Allegorical Figures of Science and Literature
Type Coat of Arms , Sculpture , Statue
Two heroic semi-naked figures recline on either side of the triangular pediment above the main entrance of the library. The style is reminiscent of works by Michelangelo. On the left, a bearded male figure draped in classical robes rests his right hand on a globe and his left on a scroll. On the right, a female figure similarly robed holds a book in her left hand and a pen in her right.The coat of arms for Dudley, which depicts the keep of Dudley Castle, is set on an ornate cartouche with a wreath on each side. At the apex of the building directly above the entrance, a female figure representing Philosophy looks down at the open scroll in her lap.
After a long correspondence with Alderman John Hughes, Chairman of the Free Library Committee, between 1902 and 1905, Andrew Carnegie donated £7,500 for the erection of the library. A competition was held for the design of the library.(1) There were 23 responses to the invitation to submit designs, but it was won by G.H. Wenyon of Dudley. The library was opened by the Honourable John Hubert Ward, equerry to King Edward VII, on 16 September 1909.
The bearded figure with the globe and scroll represents Science, while the female figure reclining on the other side of the pediment represents Literature. The female figure personifying Philosophy was sited at the apex of the building to symbolise the idea that philosophy is at the apex of all branches of knowledge.
Between Literature and Science: Public Library
PMSA recording information