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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.



Artist: Neal Gardner.
Date: c. 1935-36. Medium: Carved stone.
Location: Browsing Room.

Kneeling Male Figure Wearing a Hat

Source: University Archives photographs, 1890s-2010s, Architecture and Allied Arts, Classroom Scenes

Kneeling Male Figure Wearing a Hat (detail)

Kneeling Male Figure Wearing a Hat, Browsing Room fireplace

Photo: Teague

Gardner's sculpture, Browsing Room, 1939 Oregana photo

Samuel Neal Gardner was born to Thomas and Eliza Gardner on March 20, 1905, at the family homestead near St. David, Arizona. He graduated from Gila Junior College in Thatcher, Arizona, in 1930.  In 1932 Gardner moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon where he received the MFA (1936). His thesis, dated January 1936, was "The Oriental Moon Beam" which was about his sculptural works. While in Eugene, either as a student or WPA employee, he assisted professor Oliver Barrett with sculpture instruction. As a student, Gardner was art editor of the 1935 Oregana in which his sculpture now in the Browsing Room was illustrated. 

From 1936-1940, Gardner was an educational adviser for the Civilian Conservation Corps camp  in Grand Junction, Colorado (Old Oregon 1940, p.8). He then served in World War II, 1941-1945.  Gardner died on June 7, 1966, near Natrona, Wyoming, and was buried in Thatcher, Arizona.

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"Figure by Neal Gardner," Illustration with caption. Oregana 1935: 121.

" S. Neal Gardner, " Historic Knight Library: Art and Architecture. University of Oregon Libraries, 2017.

Neal Gardner in studio