Sculptured Wall - 1964 Salt Lake Public Library
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member hyperheidi
N 40° 45.518 W 111° 53.078
12T E 425329 N 4512339
Quick Description: This relief graces the building, once the home of the Salt Lake Public Library, now The Leonardo museum of art and technology
Location: Utah, United States
Date Posted: 10/5/2011 8:53:37 PM
Waymark Code: WMCR6Z
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 4

Long Description:
The sculptured frieze was created by Miss Jo Roper of Montezuma NM. The artwork was cast by Otto Buehner Co.

Miss Roper was commissioned by the library committee in 1962 to create the abstract sculpture, but rather than just create a wall of free form abstractness, Miss Roper felt the frieze should say something about what was inside the building. It should suggest the character of the building. She designed a series of semi abstract figures growing from shallow relief to full and more recognizable relief on the other. "The figures represent all people. People who write and read books, and people whom books are written about. The figures don't represent any one man, but all men. Everyone who looks at them will give each a different individual identity."

Miss Jo Roper created a small scale model of the sculpture (IAS 75008243). Once this was approved by the library board, the model was photographed and a negative flashed on a wall full scale. The figures were traced and the whole pattern marked off in one foot square sections.

Using a garage at the Buehner plant, two tables were covered with a layer of plaster of paris. Styrofoam pads were used in areas which had to be built up for the relief figures. Miss Roper completed the full scale positive molds in about four weeks. Negative molds where produced from the master mold in sections ranging from 6-8 ft wide to facilitate pouring and handling. Ornamental concrete was poured into the molds for the final product which matches exactly the precast concrete panels which face the rest of the building. Miss Roper and Mr. Buehner were then credited with the introduction of the use of massive sculptured walls in building construction in Utah and hoped to collaborate on other projects.

Text Source: Library Special Collections - Historic Library Scrapbooks - Article by Larry D. Finnegan, 1964
TITLE: Sculptured Wall, (sculpture)

ARTIST(S): Jo Roper

DATE: 8/4/1964

MEDIUM: Cast Cement and Stone


Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

209 East 500 South Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

The building is now The Leonardo - museum of art and technology The library has moved.

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