Art in the Library
The Seeley G. Mudd Library supports and promotes the visual arts in a variety of mediums. As a place for learning and self-reflection, we believe the library is the perfect place to showcase the artistic products of our students as well as additional pieces to inspire, provoke thought, and commemorate. The Mudd Library houses a permanent collection, temporary installations, and the Mudd Gallery.
The Mudd Gallery is a space in which students are given the opportunity to display their works and gain experience setting up art exhibits. While the space is located in the Mudd Library, it is managed by the Department of Art & Art History in the Wriston Art Center. This space has exhibited works from student organizations, many studio art courses, solo student shows, the annual studio art minor show, and more.
Student Art in the Library
Students are encouraged to display their art in the library and propose temporary art installations. Those who wish to do so should contact Cindy Patterson, Circulation Services Supervisor. Some of the previously displayed art can be viewed from the following links:
Collections include the Tom Dietrich Gallery, the Roger Dale Kruse Room collection and the Gallery of Presidents. Photographs of the presidential portraits, along with descriptions of the subject and artist can be found in the Lawrence University Presidential Portraits collection in Lux.
For a full list of works of art in the library, see the following PDF document:
While not in the library, Otāēciah (Crane) certainly has a visible presence when approaching and looking out from the library. Created by architecture professor Chris Cornelius (Oneida), the sculpture references a crane, one of the five traditional clan symbols of the Menominee Nation. As described in the Lawrence University press release, "installed in late summer , the sculpture is intended to be a permanent piece that further acknowledges that the Menominee people were Indigenous to the land where Lawrence is situated" (Berthiaume). The plaza on which the sculpture sits was dedicated as the Kaeyes Mamaceqtawuk Plaza, which means “Ancient People That Move” in the Menominee language, on Indigenous People's Day 2021. See the Public Art On Campus page for more information and pronunciation recordings.
Lawrence University’s Appleton and Door County campuses are located on the ancestral homelands of the Menominee and Ho-Chunk people. See the Lawrence University Land Acknowledgement for the complete statement and more information.
Artifacts in the Library
The Katie, a 55 foot long, sweep-style, eight person racing shell, was installed above the reference collection in June 2013. The Katie was used by the crew team at Milwaukee-Downer College beginning in 1938 until around 1964. She was manufactured by the Williams Racing Shell Boat Yard in Massachusetts, and was named after Katherine Specht, a Milwaukee-Downer instructor in physical education from 1932 to 1938. When Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer consolidated in 1964, Lawrence decided not to have the shell transported to Appleton.
In the recent past, the Katie was discovered in the loft of a barn. Will Evans '13, crew team member and Milwaukee-Downer history enthusiast, found a listing for an antique racing shell on a website. Upon further inquiry, he discovered that this was formerly owned by Milwaukee-Downer College. After being contacted by the Lawrence Alumni Office, a group of Milwaukee-Downer alumnae raised funds to have her restored. Upon restoration, it was decided that the boat should be displayed somewhere on the Lawrence University campus. The already existing Milwaukee-Downer Room and high ceilings made the library the best choice to display the Katie.
Since the 1964 consolidation, Lawrence University has housed a variety of artifacts from Milwaukee-Downer College. Some well-known examples are the Teakwood Room in Alice G. Chapman Hall, and the handsome grandfather clocks in the library. For historical photos of the Milwaukee-Downer crew team, see our digital archives. For more information about the consolidation, see the Lawrence History page.
Read the news release: "Rescued: A Student’s Curiosity Helps Bring Long-Lost Rowing Shell “Home”"
For images from the installation of the Katie, see our photo set.