OF THE BOSTON
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
A HANDBOOK TO THE LIBRARY BUILDING
ITS MURAL DECORATIONS AND ITS
COPYRIGHT 1916, 1920, 1921, 1930
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY EMPLOYEES
Copyright notice: In addition to the general copyright which
covers the text and illustrations, the engravings of the Sargent
paintings on pages 39 to 61 are from "Association Prints,"
copyright 1916, 1919 by the Boston Public Library Employees
Benefit Association, these prints being made from the original
paintings, copyright, 1916, 1919, by the Trustees of the Public
Library of the City of Boston.
THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Founded in 1852, first opened to the public in 1854,
the Boston Public Library is the oldest free municipal
library in any American city - in fact, in any city in the
world. It received its first large gift from Joshua Bates,
a London banker, born in Weymouth, Mass., and its first
building, in Boylston Street, on the site now occupied by
the Colonial Building, was opened in 1858, when the
Library contained seventy thousand volumes, aside from
pamphlets. In 1895, it was removed to its present loca-
tion in Copley Square, and now possesses over one and
a half million volumes, of which three-fourths are in the
Central Library and one-fourth in the Branch Libraries
and Reading Rooms in various parts of the City. It
annually lends two and one-half million volumes for use
at home; its working force consists of nearly five hun-
dred persons; and its total annual expenditure considera-
bly exceeds a million dollars, of which a small per cent
is derived from the income of its trust funds, the rest
being appropriated by the City Government. The con-
trol of the Library is vested in an unpaid board of five
Trustees, appointed by the Mayor.
The Library building, elevated upon a platform on the
west side of Copley Square, is constructed of granite
from Milford, Massachusetts; it is two hundred and
twenty-five feet long, two hundred and twenty-seven feet
deep, and seventy feet high, from sidewalk to cornice; an
annex on Blagden Street, opened in 1918, adds sixty-
eight feet to the depth of the building. Along the front
of the building, at the edge of the sidewalk, are low
granite posts, the larger of which bear heraldic eagles.
The architects of the Library, designed in the style
of the Italian Renaissance, wer2 McKim, Mead & White,
of New York; most of the actual design is the work of
Mr. Charles Follen McKim.
A heavy lower story, in effect a high basement, sup-
ports an upper story lighted by lofty arched windows,
and completed by a rich cornice, ornamented with lions'
heads and dolphins. The roof, of red tiles, is finished
above by an ornate copper cresting which softens the
sky line. Beneath the great window arches are tablets
inscribed with the world's foremost names. Immediately
above the central entrance are the significant words,
FREE TO ALL. Each of the three facades bears a bold in-
scription, just below the cornice. That on the front of
the building runs: THE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE CITY OF
BOSTON -BUILT BY THE PEOPLE AND DEDICATED TO THE
ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING. A.D. MDCCCLXXXVIII. The
Boylston Street inscription is: THE COMMONWEALTH RE-
QUIRES THE EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE AS THE SAFEGUARD
OF ORDER AND LIBERTY. The inscription on the Blagden
Street side reads: MDCCCLII. FOUNDED THROUGH THE
MUNIFICENCE AND PUBLIC SPIRIT OF CITIZENS.
THE EXTERIOR SCULPTURE
On the platform in front of the Library, set into mas-
sive granite pedestals, are two heroic seated figures in
bronze, the work of the Boston sculptor, Bela L. Pratt,
that at the left representing Science, that at the right
Art. On the pedestals are carved the names of the world's
most eminent scientists and artists.
The head of Minerva on the keystone of the central
entrance arch is the work of Augustus St. Gaudens and
"SCIENCE," BEFORE THE MAIN ENTRANCE
Domingo Mora. Above, under the great central win-
dows, are three carved seals upon backgrounds of foliage,
all of them sculptured by St. Gaudens; from left to right,
the seals are those of the Commonwealth, of the Library,
and of the City of Boston. The seal of the Library has
two nude boys, bearing great torches, as supporters; the
Latin motto above signifies "The Light of all Citizens."
The thirty-three granite medallions in the spandrels of
the window 7 arches on the three facades contain the pic-
turesque marks or trade devices of early printers, carved
by Mr. Mora.
The vestibule is of unpolished Tennessee marble; in
a niche at the left is a heroic bronze statue of Sir Harry
Vane, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in
1636, the work of Frederick MacMonnies. The building
is entered from the vestibule through three noble door-
ways, copied from the entrance of the Erechtheum at
Athens; the double bronze doors which they enclose were
designed by Daniel Chester French. Each door contains
a graceful allegorical figure, in low relief; above are
garlands, enclosing the names of the figures; below each
figure is an appropriate quotation. On the left-hand
doors are the figures of Music and Poetry; on those in
the centre, Knowledge and Wisdom; on the right-hand
doors, Truth and Romance.
THE ENTRANCE HALL
This low hall is Koinan in design, with vaults and
arches covered with mosaic, and supported by massive
pillars of Iowa sandstone. The mosaic ceiling over the
centre aisle shows a vine-covered trellis; at each side, in
the penetrations of the arches and the pendentives of the
small domes, are thirty names which have given fame
to Boston; in the most prominent positions, at either
side of the central aisle, the names are those of Haw-
thorne, Peirce (Benjamin Peirce, the mathematician),
Adams, Franklin, Emerson, and Longfellow. The floor,
of Georgia marble, is inlaid in brass with the signs of
the zodiac, the seal of the Library, the great dates in its
history, and the names of eight of its early benefactors.
Corridors open at each side of the Entrance Hall,
leading on the right to the Open Shelf Room, the In-
formation Office, the Newspaper Room, Periodical Room
and the Interior Court. Through the Court are reached
the Patent Room, files of bound newspapers, and the
Statistical Department. The corridor at the left leads
to the Coat Room, the Elevator, the Catalogue Depart-
ment, Ordering Department, and again to the Court.
Public telephone booths are near the Elevator, at the
left of the stairway.
ROOMS AT THE RIGHT OF THE ENTRANCE HALL
The Information Office is prepared to answer all sorts
of inquiries with the least possible delay; in this room
are directories and telephone books of Boston and vicinity
and of many other cities; time-tables, guide-books, maps
and a few books of general reference. Connected with
the Information Office is the Open Shelf Room, contain-
ing a selected collection of popular books (except fic-
tion) for home use. In summer books may be borrowed
from this room to be read in the Court.
The Newspaper Room contains the current newspapers,
more than three hundred in number, received by the
Library from all parts of the world, the subscriptions
paid chiefly from the income of the fund of fifty thou-
sand dollars given for the purpose by the late William
C. Todd, of Atkinson, N. H.
In the two rooms devoted to Periodicals will be found
the current numbers of between thirteen and fourteen
hundred periodicals in various languages, and also some
twenty-five thousand bound volumes of magazines, with
THE ENTRANCE HALL
indexes for aid in their use. In addition to these, about
two hundred and fifty periodicals are received and filed
in other departments of the Library.
ROOMS AT THE LEFT OF THE ENTRANCE HALL
The rooms at the left are not open to the public, except
the Coat Room, for the care of umbrellas and wraps
during the winter and in stormy weather.
The Catalogue Department cares for all details of plac-
ing the books on the shelves and of preparing the cards
for the various card catalogues; it also issues special
catalogues and reading-lists based on the resources of
The Ordering Department has charge of all matters
connected with the acquisition of books, by purchase,
gift, or exchange.
THE INTERIOR COURT
Perhaps the finest architectural feature of the Library
is the interior court, with walls of grayish-yellow brick,
and a vaulted arcade of white marble on the ground
floor; this arcade, of graceful proportions, is an almost
exact copy of the famous one in the Palazzo del la Can-
celleria in Rome, one of the most perfect creations of the
early Renaissance. About the arcade are set broad oak
benches, much used by readers in warm weather. The
court has a grassplot in the centre, enclosing a square
marble basin lined with mosaic, and a fountain. In the
granite walls of the arcade are four memorials in bronze:
a bust of General Francis A. Walker, once a Trustee of
the Library, by Richard E. Brooks; a medallion por-
trait of Robert C. Billings, one of the Library's greatest
benefactors, by Augustus St. Camions: a tablet in mem-
ory of Thomas Sergeant Perry, who "enriched this
Library by his wise counsel and his rare learning during
half a century"; and a tablet to commemorate the em-
ployees of the Library who served in the World War.
THE MAIN STAIRWAY
From the Entrance Hall opens the main stairway, lead-
ing to the principal floor of the Library, a structure of
rare beauty and dignity. The walls are of yellow Siena
marble, richly veined, which was specially quarried for
the Library; the steps are of French Echaillon marble,
ivory-gray, and full of fossil shells; the floor of the half-
way landing is inlaid with red Numidian marble. The
ceiling is of plaster, richly panelled; from it depends a
spherical chandelier of cut glass. The door on the land-
ing opens on a balcony affording an attractive view of the
interior court, which is, however, best seen from the
arcade which surrounds it.
