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Denton Library Guide: Library History

Library History Introduction

Blagg-Huey Library History

Pictures are from the TWU University Digital Archives Collection

Library History

The Dedicatory Plaque and Dr. Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey Portrait

Blagg-Huey Dedication

The dedicatory plaque on the front of the building bears the quotation by Edith Hamilton, which reads: “To be caught up in a world of thought—that is to be Educated.” The quotation was recommended by the late Dr. Joyce Thompson of the TWU English Faculty.

In a surprise move unknown to Dr. Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey, who was then President, the Alumni recommended to the Regents that the new Library be names in her honor. She was the University’s first woman president, and it was one of her primary goals to provide a new library for the students and faculty. Her portrait is in the foyer on the wall to the left of the front entrance. The portrait was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Gatlin (Hoy Casey Gatlin, TWU Class of 1941).

 

The University Mace and Medallion

TWU University Mace

The University Mace – Designed and handmade by Alfred E. Green, associate professor of art, the mace is a symbol of the spirit and nature of the university. It finds its origin in the pageantry of the thirteenth century. The mace consists of a staff of rare vermillion wood topped with a silver sphere banded by ivory. The silver sphere is repeated at the case and a gold seal of the university is imbedded in the shaft. The mace is carried at all formal university ceremonies.

 

TWU University MedallionThe Presidential Medallion - The medallion worn by the Chancellor and President bears the seal of the University on its face and the names and years in office of the twelve Presidents’ on the reverse. Encircling the Presidents’ names are the four names by which Texas Woman’s University has been known since the founding in 1901. Professor Ingrid Psuty, M.F.A., of the School of Visual Arts (UNT) designed and fashioned the medallion and chain of fine silver and burgundy enamel.

The Library Fountain

Library FountainArchitectural plans called for a fountain as a center of the front Library Plaza, a gathering place for students on their way to the residence halls, the Library, the Dining Hall, the Student Center, and the classroom buildings. Mr. and Mrs. Gus Davis donated the finds to purchase the library fountain. Mrs. Davis was chair of the TWU Board of Regents at the time. The fountain itself was imported from France.

Library Art

The WASP Memorial Statue

WASP StatueThe WASP Memorial Statue was sculpted by Jewel Estes of Dallas and donated to the Texas Woman’s University Library on April 20, 1995, by the Women Airforce Service Pilots, WWII. The life-size bronze statue commemorating the experience of America’s women pilots of World War II is located on the second floor of the Blagg-Huey Library in the Woman’s Collection.

"Woman of the Night" and "Lady of the Day"

Woman of the Night (right) and Lady of the Day (left)The two sculptures pictured here were dedicated to the TWU Library in September 1996 by Valerie M. Bentz, former associate professor in sociology at Texas Woman’s University. About the Artist: David Shipley is from Lubbock, Texas, and lived in Southern California at the time of the 1996 dedication. He attended the Dallas Art Institute, the Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle, the University of Texas and Texas Tech University. He is a museum and gallery artist.

Virginia Thomas Memorial Windows

The Virginia Thomas Memorial Windows

University alumna, Mrs. Mary Thomas Marshall, generously gave funds which made it possible to embellish the Library’s central dome with nine stained-glass windows. These are in loving memory of her sister, Virginia Thomas, also an alumna of the University. The stained-glass windows include representations of Classical goddesses and muses and of flowers. The motifs were selected because of their appropriateness to the Classical style of the building.

The Rose Medallion

The Rose Medallion

The central medallion, at the apex of the dome, contains a red rose. This emblem of the Texas Woman’s University has long carried much happy and positive symbolism in literature, the arts, and religion; and its representation in both bud and full-bloom reflect the role of her college years in a young woman’s life. Its color, the American Beauty red, is combined with white-the University’s emblematic color. In 1986, the Congress of the United States adopted the rose as the official flower of our Nation.

Goddess Medallions

Four additional medallions in the dome represent Greek goddesses.

Goddess Medallions

On the North side of the dome
Nike - winged goddess of victory

On the East side of the dome
Demeter - goddess of the harvest

On the South side of the dome
Athena - goddess of learning and wisdom

On the West side of the dome
Hygieia - goddess of harvest

 

The Windows of the Muses

The semicircular windows below the dome provide representations of the nine muses.

The Muses

Urania, muse of astronomy, and Clio, muse of history with
Brown-eyed Susans and Wine Cups.
Terpsichore, muse of dance, and Euterpe, muse of music with Tansy Asters and Eryngo Thistles. Erato, muse of lyric poetry; Polyhymnia, muse of sacred poetry; and Calliope, muse of
epic poetry with Primrose and Bluebonnets.

Thalia, muse of comedy, and Melpomene, muse of Tragedy with Prairie Pinks and Indian Blankets.