She is crowned with a wreath
of laurel, and is touching the strings of a lyre. The feelings which most com-
monly inspire her song are personified on either side. To her left are Pathos,
looking upward, as if calling on Heaven to allay her grief ; Truth, a beautiful
nude woman (the Naked Truth) standing securely upright, and seeming by
her gesture to exhort the central figure not to exceed the bounds of natural
feeling; and in the corner of the tympanum, Devotion, sitting absorbed in
contemplation. On the other side of the panel are Passion, with an eager
look, and her arms thrown out in a movement at once graceful and enrap-
tured ; Beauty, sitting calmly self-contained ; and Mirth, the naked figure of
a little boy, inviting her to join his play.


For the smaller tympanums, Mr. Walker has taken single youthful male
figures suggested by various poems by English and American poets on the
south side of the corridor, Tennyson, Keats, Wordsworth, and Emerson, and
on the north side, Milton and Shakespeare. Although not always from lyrics,
the general spirit of the scene selected is invariably lyrical. The first paint-
ing shows Ganymede upon the back of the eagle the form taken by
Jupiter when he brought the boy from his earthly home to be the cup-
bearer of the gods. The lines referred to are in Tennyson's Palace of Art:

Flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh
Half-buried in the Eagle's down,
Sole as a flying star shot thro 1 the sky
Above the pillar'd town.

The next panel represents Endymion, in Keats's poem of that name, lying


asleep on Mount Latmos, with his lover, Diana, the Moon, shining down upon
him. The painter, however, had no special passage of the poem in mind.

The third panel is based on Wordsworth's lines beginning, "ThTe was a
Boy." A boy is seated by the side of a lake the surface of whic.~\ : ^fleets
the stars :

There was a Boy ; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
And islands of Winander ! many a time,
At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake ;
And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth
Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,
That they might answer him. . . .


Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise
Has carried far into his heart the voice
Of mountain-torrents ; or the visible scene
Would enter unawares into his mind
With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
Its woods, and that uncertain heaven received
Into the bosom of the steady lake.

For Emerson, Mr. Walker has selected the poem of Uriel, representing the
angel retired in scorn from his companions, on account of the anger with
which they have received his proposition :

Line in nature is not found ;
Unit and universe are round ;
In vain produced, all rays return;
Evil will bless, and ice will burn.

In the selection of this subject, Mr. Walker has commemorated Emerson
in a very interesting personal way for the poem was written soon after the

famous Phi Beta Kappa
oration of 1838, and is
understood to voice
Emerson's feelings re-
garding the storm of op-
position which that ad-
dress had called forth.

Milton is represented
by a scene out of the
masque of Comus the
vile enchanter Comus (in
the guise of a shepherd)
entranced at hearing the

GANYMEDE - H. o. WALKER. ^ of the Lady. The

words which he speaks in

the poem, and which Mr. Walker seeks to illustrate in his painting, are as
follows :

Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould
Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?

In Shakespeare, the artist has gone to Venus and Adonis, showing the dead
body of Adonis, killed by the boar, lying naked in the forest. The painting
refers to no particular lines in the poem.

The broad border at the west end is occupied by an idyllic summer land-
scape containing three seated female figures and a youth the two figures to
the left, one of them caressing a lamb, representing the more joyful moods of
lyric poetry, and the other two its more solemn feelings. At the top is a
streamer, with the words, from Wordsworth :

The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays !

In the mosaic of the vault are the names of lyric poets, six Americans occu-
pying the penetrations on the north side : Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier,
Bryant, Whitman, Poe ; and the following English and foreign or ancient

lyrists along the centre of the vault and in the south penetrations : Browning,
Shelley, Byron, Musset, Hugo, Heine, Theocritus, Pindar, Anacreon, Sappho,
Catullus, Horace, Petrarch, Ronsard.

Mr. Alexander's Paintings. In the East Corridor are six tympanums
of the same size as the smaller panels of Mr. Walker and Mr. Pearce, by Mr.
John W. Alexander, illustrating The Evolution of the Book. The subjects are,
at the south end, The Cairn, Oral Tradition, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics ;
and at the north end, Picture Writing, The Manuscript Book, and The
Printing Press. In the first of these, a company of primitive men, clad
in skins, are raising a heap of stones on the seashore, perhaps as a memo-
rial of some dead comrade, or to commemorate some fortunate event,
or, perhaps, merely as a record to let others know the stages of their journey.
In the second panel, an Arabian story-teller stands relating his marvellous tales in
the centre of a circle of seated Arabs. The third shows a scaffolding swung in
front of the portal of a newly erected Egyptian temple. A young Egyptian
workman is cutting a hieroglyphic inscription over the door, while an Egyptian


girl, his sweetheart, sits watching the work beside him. Picture Writing repre-
sents a young American Indian, with a rudely shaped saucer of red paint beside
him, depicting some favorite story of his tribe upon a dressed and smoothed
deer-skin. An Indian girl lies near him, attentively following every stroke of his
brush. The next panel gives the interior of a convent cell, with a monk, seated
in the feeble light of a small window, laboriously illuminating in bright colors
the pages of a great folio book. The last of the series shows Gutenberg, the
inventor of printing, in his office : the master, with his assistant beside him,
examining a proof-sheet, and discussing the principle of his great invention.
To the right is an apprentice, swaying upon the handle-bar of the rude press.