The great lions, at the turn of the stairs, carved from
blocks of the precious Siena marble, are the work of
Louis St. Gaudens; each is a memorial to the officers and
men of a Massachusetts regiment in the Civil War -
the Second Regiment on the right, the Twentieth on the
left, as one mounts the stairs. It will be noted that these
lions are not treated conventionally, but that each is an
individual. The inscriptions on the pedestals contain
lists of the battles in which the two regiments were en-
THE Puvis DE CHAVANNES DECORATIONS
The upper part of the walls of the staircase and that
of the main corridor of the second floor at its head are
filled with a series of mural . decorations by Pierre
Cecile Puvis de Chavannes, the acknowledged master of
modern French mural painting. All were painted in his
studio in France and shipped to this country, to be
affixed to the walls of a room which the artist never
saw; the work was done with the help of architectural
models and samples of marble, and harmonizes per-
fectly with its setting.
The paintings in the eight arched panels above the
stairway symbolize the important branches of litera-
MAIN STAIRWAY. FROM ENTRANCE HAl.l.
MAIN STAIRWAY, FROM PRINCIPAL LANDING
P. PUVIS DE CHAVANNE.
ture and learning, in com-
positions of great beauty and
dignity. As one faces the
windows, the left-hand wall
(that shown in the illustration
opposite ) is occupied by rep-
resentations of Philosophy,
Astronomy, and History; the
right-hand wall bv the three
great types of Poetry, Epic,
Dramatic and Pastoral : the
rear wall, beside the windows,
by Chemistry on the left, and
Physics on the right.
The panel devoted to Phi-
losophy shows Plato talking
with one of his disciples in
a beautiful Athenian land-
scape, perhaps the Academy, with a noble Ionic colon-
nade at the left, and in the background, above a grove,
the Acropolis, with the gleaming Parthenon; other
students of Philosophy are grouped about the colonnade.
Astronomy is typified by two Chaldean shepherds,
earliest observers of the heavens; a woman looks out
upon them from a tent at the left of the picture.
The third panel on the left shows the Muse of History
standing above the partly buried ruins of a Doric temple,
conjuring it to yield up its secrets; beside her is the
Genius of Learning, with book and torch.
In the panel at the left of the windows, illustrating
Chemistry, a fairy stands in a rocky niche, watching three
winged spirits as they heat fragments of ore in a retort.
In that to the right, devoted to Physics, two female
figures, symbolizing Good and Bad News respectively,
float in the air with their hands upon the wires of the
telegraph, magical carrier of happy and sorrowful tid-
The three panels devoted to Poetry show, at the left,
Virgil in an idyllic landscape, visiting his bee-hives,
while two of the shepherds of his Eclogues idle at a dis-
tance; in the centre, scroll in hand, Aeschylus seated on
a cliff overlooking the sea, with his hero Prometheus in
the background, chained to a great rock, where the
Oceanides circle round to comfort him for the pain
caused by the vulture which tears at his vitals; at the
right, blind Homer sitting by the roadside, greeted with
gifts of laurel by two dignified female figures typifying
his great poems, the martial Iliad with helmet and spear,
the gentler Odyssey with an oar to suggest her wan-
The central composition, on the east wall of the corri-
dor at the head of the stairs, is entitled "The Muses of
Inspiration hail the Spirit, the Messenger of Light"; it
represents the Nine Muses of Greek mythology, in a
beautiful grove of laurel and olive which slopes to the
sea, rising to meet and welcome the Genius of Enlighten-
ment, who appears in the centre of the painting, above
the doorway. At each side of the doorway is a grave,
seated figure, that on the left typifying Study, that on
the right Contemplation.
THE MAIN CORRIDOR
Across the second floor of the Library, at the head of
the stairs, runs a beautiful corridor, floored with Istrian
marble, with patterns of yellow Verona in which many-
large fossil shells may be seen. On one side is a grace-
ful Corinthian arcade of Siena marble, above the stair-
case; on the other, the largest of the Puvis de Chavannes
decorations, and the central entrance to Bates Hall, the
main reading-room, reached through an exquisite little
vestibule of Bchaillon marble, enclosed on three sides
by ancient wrought iron gates brought from Italy. At
the south end of the Corridor is the Pompeian Lobby
and entrance to the Delivery Room; at the north end,
the Venetian Lobby, with entrance to the Children's
DETAIL FROM "THE MUSES
THE MAIN CORRIDOR
This noble reading room, named for the first great
benefactor of the Library, is architecturally the most
important room in the building; it has a rich barrel
vault, with half-domes at the ends, and is two hundred
and eighteen feet long, forty-two and a half feet wide
and fifty feet high. The sandstone used in the walls is
from Amherst, Ohio; the floor is of terrazzo, bordered
by yellow Verona marble; the Hall is surrounded by
oak bookcases: and the panelled vault is of plaster,
elaborately moulded. Around the sides of the Hall
are busts of great authors and eminent Bostonians; in
the frieze are carved the names of the world's most
illustrious thinkers and artists. Above the central
entrance is a richly carved balcony of Indiana lime-
stone. Near each end of the Hall, in the same wall
as the balcony, is a highly ornate doorway of black
Belgian and Alps green serpentine marble, with columns
crowned by bronze Corinthian capitals; in the adjoin-
ing bays are Renaissance mantels, of sandstone and
red Verona marble. The wall is divided into panels
by the great arches of the vault; those on the front
of the building are filled with huge round-topped
Bates Hall is the great study room of the Library.
In the bookcases which line the walls and occupy both
sides of the screens separating the main room from
the apses, are contained some ten thousand volumes
intended for ready reference; they have been selected
from all fields of literature except those of the fine and
industrial arts, and psychology and pedagogy, subjects
which have their home in other departments of the
institution. These books may be used without for-
mality by all who come to the building.
The tables accommodate three hundred readers;
often, especially on Sunday afternoons, every seat is
occupied. At the Centre Desk, opposite the main
entrance to the Hall, general information is supplied
and books are charged for home use.
THE PUBLIC CATALOGUE
In the semi-circular enclosure at the south end of the
Hall is the Public Card Catalogue which is the key
to all the books in the Library, except fiction for
general circulation and works relating to music. The
cards are arranged in 3002 drawers, in a single alpha-
bet, covering authors, subjects, and titles; from them
are obtained the call-numbers, which are used in send-
ing for books. The catalogue contains 3,000,000 cards,
more or less, with approximately 40,000 new cards added
yearly. An oil portrait by W. E. West, of Joshua Bates,
for whom Bates Hall is named, hangs on the wall.
THE DELIVERY ROOM
The southern door of the Main Corridor leads into
the Delivery Room, where books are lent for home use,
and returned by borrowers. This is a room of peculiar
richness, in the style of the early Venetian Renaissance.
The walls have a high oak wainscot, divided into panels
by fluted pilasters; the heavy beams of the ceiling bear
rich Renaissance ornaments in gilded lead; the door-
ways have Corinthian columns of red or green Levanto
marble, with bases and capitals of Rouge Antique, and
entablatures in which these marbles are combined. The
ornate mantel of polished Rouge Antique bears the date
1852, that of the founding of the Library. The lamp
brackets, of delicately wrought bronze, are of special
In front of the windows is a portion of the ancient
wooden railing before which, in the year 1607, some
of the Pilgrim Fathers stood for trial in the Guild-
hall of Boston, Lincolnshire, England. To the left of
the window is the catalogue of fiction in the English
The room fitly enshrines the work of the American
artist, Edwin Austin Abbey, R.A., whose great frieze,
the "Quest of the Holy
Grail," occupies the upper
part of the walls. The fol-
lowing description of these
paintings, which have made
the room world-famous, is
based on that written by the
late Henry James:
"THE QUEST AND
ACHIEVEMENT OF THE
HOLY GRAIL" *
The Holy Grail was fabled
to be the sacred vessel from
which our Lord had drunk
at the Last Supper, and
into which Joseph of Ari-
mathea had gathered the precious blood from His
wounds. Its existence, its preservation, its miraculous
virtues and properties, were a cherished popular belief
in the early ages of European Christianity; and in the
folk-lore whence the twelfth-century narrators drew their
material, it was represented as guarded for centuries in
the Castle of the Grail, where it awaited the coming of
the perfect knight, who alone should be worthy to have
knowledge of it; this perfect knight is introduced to us
in the romances of the Arthurian cycle.
