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Artwork at the Dearborn Public Library

The Rotunda Gallery

     Located on the first floor of the Henry Ford Centennial Library, the Rotunda is a free, public gallery, and is open during regular library hours.  The Rotunda Gallery presents quality exhibits to the public that will educate and enlighten.  The exhibit space in the Rotunda is managed cooperatively by the Dearborn Library Commission and the Dearborn Community Arts Council.  

     Exhibits and installations are overseen by the Padzieski Art Gallery Coordinator.  The Rotunda Gallery invites artists to submit proposals for art exhibitions.  Exhibit proposals are accepted throughout the year.  Click Here for a Rotunda Gallery Exhibit Form.

Artwork at the Henry Ford Centennial Library 

Exterior Artwork

Statue of Henry Ford

The slightly larger than life-size image of Henry Ford by Marshall Fredricks is made of a chemically-treated bronze and is mounted on a Vermont verde antique marble base in front of a backdrop screen made of the same material. The backdrop includes several inscriptions and four vignettes highlighting eventful moments in the life of Henry Ford.

Serpentine Wall

G. Michaels – S-shaped purchase for the library by the Ford Foundation. Experimental tiles from Cranbrook, marble, and shale from lake Huron. It took the artist and 4 assistants 3 months to complete the sculpture. 4′ long x 4′ high x 2′ wide (no fountain because he didn’t want to compete with the one already outside the library).

Dollhouse

This dollhouse has made the Dearborn Public Library its home for a number of years. It is a beloved attraction for both the young and old, and is routinely decorated to reflect the upcoming festivities by local miniature enthusiasts.

Punch & Judy

Commissioned by the Dearborn Library Commission and acquired in 1977 through a gift from the Ford Foundation.  Characters are of polychrome bronze.

Bas-Relief Mosaic Map of the Continental United States

The mural mosaic is 20 ft. wide by 8 ft. high and consists of 5 four ft. panels.  It is bas-relief in form and is constructed of individually mounted hand-cut Japanese tile.  The mural’s color theme spans 12 color graduations from black to white.  Included in the construction of the mural are wooden reglets and brass-coated nickel flashings taken from a foundry that not only mark the locations of Ford assembly plants that were active in the 1960s but serve as decorative embellishments to the design of the mural.  The concave curvature of the map is mirrored in the curved handrail that outlines the contour of the winding staircase that passes directly in front of the mural.

The mosaic map has a history that precedes its current association with the library.  This exhibit was originally commissioned by the Ford Motor Company to be placed in the Ford Pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.  Later, the mural was given to the library to be incorporated into its original architectural design and become a permanent exhibit at this site.

The artist did not intend his work to be an exact replica of the United States, but to instill a sense of rhythmic distortion throughout the piece to convey a feeling of movement and fluidity.  Contours of the sea, as well as the land, are in evidence.  The East Coast is rendered in the Intaglio (depressed) method first developed by the Egyptians while the West Coast is rendered in the Cameo (raised) method first implemented by the Italians.  The total effect creates a wave-like fluidity that pulsates through the entire work and does much to erase a sense of a boundary between land and sea.

 


Artwork at the Bryant Branch Library 

Application of Knowledge

Artist Paul Honore studied at Cass Technical High School, the Detroit School of Fine Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy, and in Paris. For many years he ran an art school in Royal Oak, Michigan. He is famous both for murals and for woodcut prints. Perhaps his best woodcuts can be seen in Charles Finger’s book, Tales from the Silver Lands, which won the Newberry medal in 1925.

The East Fireplace

The fireplace that is now in the children’s area, has a typical Arts and Crafts motif that was popular during the early 20th century. It features a stylized stag done in elegant browns and iridescent golds. It is framed in a striking blue Persian design.

The West Fireplace

The west fireplace was originally designed for the Children’s area of the library. This area is now the Adult Reading Alcove. The tiles are based on illustrations from Walter Crane’s “The Baby’s Opera.” The brilliant blue glazes that Mrs. Stratton loved are very evident here.

Aspiration of Knowledge

Paul Honore has painted murals for the architecture department of the University of Michigan, the People’s Church in East Lansing, the old Masonic Temple in Detroit, and the Midland County Courthouse, as well as, for several private homes. The murals for the Midland County Courthouse were done in an experimental media called plastic mosaic which Mr. Honore delvoped along with the Dow Chemical Company.