Mosaic Decorations of the East Corridor. The various trophies
already spoken of as ornamenting the mosaic of the vault of the East Corridor
are ten in number, each occurring in one of the pendentives, at the ends and
along the sides. Below each are the names of two Americans (only those
actually born in the United States being included) eminent in the art or science
typified. The list of trophies, with the names, is as follows : Architecture (the


capital of an Ionic column, with a mallet and chisel), Latrobe and Walter;
Natural Philosophy (a crucible and pair of balances, etc.), Cooke and Silli-
man; Music (a lyre, flute, horn, and music-sheet), Mason and Gottschalk;
Painting (a sketch-book, palette, and brushes) , Stuart and Allston ; Sculpture
(the torso of a statue), Powers and Crawford; Astronomy (a celestial globe),
Bond and Rittenhouse ; Engineering (including an anchor, protractor, level,
etc.), Francis and Stevens; Poetry (a youth bestriding Pegasus), Emerson
and Holmes ; Natural Science (a microscope and a sea-horse), Say and Dana ;
Mathematics (a compass and counting-frame), Peirce and Bowditch. In the
vault proper is inscribed a list of names of Americans distinguished in the three
learned professions : under Medicine, Cross, Wood, McDowell, Rush, Warren ;
under Theology, Brooks, Edwards, Mather, Channing, Beecher; and under
Law, Curtis, Webster, Hamilton, Kent, Pinkney, Shaw, Taney, Marshall, Story,
and Gibson.


From the East Corridor, entrance to the basement may be had through a
little lobby with a domed mosaic ceiling under either of the main staircases.
At the north end of the corridor is the Librarian's Room, and at the south end
are a toilet- room for ladies and a cloak-room. The little lobby of the latter is
especially bright and attractive, with deep, velvety red walls, a high arabesque
frieze, and ceiling decorations of lyres and a disc containing a large honey-
suckle ornament.

The Librarian's Room. The Librarian's Room is one of the most
beautifully finished of any in the Library. It is divided into two by a broad,
open arch, leaving the office proper on one side, and a smaller, more private
office, with a gallery above, on the other. The fittings are in oak, with oak
bookcases. The windows look out upon the Northwest Court. The gallery
has a groined ceiling, and over the main office is a shallow dome, with stucco
ornamentation in low relief by Mr. Weinert. Standing in a ring around a cen-
tral disc are the figures of Grecian girls, from two slightly differing models,


holding a continuous garland. Other ornaments are gilded tablets and square
or hexagonal panels, bearing an owl, a book, or an antique lamp. The central
disc is occupied by a painting by Mr. Edward J. Holslag, already spoken of as
the foreman of Mr. Garnsey's staff, representing Letters the seated figure of
a beautiful woman holding a scroll in her hand and accompanied by a child
with a torch. The following Latin sentence is inscribed in a streamer : Litera
scripta manet,

In the pendentives of the dome, Mr. Weinert has modelled a figure, about
two feet in height, of a boy holding a palm-branch and blowing a trumpet. Like
the ring of girls in the dome, the figures are of an alternating design. Above
each is a circular panel with the half-length figure of a woman, painted by Mr.
Holslag. The four decorations are intended to supplement, in a general way,
the idea of Mr. Holslag's ceiling disc ; one of the figures, for example, holds a
book, another a lute (for the musical quality of literature), and so on. Each



painting contains a Latin inscription, as follows : Liber dilectatio animae ;
Efficiunt clarum studio ; Dukes ante omnia Musae ; In tenebris lux.

The color scheme adopted for the room is chiefly green. A green tinge is
used in the dome to emphasize the outline of the ornament, and green, on a
blue ground, predominates in the arabesques contained in the tympanums
below. The design of these last where complete, that is, for the tympanums
are variously intercepted by door-and window-arches is a pleasant little study
of the evolution of the poet. At the bottom, a little boy is playing a pastoral tune
on his oaten pipe ; above, two little trumpeters blare at him to join them in the
joy of battle ; and at the top, a fourth child, the full-fledged bard, sits astride
his modern hobby-horse. The centre of the decoration shows either a Pegasus
or a Pandora, the latter opening the famous box containing all the ills which
plague mankind, and only Hope for a blessing.

The Lobbies of the Rotunda. Beyond the East Corridor, and sepa-
rated from it by an arcade, is the broad passageway leading to the Reading


Room. The entrance for visitors, however, is by way of the second story, the
doors on the library floor being open only to those desiring to consult books.
The passageway is divided by a second arcade into two transverse lobbies. The
ceiling of each is vaulted, with a mosaic design of much the same pattern as
those in the corridors already described.

The second lobby is the immediate vestibule of the Reading Room,
and contains the two main passenger elevators, one at either end. They start
at the basement and ascend to the attic story, where, among other rooms, are
a commodious and well-equipped kitchen and restaurant for the use of visitors
and students, and the attendants in the Library.

Mr. Vedder's Paintings. The lobby contains five tympanums, of the
same size as Mr. Alexander's, which are filled by a series of paintings by Mr.
Elihu Vedder, illustrating, in a single word, Government. Small as it is, the
little lobby offers the painter one of the most significant opportunities in the
whole interior ; work here placed, in an apartment of the
Library which serves at once as elevator-hall and as ves-
tibule to the Main Reading Room, can hardly fail to
[attract the attention of everyone passing through the

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