Incomparable were the properties of the Grail, the
enjoyment of a revelation of which conveyed, among
other privileges, the ability to live, and to cause others
E. A. ABBEY
: As it has proved impossible to make satisfactory arrangements
with those who hold the copyright of the Abbey paintings (the
only mural decorations in the Library of which the copyright is
not controlled by the Trustees), it is unfortunately necessary to
publish this description without illustrations.
to live, indefinitely without food; this revelation was the
proof and recompense of the highest knightly purity,
so that the loftiest conceivable enterprise for the com-
panions of the Round Table was to attain to the vision
of the Holy Grail. The incarnation of this ideal
knighthood in the form of the legend chosen by Mr.
Abbey is that stainless Sir Galahad, with whom Tenny-
son, in more than one great poem, has touched the
imagination of all readers.
It must be noted, however, that Mr. Abbey has
made a new synthesis of the Grail material. There
exist many separate romances devoted to the Quest
of the Grail, in some of which Galahad is the hero,
in a larger number Perceval ( German, Parzival I , in
still others Gawain or Lancelot. There is no single
accepted version of the story, no fixed order in which
the incidents occur. Mr. Abbey has taken certain epi-
sodes of the story of Galahad, has added to them
others drawn from the story of Perceval, and has
arranged them somewhat with a view to the require-
ments of his space in the Delivery Room. In most
versions of the storv, the visit to the Castle of the
Maidens precedes the first visit to the Grail Castle; but
the order has no special significance. The numbers used
in the description below correspond to those beneath
the lower right-hand corner of each panel.
I. THE VISION
The child Galahad, the descendant through his mother
of Joseph of Arimathea. is visited, among the nuns who
bring him up. by a dove bearing a golden censer and
an angel carrying the Grail, the presence of which
operates as sustenance to the infant.
From the hands of the holy women the predestined
boy passed into those of the subtle Gurnemanz, who
instructed him in the knowledge of the things of the
world, and in the duties and functions of the ideal
knight. But before leaving the nuns he performed his
nightly vigil, watching alone till dawn in the church.
II. THE OATH OF KNIGHTHOOD
The ordeal of the vigil terminates in his departure.
Clothed in red, he is girt for going forth, while the
nuns bring to him Sir Lancelot - - really his father,
though unrecognized - - who fastens on one of his spurs,
and Sir Bors, who attaches the other.
III. THE ROUND TABLE
The artist here deals with the Arthurian Round Table
of the curious fable of the Seat Perilous - - "perilous
for good and evil" - in which no man has yet sat with
safety, not even the fashioner himself, but in which,
standing vacant while it awaits a blameless occupant,
the young Sir Galahad, knighted by Arthur, has sworn
a vow to be worthy to take his place. The Companions
of the Order are seated in Arthur's hall, and every chair,
save this one, is occupied. Suddenly the doors and
windows close mysteriously, the hall is flooded with
light, and Sir Galahad, robed in red (the color em-
blematic of purity), is led in by Joseph of Arimathea,
an old man clothed in white, who, according to the
romance, has subsisted for centuries by the possession
of the supreme relic. The hall is filled with a host of
angels, one of whom withdraws the mantle by which the
Seat Perilous has been covered; above it becomes visible
the legend, 'This is the Seat of Galahad." King Arthur
rises from his canopied throne, and bows himself in the
presence of a mystery; the knights recognize one purer
than themselves, and greet him by lifting on high the
cross-shaped hilts of their swords.
IV. THE DEPARTURE
The knights are about to go forth on their search
for the Holy Grail, now formally instituted by King
Arthur. They have heard Mass and are receiving the
episcopal benediction, Sir Galahad, as always, in red.
Throughout this series he is the "bright boy-knight" of
Tennyson, though not, as that poet represents him,
"white-armored": his device is a red cross on a white
V. THE CASTLE OF THE GRAIL *
Amfortas, the "Fisher King" of the legends, to whom
Joseph had entrusted the Grail, has been wounded,
centuries past, in the cause of unlawful love, and now
lies under a spell, with all the inmates of the Castle of
the Grail, into which the artist here introduces us. The
aged King rests on a bier in the centre of a massive
hall, surrounded by his court; all are spiritually dead
and, although the Grail often appears in the midst of
them, they cannot see it. From this strange perpetua-
tion of ineffectual life none of them can be liberated by
death until the most blameless knight shall at last arrive.
It will not be sufficient, however, that he simply pene-
trate into the castle; to the operation of the remedy is
attached that condition which recurs so often in primitive
romance, the asking of a Question on which everything
depends. Sir Galahad has reached his goal, but his
single slight taint of imperfection, begotten of the too
worldly teachings of Gurnemanz, defeats his beneficent
action. As the procession of the Grail passes before
the visitor, he tries to fathom its meaning. He sees the
bearer of the Grail, the damsel with the head in a
golden dish (the prototype of whom was, perhaps,
Salome bearing the head of John the Baptist on a
charger), the two knights with seven-branched candle-
sticks and the knight holding aloft the Bleeding Spear,
with which Longinus had pierced the side of Christ.
The duty resting upon Galahad is to ask what these
things denote, but, with the presumption of one who
" Includes elements drawn from the story of Perceval.
supposes himself to have imbibed all knowledge, he
refrains, considering that he is competent to guess. But
he pays for his silence, inasmuch as it forfeits for him
the glory of redeeming from this paralysis of centuries
the old monarch and his hollow-eyed Court, forever
dying, yet never dead, whom he leaves folded in their
dreadful doom. On his second visit, many years later,
he is better inspired. (See XI, below.)
VI. THE LOATHLY DAMSEL *
It is the morning after his visit to the Castle of the
Grail. Awakening in the chamber to which he had
been led the previous night, Sir Galahad found the
castle deserted. Issuing forth, he saw 7 his horse saddled
and the drawbridge down. Thinking to find in the
forest the inmates of the castle, he rode forth, but the
drawbridge closed suddenly behind him, a wail of
despair moaned across it, and voices mocked him for
having failed to ask the effectual Question.
He fares forward and presently meets three damsels;
the first, the Loathly Damsel, is riding upon a pale
mule with a golden bridle. This lady, once beautiful,
is now noble still in form, but hideous in feature; she
wears a red cloak and a hood about her head, for she
is bald; in her arms is the head of a dead king, en-
circled with a golden crown. The second lady is riding
in the manner of an esquire. The third is on her feet,
dressed as a stripling, and in her hand is a scourge with
which she drives the two animals. These damsels
are under the spell of the Castle of the Grail. They
assail Sir Galahad with curses for having failed on the
previous day to ask the Question, which would not
only have delivered them and the inmates of the castle,
but would have restored peace and plenty to the
land. Instead, he must endure many sorrows and ad-
ventures and many years must pass before he shall
|: From the story of Perceval.
return to the Castle of the Grail, where, having through
all ordeals remained sinless, he will finally ask the
Question which shall redeem the sin-stricken land.
VII. THE SEVEN SINS
Sir Galahad is here seen at the gate of the Castle of
the Maidens, where the seven knights of Darkness, the
seven Deadly Sins, have imprisoned a great company
of maidens, the Virtues, in order to keep them from
all contact with man. It is Sir Galahad's mission to
overcome Sin and redeem the world by setting free
the Virtues, and he accordingly fights the seven knights
till he overcomes them.
VIII. THE KEY TO THE CASTLE
Having passed the outer gate, Sir Galahad encounters
a monk, who blesses him and delivers up to him the
great key of the Castle.
IX. THE CASTLE OF THE MAIDENS
Sir Galahad's entry into the Castle is here shown.
The imprisoned maidens have long been expecting him,
for it had been prophesied that the perfect knight would
come to deliver them. They welcome him with shy
delight, putting out their hands to be kissed; behind
him lies his white shield bearing the red cross painted
with his own blood by Josephes, son of Joseph of
Arimathea. Having accomplished this mission, Sir
Galahad passed on to other deeds.
In the course of his journeyings, Galahad met his
old teacher Gurnemanz, now dying. Gurnemanz bade
him wed his early love Blanchefleur as a step toward
the achievement of the Grail. On their wedding morn-
ing, however, a vision warned him that he must remain
a virgin knight, and we see him here bidding farewell
to Blanchefleur that he may continue the Quest of the
Holy Grail. A new-born knowledge has unsealed Sir
Galahad's eyes, but with this knowledge is begotten the
strength to overcome, and to renounce every human
XI. THE DEATH OF AMFORTAS '
Having passed through many adventures, Sir Gala-
had at last returned to the Castle of the Grail. The
procession once more passed before him, and this time,
grown wise by experience and suffering, he asked the
Question, and thereby healed Amfortas, cleansing him
from sin, and allowing the old king to die. As he
gratefully breathes his last in the arms of Galahad, an
Aneel bears awav the Grail from the castle, not to be
seen again until the day when Sir Galahad achieves it
at Sarras, the Saracen city to which Joseph had first
carried the precious vessel.
