Allegorical Figures of Art and Literature
Type Coat of Arms , Statue , Sculpture
The semi-circular open apex pediment over the main entrance to this red brick building has a deep relief on its tympanum depicting the classically robed female figures of Art and Literature either side of a cartouche with the inscription on it. Art holds a shield with three pears and a horizontal stripe or 'fesse', the coat of arms for the City and Borough of Worcester, of which Stourbridge was formerly a part. Literature leans on a large book and looks over towards Art. Above them at the open apex of the pediment a cupid figure holds an open book. He refers to the love that should inspire art and learning. On the plinth the cupid sits on is a garland held at either end by a ram's head. The pediment is supported on bulbous pillars. The capitals are decorated with winged helmeted heads, and the cornice with winged cherubs' heads. Above the first storey windows on the front of the building there are more heads, possibly portraits of learned men.
The foundation stone for the library was laid on 25 February 1904 by Isaac Nash, a local edge tool manufacturer who had seen the need for a free library. The American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie granted £3,000 towards the building of the library. The reading and news room opened on 1 August 1905, with the lending library opening on 2 April 1906.
Over entrance: FREE/ LIBRARY/ &/ TECHNICAL/ INSTITUTE
PMSA recording information