Following up on a post on June 18, the In Custodia Legis blog of the Law Library of Congress has added three new installments of its Glimpse of Law series, a virtual tour of the Law Library’s architectural decorations. Installment 3 describes the mezzanine level of the Great Hall, with its vaulted ceilings and paintings, including a series of the “Virtues” by George Maynard. The photo here shows “Justice” in the style of a Pompeian wall panel.
Installment 4 of the series illustrates the magnificent Main Reading Room of the Law Library. The Main Reading Room’s domed ceiling is supported by eight statues of the subjects of higher learning in Western civilization. The statue of Law includes a plaque saying “Of Law there can be no less acknowledged than that her voice is the harmony of the world.” Below these “symbolic” statues stand two portrait statues for each subject. The two statues for Law are Solon, the father of Athenian law, and Chancellor James Kent of New York, who wrote Commentaries on American Law. A letter and portrait of Chancellor Kent are on display in the Pace Law Library near the Reference Desk.
Installment 5 of the series tours parts of the Law Library not generally accessible by visitors: the North and South galleries and the Northeast Pavilion, or Pavilion of Seals. The ceilings of the galleries are stained glass panels depicting the signers of the Declaration of Independence and legal notables, and the Northeast Pavilion contains murals depicting all the executive branch agencies of the government.