XII. GALAHAD THE DELIVERER f
Sir Galahad, having now accomplished his great task.
is guided by the spirit of the Grail toward the goal
which shall end his labors. Borne upon a white charger
and followed by the blessings of the people, whom
he has freed from the spell, he is seen passing from
the land of Amfortas, where peace and plenty once
XIII. SOLOMON'S SHIP
Sir Galahad is here in Solomon's Ship, which he has
found waiting to carry him across the seas to Sarras.
The Grail, borne by an Angel, guides the ship. Sir
Bors and Sir Perceval accompany him. Having sinned
once, they can never see the Grail themselves, yet.
" Includes elements of the Perceval story, f From the story of
having persevered faithfully in the Quest, they have
acquired the right to follow Sir Galahad and witness
his achievement. Resting upon a cushion in the stern
of the ship are three spindles made from the 'Tree of
Life" - one snow-white, one green, one blood-red.
According to an old legend, Eve, when driven from
the Garden of Eden, carried with her the branch
which she had plucked from the 'Tree of Life." The
branch, when planted, grew to be a tree, with branches
and leaves white, in token that Eve was a virgin when
she planted it. When Cain was begotten, the tree
turned green ; and afterward, when Cain slew Abel,
the tree turned red.
XIV. THE CITY OF SARRAS
The city of Sarras, with the red-cross shield of Gala-
had, its king, and the sword which he had drawn from
a block of marble, soon after arriving at Arthur's court.
XV. THE GOLDEN TREE
Upon a hill at Sarras, Sir Galahad made a Sacred
Place and built a Golden Tree. Morning and evening
he repaired thither, and from day to day he beautified
the tree. Finally it is complete, and Joseph of Arima-
thea. with a company of red-winged seraphs, appears
with the Grail, now at last uncovered. As Sir Galahad
gazes upon it, crown, sceptre, and royal robe fall from
him; he no longer needs them. Having beheld the
source of all life and knowledge and power, the spirit
of Galahad had achieved its end in life, and won release
from the narrow confines of his body. The Grail
itself was borne heavenward, never again to be seen
REGISTRATION DEPARTMENT AND TUBE ROOM
Opening from the west side of the Delivery Room are
the Registration Department, where borrowers' cards
are issued; and the Tube Room, from which pneumatic
tubes lead to the book-stacks. Call-slips presented at
the Delivery Desk are sent through the tubes to any of
the seven floors, and the books desired are carried from
the shelves on small cars over the "book railway'' to
automatic elevators which deliver the cars and the books
at the Tube Room.
DIRECTOR'S OFFICE AND TRUSTEES' ROOM
The corridor by the Registration Desk leads to the
Director's Office, through a lobby in which is kept a
portion of the Library's collection of manuscripts.
Above the Registration Department, and reached through
the Director's Office, is the Trustees' Room, with rich
panelling and furniture of the Empire period, and a
delicately carved Renaissance mantel, all brought from
France. In this room hang Copley's great painting,
"Charles the First demanding the Surrender of the Five
Members in the House of Commons," which was pre-
sented to the Library by a group of citizens in 1859;
and a number of portraits.
The lobby of the Trustees' Room contains the valu-
able collection of autographs bequeathed to the Library
by Mellen Chamberlain, Librarian from 1878 to 1890.
POMPEIAN AND VENETIAN LOBBIES
Outside the entrance to the Delivery Room, at the
end of the Main Corridor, is the Pompeian Lobby,
decorated by Mr. Elmer E. Garnsey, of New York.
The gay decoration, of Roman type, is painted directly
on the plaster. In this Lobby is a shell-shaped drinking
fountain of Echaillon marble; beside it is a counter at
which photographs, post-cards and handbooks of the
Library may be purchased.
At the opposite end of the Main Corridor is the
Venetian Lobby, with painted decorations by Mr.
Joseph Lindon Smith, of Boston. Over the door of the
Children's Room is a sculptured block brought from
Venice, displaying the Lion of St. Mark supporting an
open book with the motto of that city. At either side
of this slab, which dates from the sixteenth century,
are the figures of two nude boys upholding heavy gar-
lands. In the recess, above the window, is a painting
representing the allegorical marriage of Venice, a young
woman, and the Adriatic, typified by a youth with a
trident at his feet. Behind, blessing the union, kneels
St. Theodore, the first patron of Venice, with the croc-
odile which he is said to have slain. In the niches are
two lists of names - - those of the most illustrous doges
of Venice, and those of her greatest painters. In the
pedentives of the dome over the central portion of
the Lobby are the names of eleven Italian cities, once
subject to Venice; while in the dome at the right, over
the staircase landing, are the names of the eastern pos-
sessions of the Queen of the Adriatic. The peacock
above symbolizes immortality. This Lobby, like the
Pompeian Lobby described above, is lighted by an
elaborate lantern of gilded bronze.
The decorations of these two lobbies are the only
examples of true mural painting in the Library. All
the other decorations were painted on canvas, and ap-
plied to the walls and ceilings after completion.
At the left of the door to the Children's Room
stands a statue in marble of a ''Child and Swan," by
Leopoldo Ansiglione, given by Miss Mary F. Bartlett.
On the wall of the landing opposite, at the foot of the
Sargent Stairway, is placed a reproduction in bronze
of the Declaration of Independence, given by Governor
Alvan T. Fuller.
THE CHILDREN'S ROOM
At the north end of the Main Corridor opens the
Children's Room, which is surrounded by low cases con-
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, BY DUPLESSIS
taining books for little folks. On the side walls hang
the original paintings by Howard Pyle, used as illus-
trations to Woodrow Wilson's "George Washington."
THE TEACHERS' REFERENCE ROOM
Off the Children's Room, to the left, is a room
beautifully finished in dark oak. containing reference
books for the use of teachers and school-children. In
the upper part of the cases, protected by chains, is an
impressive collection of old books, the library of Presi-
dent John Adams, bequeathed by him in 1826 to the
town of Quincy, and now deposited here in trust.
In this room are hung framed autographed copies of
"America," by S. F. Smith, and the "Battle Hymn of
the Republic," by Julia Ward Howe, signed by their
On the ceiling is a decoration, "The Triumph of
Time," by John Elliott, placed here in 1901.
"THE TRIUMPH OF TIME"
The painting contains thirteen winged figures. The
twelve female figures represent Hours, and the one male
figure. Time. The Christian Centuries are typified by
twenty horses, arranged in five rows, of four each; in
each row the two centre horses are side by side, and
between these and the outer horses are tw r o of the
winged figures representing Hours. On either side of
the car in which is the figure of Time are the Hours
of Life and Death. Seen from before the door of the
Children's Room, the design begins in the neighborhood
of the nearer left-hand corner, and describes a semi-
circle, witli a downward sweep over a groundwork
of clouds, back to the left again, to a point about two-
thirds across the canvas; it culminates in a disk, the
sun, before which are the leading horse and the figure
typifying the present Hour. In the nearer right-hand
corner is a crescent moon with the full disk faintly
showing. The shades of gray in which the decoration
is painted lend to it something of the dignity of sculp-
ture. One can trace in the horses the artist's conception
of the spirit of successive centuries; note especially the
eighteenth, with its nervous forward spring.
To the rear of the Teachers' Reference Room is the
Lecture Hall, which is reached by a separate entrance
from Boylston Street; it is used for courses of free
lectures held on Sunday afternoons and Thursday
evenings, and for various other meetings and classes,
all open to the public. The Hall seats about five
hundred persons, and has a commodious stage, and
complete equipment for the projection of lantern slides
and moving pictures. On the south wall of the Hall
hangs a painting by D. Fernandez y Gonzalez, a Spanish
artist, representing St. Justa and St. Rufina, patron
saints of Seville, in the prison where they suffered
martyrdom in the year 287.
Turning to the left on going out of the Children's
Room, one ascends to the upper floor of the Library by
an enclosed stairway of gray sandstone, adorned only
by handrails of Alps green marble on either side. From
the landing half-way up, a door opens on the balcony
overlooking Bates Hall.
The corridor of the upper, or Special Libraries Floor,
is popularly called Sargent Hall, for the eminent
American painter, John Singer Sargent, R.A., who so
unstintingly devoted his genius to its decoration. It
is eighty-four feet long, twenty-three feet wide, and
twenty-six feet high, with a vaulted ceiling lighted from
This long, narrow room, its height greater than its
width, has been made glorious by the mural decorations
of Mr. Sargent, who re-
ceived the commission for
this work in 1890; it repre-
sents about thirty years of
thought and labor and is one
of the few records in the
world of the progressive de-
velopment of an artist, en-
gaged upon a single theme.
