"Famous Libraries of the World"
Brooklyn College Library contains two WPA Federal Arts Project murals entitled “Famous Libraries of the World” painted by Olindo Mario Ricci in 1936-1939.
A plaque on the wall near the murals reads:
“Gracing the Library’s grandest reading room are murals of two of the ancient world’s greatest libraries: Egypt’s Alexandrian Library and Rome’s Augustan Library. Muralist Olindo Maria Ricci wanted students to ‘feel as if they are in the company of the greats as they read the classics’ and thus included many illustrious figures, including the mathematician Euclid and the poet Virgil. Ricci began the murals as a WPA artist and completed them as a Brooklyn College professor, doing much of the work in a studio in the Library’s clock tower.”
The caption on a 1939 photo of the Alexandrian Library panel reads:
“Unveiled at Brooklyn College Library today was this mural, the work of Olindo Mario Ricci, a member of the college’s art department. The panel represents a corner of the Alexandrian Library at the height of its cultural splendor. Euclid appears in the foreground, compass in hand, and surrounded by students. Young Archimedes is behind them at study. Ptolemy Philadelphus, patron of the library, enters at right, accompanied by a scribe bearing papyri. Suspended from the ceiling is a model of an Egyptian galley.”
(Brooklyn Visual Heritage)
Murals plaque in the library http://library.brooklyn.cuny.edu/library/art/?view=single&item_id=74&image_id=74 http://www.brooklynvisualheritage.org/olindo-mario-ricci-mural
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