Denis Evans
Seven Liberal Arts Suite
2005

LOCATION
Carnegie libraries

FUNDING SOURCE
Libraries for All Bond 1% for Art funds


Artist Denis Evans was commissioned to create artwork for Seattle's notable Carnegie libraries that reflects the history of knowledge and learning that forms the founding principles of these distinguished neighborhood fixtures. Built between 1910 and 1921 using money donated by Andrew Carnegie, the five Carnegie libraries—Fremont, Green Lake, Queen Anne, University District and West Seattle—are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and have been designated as city of Seattle landmarks.

Building on the ideas of learning, education and history, Evans linked the libraries with paintings based on the seven liberal arts. Called the Seven Liberal Arts Suite, his work celebrates the seven branches of knowledge that initiate everyone into a life of learning.

Two paintings were created for each of the five Carnegie libraries. One of the paintings at each branch is known as a reference painting and is similarly composed in each of the five libraries. It incorporates all seven branches of the liberal arts, and includes a "who's-who" of great writers and thinkers and the ideas that made them famous. The second painting, unique to each library, creatively illustrates defining characteristics of one or two of the liberal arts. Together the colorful panels promote the historical connection that exists between the libraries while separately they underscore the individuality of each branch and the learning opportunities it provides for the surrounding community.

Carnegie libraries:
Greenlake - Rhetoric (art of communication), 7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N.
Queen Anne - Grammar (art of inventing and combining symbols), 400 W. Garfield St.
West Seattle - Logic (art of thinking), 2306 42nd Ave. S.W.
Fremont - Arithmetic (theory of numbers) and Music (application of the theory of number), 731 N. 35th St.
University District - Geometry (theory of space) and Astronomy (application of the theory of space), 5009 Roosevelt Way N.E.