These decorations will al-
ways remain a constant ex-
pression of the life-work of
one of the greatest painters
of modern times. The in-
completeness of the series
of panels will always be a JOHN s SARCENT
cause for regret. The follow-
ing description of Mr. Sargent's work is based upon
comment written by Mr. Sylvester Baxter in an earlier
edition of the Handbook.
JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY
The subject chosen by the artist is conceived as the
development of religious thought from paganism through
Judaism to Christianil\ . The work as it stands was
placed in position in four instalments: the paintings at
the North end of the Hall in 1895. the South end wall
in 1903, the niches and vaulting at the South end and
the lunettes along the side walls in 1916, and the t\\<>
panels over the staircase in 1919.
Not only the paintings, but all the decorations of the
Hall, are the work of Mr. Sargent. He modelled the
relief of dolphins* above the door of the Treasure
*The repeated use of the dolphin in the decoration of the Li-
brary is symbolic of the intimate relation of Boston to the sea.
Room; the great frames over the stairs are his .work:
even the electric fixtures were designed by him. All
the splendid plastic decoration of the vaulting is the
product of his hand and brain; he personally modelled
the symbolic reliefs which are the chief ornaments of the
ceiling; he selected all the mouldings and other elements
which make up the gorgeous whole, and on which
depend so largely the unity and architectural beauty
of the room. Even more significant is the manner in
which Mr. Sargent worked out the color harmony
of the Hall; each element in the great composition
subtly contributes its part to the large effect, so that
the eye finds satisfaction wherever it falls. The gold of
the vaulting binds the whole into a unity, and fuses the
work of thirty years into a single act; this unity is
further aided by the grayish-blue used as a ground
color, which is constantly introduced for relief in con-
junction with the gold of the architectural decoration.
This is not the place in which to attempt an estimate
of the beauty or the artistic importance of the Sargent
paintings. Their harmony and variety of color, their
boldness and power of design, their combination of
subtle intellectual quality with unfailing artistic propri-
ety are obvious to any beholder; no one can visit this
room and not know that he is in the presence of the
product of genius, handling a great subject greatly.
It is more to the point to draw the visitor's attention
to the unusual and daring methods taken by the artist
to produce his effects, especially to the constant inter-
change of painting and sculpture. This is nowhere more
striking than in the majestic figure of Moses, standing
immovable in high relief in the centre of the Frieze of the
Prophets. The use of sculpture here gives to the figure
a monumental quality as the representative of the Hebrew
religion at the moment when it took on its essential
character. In the portion of the vaulting devoted to the
pagan divinities, the employment of modelling merely
serves to give weight and emphasis to the design, and
to enrich the decorative quality of the work; its effect
is especially marked
in the great serpent
about the neck of
the Goddess Neith.
At the south end
of the Hall, the
plastic art was used
to good purpose in
the modelling of the
faces of the three
Persons of the Trin-
ity, which are all
cast from a single
mould. The great
Crucifix here cor-
responds as a salient
feature to the Moses
of the opposite end.
gaining a similar
emphasis and power
from its high relief.
Modelling is else-
where used with fine
perhaps this is no-
where more marked
than in the candlesticks of Our Lady of Sorrows, where
an actual perspective is obtained by the use of relief. It
is interesting to note that the relief is always employed
for a purpose, and never except where the end justifies
it: in the Fall of Gog and Magog, for example, the
sword is painted, not modelled: had it been modelled,
it might have appeared to be falling out of the picture.
The sequence of paintings begins at the north end
of the Hall - - the end farthest from the head of the
stairs. Its content may be analyzed as follows:
At the North End of the Hall
Ceiling: Pagan religions of countries surrounding Palestine.
Lunette: Children of Israel, oppressed by pagan neighbors, ex-
pressing their dependence on the True God.
Frieze: The Hebrew Prophets, typifying the progress of the Jews
in religious thought, with final expectation of the Messiah.
In the Eastern Lunettes
Left: The downfall of paganism, as preached by Hebrew prophets.
Centre: The Hebrew ideal the chosen people protected by Je-
hovah, through its observance of the Law.
Right: The Messianic era, foretold by Hebrew prophets.
At the South End of the Hall
Lunette: Doctrine of the Trinity.
Frieze and Crucifix: Doctrine of the Redemption.
Ceiling and Niches: Doctrine of the Incarnation.
In the Western Lunettes
Left: Heaven. Centre: The Judgment. Right: Hell.
THE MEDIAEVAL CONTRAST
On the East Wall
Left panel: The Synagogue. Right panel: Tbe Church.
The decoration of the north end comprises three sec-
tions, the narrow strip of vaulting in the last bay of the
Hall, the lunette on the end wall, and the frieze below
both lunette and vault.
The lunette represents the Children of Israel beneath
the yoke of their oppressors, on the left the Egyptian
Pharaoh, on the right the King of Assyria, their arms
uplifted to strike with sword and scourge. The Isra-
elites are typified by twelve nude figures; some crouch,
despairing, under the yoke of Assyria; the hand of
Pharaoh grasps the hair of those in the centre; but
already a number raise their hands in supplication to
NORTH END OF SARGENT HALL
Jehovah, and in the background can be seen the flames
of the sacrifice rising to the True God. Above, the
wings of the Seraphim screen the face of the All Holy,
upon which no man may look; only His mighty arms
may be seen, stretched forth to stay the oppressors.
Prostrate victims beneath the feet of both Assyrian and
Egyptian represent the other nations that were con-
quered by them, while behind each are figures sym-
bolizing the national deities. Upon the gold ground
of the rib which separates the lunette from the ceiling
are inscribed the following passages from Psalm 106:
"They forgat God their saviour, which had done great
things in Egypt, and they served idols, which were a
snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and
their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood,
even the blood of their sons and their daughters, unto
the idols of Canaan. Therefore w : as the wrath of the
Lord kindled against his people, and he gave them
into the hand of the heathen ; and they that hated them
ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard
their cry, and he remembered for them his covenant."
These passages constitute a link betw r een the paintings
of the vaulting and those of the lunettes, and are a com-
mentary upon them.
On the vaulting are represented the pagan divinities,
the strange gods whom the Children of Israel went after
when they turned from Jehovah. Underlying all, her
feet touching the cornice upon one side, her hands upon
the other, is the gigantic shadowy form of the Egyptian
goddess NYU, mother of the Universe. Her body is the
Firmament, whose stars shine on her swarthy breast.
Her collar is a golden zodiac, its gem the disk of the sun.
whose rays end in hand opened
to shed bounty upon the earth.
About her neck coils the ser-
pent of the sun-myth, with its
symbolism of the eternal con-
flict between summer and win-
ter: on one side Adonis,
typifying the warmth of spring,
discharges an arrow into the
throat of the defiant serpent;
on the other, the archer and his
beloved Astarte are crushed in
the serpent's folds, which con-
ceal the zodiacal signs of the
The central figure on the left
of the arch is Moloch, god of
material things, a hideous
monster with the sun between
the horns of his bull's head,
and outstretched hands clutch-
ing his infant victims. Below
him stand the sombre figures
of the Egyptian trinity Osiris
(in the centre), Isis and Horus.
At their feet the hawk of the
soul hovers over an Egyptian
mummy; just above the cornice
is the symbol of the winged
On the right, opposite, is the
soulless figure of Astarte, the
Phoenician goddess of sensu-
ality. Veiled in blue, she
stands upon the crescent moon,
between slender columns; be-
hind her is the tree of life,
whose pine cones project on
either side. Within her veil
six enticing female figures
wave their arms in rhythmic
dance, while two of her victims are gnawed by monsters.
The third division of this portion of the work is the
Erieze of the Prophets, with Moses as the central figure
holding the tablets brought down from Sinai; thus
is symbolized the foundation of the religion of Israel
upon the structure of the Law. The prophets in their
order from left to right are: Zephaniah, Joel, Obadiah,
Hosea, Amos, Nahum, Ezekiel, Daniel, Elijah, Moses,
Joshua, Jeremiah. Jonah, Isaiah, Habakkuk. Micah.
Haggai, Malachi. Zechariah ; the last three have out-
stretched arms, and faces expectant of the Messiah.
The portion of the decoration in corresponding posi-
tion at the opposite end of the hall sets forth the Dogma
of the Redemption, and to this lead up the three Judaic
lunettes on the east wall, above the staircase. Of these
the subjects are: in the centre. "The Law"; on the left,
The Fall of Gog and Magog"; and on the right, "The
Messianic Era". The three lunettes on the west wall,
opposite, set forth the development of the Christian con-
cepts of 'The Judgment," in the centre, with "Hell" on
the right, and on the left, 'The Passing of Souls into
In their turbulent, terrible, and chaotic qualities both
the "Hell" and the
"Gog and Magog"
agree in spirit with
the work in the ad-
end dealing with
grounded in fear. In FALL OF GOG AND MAGOG
the other four paintings beauty and concord dominate.
