Art at Peabody Library
The Sculpture Garden adjacent to the terrace of Peabody Library was given by Bernice Weingart Gordon,'56, and Joel C. Gordon. The beautiful landscaping displays three sculptures.
"Black Cat" is a mosaic cat by Lynn Driver, 2002 middle-level art teacher of the year.
"Coming Home" is a bronze sculpture of a child by DeLoss McGraw.
Frank Fleming created "Owls Lookout," a sculpture of bronze animals.
|"Diversity of Thought" is a sculpture of books and other learning materials in porcelain and stoneware clays by Sylvia Hyman, Peabody College alumna, and is located in the Grand Reading Room.|
|A quilted wall hanging hangs above the fireplace in the Fireside Reading Room. It was donated by Carolyn M. Evertson, Professor of Education Emerita. It was stitched by Rebecca C. Neely, Huntsville, Alabama, using fabric from Peabody doctoral hoods. The iris, which is the symbol of Peabody College, is depicted.|
|Sean Kelley ('06), a senior in the Department of Human & Organizational Development, created "Heirloom," on display outside the Youth Collection on the third floor of the library. Kelley took a studio art class taught by Professor Susan DeMay titled "Sculptural Ceramics." He grew to love "trompe l'oeil," a technique in which clay is deceivingly used to create realistic objects. He was inspired by Sylvia Hyman, the leader in trompe l'oeil and a Nashvillian, and was guided by Professor DeMay.|
|The painting in Room 303 was donated by the Best Buddies program at Vanderbilt University. This program pairs adults in the Nashville community with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with college students.The painting was exhibited at the Kennedy Center during the summer of 2006.|
A photo exhibit depicts scenes from the period before the merger of Peabody College for Teachers with Vanderbilt University in 1979. It is located on the first and third floors of the Library.
In the Grand Reading Room hangs an autographed photo of Helen Keller at age 32. It is inscribed, "To Dr. Payne, With heartfelt wishes for the success of the Teacher's College. Helen Keller." Dr. Bruce Ryburn Payne was the first President of George Peabody College for Teachers. The great granddaughter of Dr. Payne, Mary Kavanagh Frank, donated the photo.
A portrait of Julia Sears (1840-1929) hangs in the stairwell to the third floor of the library. She was the first woman president of a public college in the U.S., Minnesota State Normal College at Mankato. She was a mathematics professor and head of the mathematics department at Peabody State Normal College from 1875-1907. She was known as the local representative of Susan B. Anthony because she worked tirelessly for women's right to vote. She was active in the Woman's Association of the University of Nashville and its successor, Peabody Woman's Club. "Her influence as a faculty members was very marked. Her precision, her accuracy, her fairness, her brilliant demonstrations, and, above all, her ability to inspire the ambition of all those she taught became famous incidents of her instruction at Peabody." (Peabody Reflector, Dec. 1929) The portrait was painted by Cornelius Hankins and was unveiled in 1904.
A portrait of James C. Bradford hangs in the stairwell across from Julia Sears. Born in Mississippi in 1852, James Cowden Bradford came to Nashville in 1872. Here he became a very successful lawyer. But beyond being an astute attorney, he became actively involved with the welfare of his community. He became extremely interested in Peabody Normal School in 1905 when it was thought that it might be withdrawn from Nashville. He was made a member of the board of trustees in 1909 and subsequently made chairman of the Executive Committee and was instrumental in bringing Bruce Ryburn Payne from the University of Virginia to become president of the new found Peabody College for Teachers. Bradford steered the board through the difficult decisions facing them in the move to a new campus. It was his vision that the college would cease to be sectional and become genuinely national. He attempted to resign from the board following a stroke, but his resignation was refused. He died May 15, 1914. Three weeks afterwards Peabody College for Teachers opened on its new campus.
The rubbing of George Peabody's Westminster Abbey gravestone that hangs in the Fireside Reading Room was acquired for the centennial anniversary of Peabody College. The inscription is from a eulogy delivered by philanthropic advisor Robert Charles Winthrop. George Peabody died on November 4, 1869 at the age of 74 in England. At the wishes of the Dean of Westminster Abbey, Peabody was buried in the Abbey. He was the only U.S. citizen to have been interred there. However, Peabody's will revealed his wish to be buried in Salem, Massachusetts. So Prime Minister Gladstone arranged for Peabody's remains to be sent to America in the newest and largest British navy warship. Peabody is buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery.
Across from the Sculpture Garden on Magnolia Drive is a bronze sculpture by Alex Simon, "Solipsis." The concept of Solipsism relates to the evolution of the creative process. Artists must recognize and transcend their assumptions to represent the truth. This solipsistic action is the basis for artistic endeavors. The sculpture intends to represent the struggle, the arduous balancing of one's assumptions, and the complex assertions about one's own sensations.