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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.


Artists: The doors were probably a collaborative design of H. Abbott Lawrence, the son of Ellis F. Lawrence and principal delineator of the library facade drawings, and O. B. Dawson, metalwork artist. In 1940-41, H. Abbott Lawrence would design Dads' Gates which would be executed in iron by Dawson. Dawson considered the gates his finest work.

Media: Large double partially-cast bronze and glass doors. Decoration:  Geometric patterns and inter-locking motifs of corn, wheat, and rosettes, and snails. Dimensions: Each door is approximately ten feet tall by five feet wide with large vertical pull handles.

Detail, Knight Library doors

Detail, Knight Library doors

Doors, Entrance halls, Knight Library. Interior view.

Detail, Knight Library doors

East entrance, Knight Library.
Photo: Oregon Digital.

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Dawson, O. B.  The Old Blacksmiths.  Photocopy. [Eugene, Or. : University of Oregon Library, 1987]. 

Emerson, Kim, "University of Oregon Library and Memorial Quadrangle," National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, August 15, 1989.

Force, Rachel Gwen. Blacksmith : The Significance and Preservation of O.B. Dawson's Ironwork for the WPA. Thesis, University of Oregon, 2004.

Knudsen, Reinhard. "Labors With Wrought Iron To Make a Living And Sings at his Work." Oregon Sunday Journal, December 11, 1938.

“Orion Dawson,” Obituary, Oregonian, May 18, 1977, B8.