In "The Law." Israel is seen under the mantle of Jehovah,
fulfilling the mission of his race in giving himself up to
the study of the divine law laid down for the guidance
of the Chosen People. Inscribed in Hebrew below the
arch are the words of the Jewish ritual spoken before the
recitation of the Commandments, a portion of which
appears upon the
scroll of the Law.
The lunette on the
left, "The Fall of
Gog and Magog,"
pictures the final mo-
ment when all things
earthly shall perish
and the universe shall come to an end. Altar, temple,
chariot and horses, victor's palm and bloody sword fall
tumbling through space, along with Saturn and a blazing
comet; the two figures suggest Mars and Mercury.
In contrast with this, at the other end of the wall,
we see dawning "The Messianic Era." The race,
purified and perfected of soul, under the leadership of
THE MESSIANIC ERA
a lad, the Son of Man, enters into a new paradise, the
gates of which are swung open by beautiful youths.
Upon the scroll is lettered in Hebrew the prophecy of
Isaiah, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is
given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders;
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The
Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of
Peace." Other proph-
ecies of Isaiah are in-
dicated by the wolf
and the lamb, the
child and the lion,
the pomegranate, the
fig and the vine.
HELL At the south end
of the hall is set forth the Dogma of the Redemption,
with the related theme of the Incarnation. Just as the
figure of Moses, with the Law as the central fact of the
religion of the Jews, forms the focal point in the first
decoration, so here the Crucifix, bearing the figure of
the Redeemer who satisfied the Law and brought a new
dispensation, takes a similar central position.
In the lunette
above, seated in state
upon a magnificent
throne. are three
colossal figures, the
Persons of the Trini-
ty. That the three
are one is made man-
ifest by the exact similarity of the faces and by the
fact that one vast garment envelops and unites them.
This cope of red has an orphrey of gold which runs
through the picture like a ribbon, winding about the
Persons of the Trinity and inscribed with the word
Sanctus, meaning Holy, continually repeated. The
heads of the Trinity wear each a different form of
SOUTH END OF SARGENT HALL
crown, while each figure raises the right hand in bene-
diction in the Eastern manner; the central Person
bears in his left hand the orb of dominion.
On the cross is the figure of the dying Christ, with
Adam and Eve, typifying humanity, kneeling on either
side. They are bound closely to the body of Christ,
since all are of one flesh, and each holds a chalice to
receive the Precious Blood. About the feet of Adam
is entangled the Serpent of Temptation. Above the
cross there is inscribed in Latin, "The sins of the world
have been forgiven." At the foot of the cross the
Saviour is symbolized by the pelican feeding its young
with its own blood, while around the lunette doves
typify the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
On the cornice that separates the frieze from the lunette
is a Latin inscription," which may be rendered, "I, God
:: Following, with the substitution of redimo for judico. an in-
scription in the Cathedral of Cefalu, Sicily (A.D. 1148).
in the flesh, man's maker and redeemer, myself made
man. redeem both body and soul."
In the frieze of the Angels which flanks the Crucifix
on both sides, we have a balance for the frieze of the
Prophets opposite. These angels, whose faces are of
singular beauty, bear the instruments of the Passion:
the sponge, the reed, the nails, the spear, the hammer
and pincers, the pillar, the scourge, the crown of thorns,
the ladder. The two angels
upholding the cross bear.
wrought on their
the conventionalized svmbols
of the Eucharist, wheat and
In the niche on the east wall
is portrayed the Handmaid of
the Lord, the blessed Virgin
Mary with her Divine Child.
The Virgin is just rising from
her throne; the Child in her
arms raises his hand in bene-
diction. Two angels above
uphold a crown bearing the
Dove: about them winds a
scroll upon which in Latin are
inscribed the traditional titles:
Vessel of the Spirit, Chosen
Vessel, Inclosed Garden, Tower
of David, Tower of Ivory.
Opposite, on the west wall.
Our Lady of Sorrows is repre- THE HANDMAID OF THE LORD
sented as a statue above an altar behind a screen of
lighted candles. The figure, which has an elaborate silver
crown and halo, and is vested in a cope, stiff with em-
broidery, stands upon the crescent moon. The seven
swords thrust into the heart of the Virgin typify the
Upon the vault between these two niches are repre-
sented the events in the life of Christ and of the Blessed
Virgin, collectively called the Fifteen Mysteries, medita-
tion upon which is practised in the recital of the Rosary.
The Mysteries are divided into three groups: the
Joyful Mysteries, centering about the birth of Christ;
the Sorrowful Mysteries, centered in His death; and
the Glorious Mysteries,
including the Resurrec-
tion, the Ascension, and
the Assumption of the
Above the Madonna
and Child are the five
Joyful Mysteries. The
first in the group, "The
Annunciation," fills the
central rectangular pan-
el. The Angel Gabriel
appears to the Virgin
who, kneeling before
God's messenger, re-
ceives in humility the
marvelous tidings. Upon
a decorative scroll ap-
pear the words of the
"Hail, thou that art
highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou
among women," and the reply, '"Behold the handmaid
of the Lord ; be it unto me according to thy word." The
Virgin appears to have been reading Isaiah's prophecy
of the birth of Christ. In the oblong panel to the left
we have "The Visitation," the meeting of Mary and her
cousin Elizabeth. The panel below depicts "The Na-
tivity"; Mary and John the Baptist adore the new-born
Infant, flanked by two angels bearing the crown of
THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES
OUR LADY OF SORROWS
THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
thorns and the nails. In the small panel above is de-
picted "The Presentation," at the moment when Simeon
takes the Child in his arms. In the panel on the right
is represented "The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple."
Opposite, on the west side of the arch, are depicted
the five Sorrowful Mysteries. In the small panel at the
top is the first of the series. "The Agony in the Garden."
In the panel on the right is shown The Scourging,"
while that on the left presents "The Crowning with
Thorns." The small panel below is occupied by The
Carrying of the Cross."
These four compositions
lead up to the central
ject, "The Crucifixion
Death of Our Lord."
In the centre of the arch
the medallion and
resent the five Glorious Mys-
teries. To the left of the
medallion, below, is shown
"The Resurrection," and to
the right, above, The As-
cension;" in the remaining
Descent of the Holy Ghost" I lower right-hand I, and
"The Assumption of the Virgin" (upper left-hand). The
great article of the medallion is filled by the relief
depicting "The Coronation of the Virgin," the interpre-
tation of the inscription within the rim being, "Hail.
Queen of Heaven! Come, my chosen one, and I will
set thee on my throne."
In the spaces outside the panels are subordinate figures
and designs. Surrounding the central relief are the em-
blems of the Evangelists. Matthew and Luke at the left.
John and Mark at the right. Above the Madonna and
Child are Eve. and the Mother of God: in similar po-
sitions above Our Lady of Sorrows are Adam, and the
THE GLOKIOl S MYSTKRIES
quarters are shown "The
Good Shepherd. In the little circular frames directly
over the Madonnas are the head of John the Baptist at
the left, and the handkerchief of Veronica at the right.
On the vaulting between the two long walls appear
in relief various conventional symbols, in two series.
Beginning at the northeast corner of the vaulting, above
'The Fall of Gog and Magog," and going from left to
right around the hall, the first series, at the junctions
of the vaulting ribs with the frames of the skylights,
consists of the Scroll of the Law and the Seven-Branched
Candlestick, the Head of Burnt Offering, the Instruments
of Music, the Tabernacle of
the Eucharist, the Victor's
Crown and Palms, and the
Eucharistic Chalice. The
second series, the medallions
in the penetrations of the in-
tersecting vaults, comprises
the Head of the Scape-goat
with the Instruments of
the Sacrifice, the Ark of
the Covenant, the Seven-
Branched Candlestick, the
PEACOCKS OF IMMORTALITY r> , r T T
reacocks or Immortality,
the Petrine Tiara and Keys, and the Monogram of Sal-
vation. The symbols on the east are Jewish, those on
the west Christian, in origin.
In the central lunette on the west wall, "The
Judgment" balances "The Law'' opposite, the angel
holding before him the great scales in which are weighed
the souls of the dead, called forth from the opening
graves by the sound of the trumpet. From the scales
the condemned are thrust down by demons into hell-fire,
while the souls of just men made perfect are received
into the arms of angels. This conception of the weigh-
ing of souls is of Egyptian origin, and figures also in
Greek religious thought.
