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​Historic Knight Library: Art & Architecture

Guide to the art and architecture of the 1937 historic Knight Library, University of Oregon, Eugene.


"Student Art Exhibit in Library Addresses Inclusive Community," Around the O, November 6, 2018.


A Message from Adriene Lim, Dean of Libraries and Philip H. Knight Chair


In 1990, the University of Oregon Library and Memorial Quadrangle were added to the National Register of Historic Places. On the UO campus, the following works are also listed on the National Register: Johnson Hall, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Women's Memorial Quadrangle (Hendricks Hall, Gerlinger Hall, Susan Campbell Hall). Deady Hall and Villard Hall are jointly recognized as a National Historic Landmark

For more information on Oregon's historic works, consult the Oregon Historic Sites Database.


On May 3, 1937, a new library opened at the University of Oregon, and on October 23, 1937, the building was formally dedicated. The building is a monument to the Depression Era public works programs which financed its construction and remains one of Oregon's best examples of integrated art and architecture.

This guide provides a foundation of historical information for the additional study and contemplation of the historic building and its art.

"Altogether, the feeling is that the University received a good deal for the money invested; much pride and satisfaction is being taken in it."
      -- Matthew Hale Douglass, Librarian, The University of Oregon Library Building, 1937

Resources - Acknowledgements


This guide was created by Edward H. Teague.  Its goal is to provide foundational information for the understanding of the historic art of Knight Library.  Assistance from the staff of the Special Collections and University Archives department of the UO Libraries is especially appreciated in the development of the guide. The creation of the guide is included in the scope of the  UO Libraries' Knight Library Public Art Task Force. The 2017 membership of the task force was  Edward H. Teague (chair), David de Lorenzo, Sara DeWaay, Barbara Jenkins, Azle Malinao-Alarez, Terry P. McQuilkin, and David R. Woken.​ The 2018 membership consisted of Sara DeWaay, Amanda Garcia, Danielle Knapp, Hana Chan, Doug Blandy, Jennifer O'Neill, Abha Joshi, Rafael Lopez, Francesca Smith, and Edward H. Teague (chair).

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Charlie Chaplin, Mural, Knight Library

Charlie Chaplin

Development of the Arts

Snake design, gate latch

Snake design, gate latch
Arnold Bennett Hall Gates

Art Deco fan motif

Entrance Hall

Art Deco Rugs

Browsing Room

Deer & Fawn, Detail

South Reading Room

Balcony, detail

Library exterior

Snail, detail

Entrance Doors


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