Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield
Hallam University PUBLIC ART IN SHEFFIELD
'Medical Science' & 'Literature'
Highfield Library, London Road,
Sheffield S2 (AZ p.99 5E)
Above the entrance to the library
is a stone porch and balustraded balcony. Two carved stone figues stand
just beneath the ornate corbels supporting the balcony. The figures are
both female, one representing mechanical science and the other literature.
Between them, and over the entrance, is a semi-circular marble slab, given
by William Fisher, on which there is a quotation from Carlyle:
SHOULD ONE MAN DIE
IGNORANT WHO HAD CAPACITY
FOR KNOWLEDGE, THIS I CALL A
TRAGEDY, WHERE IT TO HAPPEN MORE
THAN TWENTY TIMES IN THE MINUTE,
AS BY SOME COMPUTATIONS IT DOES.
Sheffield Town Council. Highfield
Library and Upperthorpe
Library are near-identical buildings. Both libraries were opened
in 1876, Upperthorpe on 8th May and Highfield on 1st August. They were
designed as 'twins' but the figures on them are different. The sculpture
on both buildings was carved by J. W. Cooper of Sheffield and Cambridge.
Both figures have lost a lot
of surface detail due to corrosion of the stone.
The figures are identified in
a description of the building in The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent
29th July, 1876. Further information from Sheffield Local Studies Library.