The two companion lunettes on this wall continue
the central composition. In the "Hell" is seen a Satanic
monster swimming in a sea of flame and devouring the
multitude of lost souls. The handling suggests in-
terminability, tempestuous with evil - - a unity of dis-
cordance. No painting in the entire series shows more
power or greater technical mastery than this.
In contrast, the composition on the left expresses the
divine harmony which attends the entrance of the blessed
into the heavenly kingdom. The movement begun in the
central lunette is here continued. The celestial choir is
symbolized by the three groups of singing angels with
their harps; around them, weaving itself in and out,
winds the endless chain of the redeemed.
The latest additions to Mr. Sargent's w r ork are the two
panels in the architectural frames over the staircase, put
in place in the autumn of 1919. These are mediaeval
in their point of view, and are entitled respectively
"Church" and "Synagogue."
As will be seen from the analysis on page 48, the
sequence of paintings shows the steady progress in the
development of religious thought from pagan through
Jewish and Christian channels, well into the Middle
Ages; there is careful balance between the Hebraic and
Christian conceptions, point by point, as far as possible.
The new panels continue this balance, from the stand-
point of mediaeval Christianity. The Hebrew faith,
which Mr. Sargent has sympathetically shown as the
great forerunner of Christianity, was regarded by medi-
aeval churchmen as having forfeited its high place
through its failure to recognize the claim of Christ as the
expected Messiah, and was accordingly represented as
blind and dethroned; the Church itself was naturally
depicted as having succeeded to both the vision and the
leadership lost by the Jewish religion. This view was
expressed in the art of the Middle Ages by the opposi-
tion of two figures, the Synagogue, sightless and fallen;
the Church, outlooking and triumphant. This phase of
religious thought Mr. Sargent, still preserving his bal-
ance, has embodied in these panels.
It is interesting to note that in mediaeval art, the
figure of the Church is commonly at the left, the Syna-
gogue at the right: the positions are here transposed, in
order to bring the Synagogue at the Hebrew end, and the
Church at the Chris-
tian end of the Hall.
and preserving a
the two panels and
the other work at
the related ends of
the Hall, Mr. Sar-
gent has represent-
ed the Synagogue
as a gray-haired
woman of massive
frame, seated in an
attitude of despair
upon the worn and
broken step of a
temple, above a mo-
saic pavement; her
eyes are blindfold-
ed, the crown is
falling from her
head, her powerful arms clutch to her breast a broken
sceptre and the Tables of the Law. About her, filling
much of the frame, are the folds of a great curtain, the
decoration of which consists of conventionalized Sera-
phim the same winged shapes which shroud the face
of Jehovah in the lunette at the north end of the Hall.
The picture presents the loss of dignity and of empire
through loss of vision, which was the mediaeval view
of the fate of the Jewish religion.
The other panel presents the mediaeval Church, as con-
ceived by herself. Upon a great throne sits a powerful
female figure, stiff, solid, statuesque, with mystic gaze
fixed on space; her dress is that of a nun. The elbows
of the figure rest on the arms of the throne; in the right
hand is the Euchar-
istic chalice, in the
left, a monstrance;
across the hands
lies a veil. Between
the knees of the
Church, with arms
resting limply upon
them, is the figure
of the dead Christ,
with wounds in
hands and feet, and
wearing the crown
of thorns: the figure
is largely covered
by the folds of the
Church's robe. On
the sides of the
throne, typifying the
foundation of the
Christian faith upon
Jeremiah. Daniel, and Ezekiel ; while about the head
of the Church are grouped the symbols of the four
Evangelists: Mark, Matthew. John, and Luke.
The death of Mr. Sargent in 1925 left the decoration
of the gallery incomplete and a large panel over the
stairway is blank,
In the middle of the west side of Sargent Hall, steps
lead up to the Treasure Room. This room, of beautiful
proportions, contains the Library's rarest books, includ-
ing such notable examples as the first five folios of
Shakespeare and the Bay Psalm Book, the earliest book
printed in the American Colonies, known to be extant.
THE Music LIBRARY
The door at the north end of Sargent Hall, beneath
the "Frieze of the Prophets," leads to the Allen A. Brown
Music Library. This contains the valuable collection of
works of music and allied subjects given in 1894 by
Mr. Brown, and supplemented by the large number of
similar books gathered by the Library. In this room
stands an interesting old piano made by Benjamin Cre-
hore, of Milton, about the year 1800.
From the north end of the Music Room one enters the
Special Collections Division, in which are preserved the
literary treasures of the Library. These consist largely
of special collections given to the Library from time
to time, each representative of the tastes of its donor.
Among these collections should be mentioned the Bar-
ton Library of Shakespeareana and other Elizabethan
books; the collection of Spanish and Portuguese books
made by the late George Ticknor, a Trustee of the
Library, in writing his History of Spanish Literature;
the Brown Dramatic Collection, consisting of books on
the history of the theatre given by the late Allen A.
Brown, donor of the Music Collection; the Galatea
Collection of books by and about women, the gift of the
late Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson; the Prince
Library, bequeathed to the Old South Church by its
pastor in 1758, and deposited here for safe-keeping;
the Artz Collection in commemoration of Henry Wads-
worth Longfellow, consisting of American and English
authors; the Twentieth Regiment Collection, books re-
lating chiefly to the Civil War hut containing many of
later wars of the United States; the Browning Collection
of books by and relating to Robert Browning and Eliza-
beth Barrett Browning; the Bowditch Library of books
on mathematics and astronomy; and the Library's fine
collection of maps including many of Boston.
From the opposite end of Sargent Hall one enters
a series of rooms occupied by the Divisions of Fine
Arts and Technology. The first of these, the Exhibi-
tion Room, is used for the display of books and pictures
from the collections of the Library. The exhibitions,
which are frequently changed, usually illustrate some
current topic. In the corners of the room, on standards,
are lithographic copies of famous paintings published
by the Arundel Society of London.
FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT
Beyond the Exhibition Room is a corridor occupied
by the Library's collection of photographs, contained
in cases. On the wall, over the entrance, hang the two
portraits of Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the most illus-
trious native of Boston. One of these is attributed to
Jean Baptiste Greuze; the other, the work of Joseph
Sifrede Duplessis, is generally regarded as the most
satisfactory portrait of the great American. Through
this corridor are reached the reading-rooms devoted to
Fine Arts and technological books. The Fine Arts
Reading Room, across the rear of the building, is a
gallery of fine proportions, specially suited to the use
of students of art.
At the rear of this floor, in the Annex recently built
on Blagden Street, are situated the Printing and Bind-
ing Departments of the Library: in these departments
are done all the printing needed by the institution, and
the binding of about 40,000 volumes annually.
Other rooms in the building, of no special interest
to the sightseer, are the Statistical Department, in the
rear of the second floor, devoted to works in the fields
of economics, finance, and statistics, and to Government
Documents of all sorts; the Branch Department, in
which the interchange of books between the Central
Library and its branches is carried on; the rooms de-
voted to newspaper files and patents; and the book-
stacks, occupying six floors on the south and west
sides of the court, and containing more than nine
hundred thousand volumes.
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY EMPLOYEES
COPLEY SQUARE, BOSTON, MASS.
Price List of Publications *
THE LIBRARY BUILDING
Handbook and Views
HANDBOOK of the Library Building, its mural decorations and
its collections. With illustrations of the works of art. New
edition, 1930. By mail, 40c. 64 pages, 35c.
VIEWS of the Building, exterior and interior, statues, etc. Post-
cards in color, 2 for 5c. Page numbers refer to descriptions
in the Handbook. Namely:
View of the Building from Copley Square (page 5) Triple-arched
entrance with iron gates and lamps Statues in bronze, of
Science and Art, by BELA L. PRATT, 2 cards (page 6) Statue
in bronze of Sir Harry Vane, Governor of the Massachusetts
Bay Colony in 1636, the work of FREDERICK MacMONNIES
(page 9) Interior Court, with vaulted arcade of white marble
(page 13) Main Stairway, with sculptured lion, the memorial
of the 20th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, by LOUIS ST.
GAUDENS (page 14) Delivery Room, designed by EDWIN A.
ABBEY, K. A., with part of the frieze, the "Quest of the Holy
Grail" (page 22). Postcards in black and white, 2 for 5c. Por-
trait of Franklin, by DUPLESSIS (page 35, 63) West End
Branch of the Library (Old West Church), exterior (2 card:- 1.
View of the Building, Interior Court, and Main Stairway are also
reproduced in photographs, 8 x 10 inches, gray or sepia, each,
POSTCARD SETS, 12 different cards in color and sepia, Library
\iews and murals, 25c.
