Library Mural

Key to the Library Mural

Dominating the design stands the heroic Janus-headed figure of Research striding from the mists and Damp of the past to a firm position upon the written word of past generations, spanning the thoughts of men who have worked and died, so that the thoughts of future men may be bold and enlightened.

Cultures of the Past

One face, the Face of Age and Wisdom, turns to the Past with its many types of cultures. The pyramids typify the culture of the Nile Valley. Oriental and Semitic culture are symbolized by their distinctive architecture. The Greek classic head is the type of Greek thought and the Roman aqueduct and soldier symbolize the force and aggressiveness of Roman power.

The Romanesque Church and medieval walled town typify the Gothic spiritual force in pre-Renaissance times until the old forces of Classic intellectualism met and meshed with the forces of the Christian Church. This movement resulted in today's social inheritance and is typified by the printing press, the use of which gave its culture and doctrines more immediate and widespread reading.

Dominating this passage is the head of the Metaphysician, symbolizing the thought and writing which bind these cultures together. Below is the Craftsman, plying his bellows, typifying the innovator who works to the future, at whose forge of genius Research receives the divine spark of truth. Below are the tablets of the law, foundation of present judicial systems and the cell of the early struggling men of science who kept alive the spark of research through the Dark Ages. The Plowman and Reaper typify effort and accomplishment.

The college is symbolized by the heads of Franklin and Marshall, who also symbolize the great example, the great effort and the great accomplishment of all seekers after the truth.

Over the right shoulder of Research rises the sun of knowledge, shedding its beneficent rays upon the line of students who march to seek their life's work and who delve into old cultures and experiment with new theories as symbolized by the other face of Research.

Looking to the Future

This is the face of youth and experiment, which looks to the future, and with the aid of age and wisdom, and firmly standing upon a solid foundation of technical and philosophical knowledge, marches forward with the light of truth to new fields with fresh endeavor and to new things unheard of in the world today, as typified by the professions into which the serious student will enter, industry, business, art, politics, government, law, engineering, science, labor, social research, pedagogy, medicine, mechanics and electrics and kindred subjects, which all depend upon new ideas and incessant research for new developments and new applications.

Dominating this passage are the Scientist and Planner, who symbolize the growing tendency to control mass effort (as typified by the line of labor) and of the products of that effort, as against the free and haphazard growth of isolated thoughts and practices in past ages.

Thus Research, with its double face of Accumulated Wisdom and Free Interpretation, stands ready to aid the individual, not only to enjoy the world's general store of knowledge for its own sake, but to help him on to new achievement in his chosen profession.

Almost in the middle of the mural, beneath the heroic figure of Janus, stands a preacher, facing front with an open Bible, symbolizing the origin of the college and the influence on modern civilization of the Christian Church.

- excerpted from Dedication program of Fackenthal Library, May 31, 1938. p 39.

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