Special & Area Studies Collections
PO Box 117005
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida
205 Smathers Library
Gainesville, FL 32611-7005
(Physical address: 1508 Union Rd)

Email: special@uflib.ufl.edu
Phone: 352.273.2755
Fax: 352.846.2746


About the Special Collections Grand Reading Room

The Special Collections Grand Reading Room is on the second floor of the Smathers Library. Information on using materials in the Reading Room is included on the pages on Using the Collections and Visitor Information.

The Special Collections Grant Reading Room has handouts available at the main desk with this information on the mural:

Painter: Hollis Holbrook

Subject: History of Learning in Florida

Learning conceived as the acquisition of knowledge and skills, cannot easily be separated from history. It differs from education which is conceived as the disciplining of mind and character through teaching and study.

The mural portrays the following aspects of learning:

Left side, bottom to top: Learning from discovery, trade, religion, warfare, rediscovery and machines.

Right side, bottom to top: Learning from formal education - newspapers, religion, operation of democratic processes of voting, state legislation, recreation, modern building and travel.

Middle: The spirit of man looking to the future, deriving strength from the past with a background of birds, beasts, flowers and fish indigenous to Florida.

The mural was painted during the summer of 1953 and was dedicated in February 1954. It was approved by the University committee below, followed by the President and Board of Control:

Mr. Stanley L. West, chair, Library
Dr. Robert Davidson, Humanities
Mr. Stuart Purser, Art
Dean William T. Arnett, Architecture
Dr. Rembert Patrick, History
Dr. Archie Robertson, English