PANORAMA of Copley Square, in color, showing Boston Public
Library, the Copley Plaza, Westminster and Brunswick Hotel-.
Trinity Church, 3 1 /, x 10 1 /' inches. lOc.
BRONZE DOORS (vestibule) by DANIEL C. FRENCH, with alle-
gorical figures of Knowledge and Wisdom (page 9). Photo-
graphs, 10 x 8 inches, gray or sepia, each, 50c.
;: For mail orders add 15c.; e\r<--> pn>i;ige will be returned.
HEAD OF CHRIST, in white marble, by HORATIO GREEN-
OUGH. Sepia photograph, 10 x 8 inches, 50c.
BATES HALL: reference library and main reading room (page
21). Photograph, 8 x 10 inches, gray or sepia, 50c.
The TRIUMPH OF TIME (ceiling of Teachers' Reference
Room), by JOHN ELLIOTT (page 37). Postcards in colors, We.
GREETING card, showing portion of facade of Library and New
Old South Church, line drawing, 5c.
The QUEST OF THE HOLY GRAIL, by EDWIN A. ABBEY, R. A.
(Frieze of Delivery Room; see Handbook, pages 25-32.)
15 postcards in colors, We each. Set, 7.25. By mail, 1.40.
Description on each card. 1. The Vision. 2. The Oath of Knight-
hood. (Not sold separately.) 3. The Round Table. (Not sold
separately.) 4. The Departure. 5. The Castle of the Grail.
6. The Loathly Damsel. 7. The Seven Sins. 8. The Key to
the Castle. 9. The Castle of the Maidens. 10. Blanchefleur.
11. Death of Amfortas. 12. Galahad the Deliverer. (Not sold
separately.) 13. Solomon's Ship. (Not sold separately.) 14.
The City of Sarras. 15. The Golden Tree.
Nos. 2, 3, 12, 13 not sold separately. Special Set: Nos. 1, 5,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14; 50c.
PUVIS DE CHAVANNES
PUVIS DE CHAVANNES: Mural Decorations, Main Stairway
(Handbook, pages 14-18). Central composition, staircase cor-
ridor, "The Muses Welcome the Genius of Enlightenment"
Photograph, 8x10 inches, 1.00. Sepia, 1.00. Postcard in
colors, 2 for 5c.
The EIGHT PANELS above the Stairway symbolize the branc u
of Literature and Learning. 8 cards in color, 15c each.
x3V& inches. Set, 1.00. By mail, 1.10.
Description on each card. Photographs, 7 x 4 1 /4 inches, 50c ea
Sepia, 50c. Hand colored in oils, 2.00 each. Photograp"
I'OxS 1 /^ inches, 1.00 each. Namely:
1. Philosophy Plato and the Academy; the Parthenon in the
background. 2. Astronomy Chaldean Shepherds, earliest ob-
servers of the heavens. 3. History The Muse of History and
the Genius of Learning. 4. Chemistry Winged spirits heat
fragments of ore. 5. Physics The telegraph, magical carrier
of tidings. 6. Pastoral Poetry Virgil in an idyllic landscape.
7. Dramatic Poetry Aeschylus, Prometheus and the Oceanides.
8. Epic Poetry Homer greeted by the liad and the Odyssey.
Postcards in colors: Nos. 1, 2, 3 on one card, or 6, 7, 8 on one
card, 2 cards for 5c.
BOOK. Puvis de Chavannes, by FRANQOIS CASTRE. Trans-
lated from the French by Frederic Taber Cooper. Illustrated
with 8 reproductions in colour. Frederick A. Stokes Co., New
York, publishers, [1912.] 73, (1) pages. Portrait. Printer's
device. Colored reproduction on cover. [Masterpieces in
colour, edited by Henry Roujon.] 1.00.
SARGENT HALL Religious paintings by JOHN SINGER SAR-
GENT, R. A. See Handbook, pages 38-61. Namely:
ASTARTE, goddess of the Moon MOLOCH, god of the Sun.
Photographs, 10 x 8 inches, gray or sepia, each, 50c. Hand
colored: Astarte, 2.50; Moloch, 3.00.
FRIEZE OF THE PROPHETS Color print, 4 1 / 2 x20 1 / 2 inches,
with names of the prophets, 25c. Sepia, 75c. Carbon photo-
graphs, in 5 panels, 8 x 10 inches, each, 50c. Set, 2.50. Hand
colored, Water colors, each 2.50. Set, 12.50. Oil, 15.00.
Detail: HOSE A, full length, photogravure, 8x3 inches. 50c.
Sepia, 50c. HOSEA, head, 9*4 x 7% inches, 50c. Sepia, 50c.
ISAIAH, full length, photogravure, 9x4 inches, 50c. Sepia,
50c. Hand colored, LOO. 13x6 inches, 1.00. Sepia, LOO.
DOCTRINE OF THE REDEMPTION. Photograph, 8 x 10 inches,
gray or sepia, 50c.
Details: CRUCIFIXION, photograph, 9 1 /, x 7 1 /? inches, gray
or sepia, 50c. Hand colored, 2.50. FRIEZE OF THE ANGELS,
photograph, 4 1 / 4 x 13 inches, gray or sepia, 1.50. Hand colored,
HANDMAID OF THE LORD. Colored postcard, We. Photo-
graph, 9 1 /4 x 4 inches, 50c. Hand colored, 2.00. Half length,
9*4x7 inches, LOO. Sepia, 7.25. Hand colored, 3.00.
The JOYFUL MYSTERIES The SORROWFUL MYSTERIES.
Photographs, 9x6 inches, each, 7.00. Sepia, 7.25. Hand col-
?he MADONNA OF SORROWS. Colored postcard, 70c. Photo-
gravure, 7 l /2 x 3 J ,4 inches, 50c; hand colored, 2.00. Photograph,
9%x4% inches, 7.00; sepia, 7.25. Hand colored, 3.00. Half
length, 9% x 6% inches, gray or sepia, 75c.
The GLORIOUS MYSTERIES. Sepia photogravure, framed 9.00.
JUDAIC LUNETTES: Fall of Gog and Magog The Law The
Messianic Era. CHRISTIAN LUNETTES: Hell Judgment
Heaven. Six photographs, 4 J /4 x 8% inches, 7.00 each. Sepia,
7.25. Hand colored, 3.00.
Messianic Era, sepia photogravure, 3% x 7^2 inches, 50c. Hand
colored, 2.50. Detail, central figures, photograph, gray or se-
pia, 8!/2 x l 1 /^ inches, 75c.
The MEDIAEVAL CONTRAST: The SYNAGOGUE The
CHURCH. Photographs, 10 x 8 inches, each, LOO. Sepia,
7.25. Hand colored: The Synagogue, 2.50; The Church, 4.00.
POSTCARDS of Sargent's paintings, 2 for 5c, as follows: In
color: Hosea Isaiah. In sepia: Handmaid of the Lord Our
Lady of Sorrows The Joyful Mysteries The Sorrowful Mys-
teries Fall of Gog and Magog The Law The Messianic
VIEWS OF BOSTON, ETC.
PHOTO-ETCHINGS of Boston by FRANCIS E. GETTY, 12% x
W l /2 inches. 50c each.
Arlington Street Church Christian Science Church King's
Chapel Old North Church St. Paul's Paul Revere House-
Hancock House State House Shaw Memorial Old State
House Louisburg Square Faneuil Hall Swan Boats Ritz-
Carlton Hotel Old Fishing Boats Harvard Gates, 1875-1877-
1901 Fairbanks House, Dedham Old Corner Book Store-
Steps at Bosworth Street from Province Street Custom House
Tower Park Street Church Old South Church Capitol,
Washington White House Mount Vernon Old New Eng-
land Dooryard Memorial Hall, Harvard College House of
PAINTINGS by HOWARD PYLE, used as the illustrations to
Woodrow Wilson's George Washington. 19 photographs, vari-
ous sizes, each, 50c. Namely:
A Virginia plantation wharf Sir William Berkeley fighting the
capitulation of Virginia They read only upon occasion, when
the weather darkened Washington's retreat from Great Mead-
ows Braddock's fight in the road The burial of Braddock
Washington and Mary Philipse Leaving Mt. Vernon for the
Congress of the Colonies The old Capitol at Williamsburg
In the old Raleigh Tavern Lady Washington's arrival at Cam-
bridge (at Vassall House, afterwards the residence of Long-
fellow) Washington and Von Steuben at Valley Forge-
Escape of Arnold Washington at Mt. Vernon Washington
bringing his mother into the ballroom at Fredericksburg Mus-
tered out, a rest on 'the way home Thomas, Clerk of Congress,
announcing to Washington his election to the Presidency-
Washington and Nellie Custis on her wedding day Death of
in this book
r nr S' 1 K
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