Aesculapius bearing the University Coat of Arms
Type Coat of Arms
The main feature is the traditionally bearded Roman God of Medicine, Aesculapius, with his attributes a staff and serpent, the emblem of medicine. In the centre is the University Coat of Arms and the inscription is the University's motto. This composition alludes to the interdependence of the University and the hospital, for the construction of the Medical School had been made a condition by the organisers of the Hospital Centre Scheme for the building of the hospital.(1) Rather complex and extensive, more so than his earlier relief carving of Aesculapius at the Central Birmingham Chest Clinic, this emblem is a well balanced and lively composition. The overall rectilinear shape reflects the subtle patterns of brickwork in the facade that it adorns.
This panel was finished by March 1938 and when the Medical School was opened in June 1938 it was complete with its sculptured panel. Bloye had already carved a number of motifs for the Students' Union building and was to do more for the University at a later date.(2)
(Inscribed under shield)
'FACULTY OF MEDICINE'
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