Heritage Room Information Guide
The Scranton Heritage Room
This room is dedicated to the heritage of Scranton and the Lackawanna Valley. The thirty six panels, each four feet square, were commissioned by the University from artist Trevor Southey especially for the Heritage Room. They present a three-part theme: Art, Religion, Science. Eighteen panels on the east clerestory, to your left as you face the fireplace and University crest, treat the theme in universal scope. Those on the west echo it with special references to the University, the City and the Lackawanna Valley.
The panels form a mural that can be viewed side-to-side, moving one's attention from art in its universal scope to the facing regional panels across the room, or sequentially. This description is arranged sequentially. Beginning with the panels to the right of the University crest, it moves down the wall through art, religion and science in northeastern Pennsylvania. The description continues with science on the opposite wall and moves to world religion, and finally to the arts in human history.
The Heritage Room theme suggests the broad range of achievement through time by diverse peoples and cultures. It is neither inclusive nor exclusive. Rather, we hope it will prompt generations of students to reflect on the greatness lodged in the human spirit and to consider the vast numbers of past contributors, named and unnamed, to our intellectual and spiritual heritage.
Arts in Scranton
These six panels representing cultural activity and achievement in Scranton visualize the text of nineteenth-century Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins written on the wall beneath:
“They do not waste their meted hours,/ But men and masters plan and build:/ I see the crowning of their towers,/ and happy promises fulfill'd.”
The first two panels celebrate art and architecture in Scranton, depicting the bronze statue of Isaiah Everhart that guards the entrance to the museum he founded here and the Audubon panel from the building's art deco frieze, which was selected to represent his deep interest in ornithology. In the lower left comer are the names of Joel Amsden, Scranton's first known architect, and other major architects: George M.D. Lewis, David T. Jones, Richard Upjohn, John Duckworth.
Local artist John Willard Raught in Panel 2 was noted as a painter of portraits, coal breakers, the cityscape and the surrounding countryside. His likeness is accompanied by the names of a few local artists, and to his right is a portion of "The Lackawanna Valley," by George Inness, of the Hudson River school of American painters.
The remaining panels are devoted to the performing arts with the facade of Raymond Hood's Masonic Temple, now the Scranton Cultural Center, ballet shoes, a violin, and the names of some local performing arts groups and of supporters and contributors to the arts: Anne V. Liva, Richard Grady, S.J., and Edward Lynett Sr.
The final panel, beginning with the sculpted clock and eagle of the Lackawanna Station, recalls Scranton's vaudeville past when demanding local audiences proved that, "If you can play Scranton, you can play anywhere." Two playbills remind us that the city remains close to the Broadway circuit. One of them, "That Championship Season," celebrates local playwright, University alumnus, and Pulitzer Prize winner Jason Miller.
Religion in Scranton
The ethnic richness and religious faiths of Scranton and the Lackawanna Valley provide the theme for the central six panels over the Hopkins verse:
“Seek God's house in happy throng:/ Crowded let his table be:/ Mingle praises, prayer, and song.”
A golden onion-shaped dome symbolizes the Eastern Christian churches of the region in the first panel. Behind it are the towers of the Polish National Catholic Church's St. Stanislaus Cathedral. The tower of the University's Center for Eastern Christian Studies in the upper right is near the portrait of Walter Cisek, S.J., in Panel 2.
Also in Panel 2 is the facade of Temple Israel with the Star of David and the name of Morris Gelb, University benefactor and one of the founders of the Judaic Studies Institute, representing the close ties between the Scranton Jewish community and this Jesuit University.
A nest of three towers, Rock Hall, the Houlihan-McLean Center and Smurfit Arts Center, unites Panels 2 and 3. Once the homes of the Reformed Episcopal, Immanuel Baptist and Raymond Memorial Universalist congregations, they have been restored to use as University buildings. Other campus buildings are recalled in the names of Francis Redington, Michael Eagen, Joseph Casey and Joseph Gunster.
The date 1888 commemorates the founding of St. Thomas College, precursor to The University of Scranton. The principal college building "Old Main," which was located on Wyoming-Avenue near the Cathedral, is in Panel 3.
In Panels 3 and 4 are two artworks from the University campus within a burst of sunlight, the symbol of St. Thomas Aquinas that is repeated in the University's crest. The crucifix was designed by University President J.A. Panuska, S.J., for the Redington Hall bell tower, which has been named in his honor. "Metanoia," the statue by Gerhard Baut, depicts the moment of personal transformation as the Basque soldier Inigo becomes St. Ignatius. Beneath the upraised sword are the names of the patron saints of some of the various ethnic peoples who settled in Scranton: Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Slavs; St. Patrick, Irish; St. David, Welsh; St. Stanislaus, Poles; St. Gregory, the eastern Christian churches; St. Anthony, Italians; St. Basil, the eastern Christian churches; St. Andrew, Scots; St. Lucy, Italians.
The Jesuit presence at the University is celebrated in Panel 5. The portrait of John J. Long, S.J., third Jesuit president of the University, commemorates the era of building and growth during his tenure. Behind his portrait, the figure of a Christian Brother recognizes that order's administration of the school from 1897 to 1942. Names commemorate three major figures in University history: Most Rev. William O'Hara, D.D., the first Bishop of Scranton whose vision created St. Thomas College; Frank O'Hara, who came to the University in 1917 as a high school freshman and served it in a variety of capacities until his death in 1977; and Coleman Nevils, S.J., first Jesuit president of the University.
St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton is shown before a recent series of renovations restored its towers to their original shape. Adjacent to it are the names of Scranton Bishops O'Connor, Hafey, O'Reilly, Hannan and McCormick.
The sixth panel is filled with the architecture of Scranton's center city churches: the flying buttresses of Covenant Presbyterian, the tower of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and the square brick and stone tower of Elm Park Methodist Church which, like one of the images in the next series of panels, can be seen through the window wall beneath it.
The symbolic images of the dove of peace and the lily of resurrection and purity complete this set of panels.
Science and Technology in Scranton
The final six panels on this side of the Heritage Room are dedicated to science and technology in Scranton.
“Generations have trod...;/ And, for all this, nature is never spent;/ There lives the dearest freshness deep down things...”
Scranton's City Hall in the upper left of Panel 1 is seen beyond a Native American village. A viewer standing beneath the panel can also see the actual tower and spires of City Hall through the window wall below.
In this panel and the next are the names of area educational institutions surrounded by images of technology in Scranton today: computers, genetics, lasers, fiber optics.
The contributions of the Scranton family to the growth of the city are documented in the next two panels. A portrait of George W. Scranton in Panel 3 is placed in front of the Iron Furnaces, the entrepreneurial industry that brought the Delaware and Lackawanna Railroad, represented by the steam engine and trestle, to Scranton.
In Panel 4, Joseph Hand Scranton presides before a depiction of The Estate, the family home he built that is now in the center of the University's campus. The interlaced WSW is copied from the decorative panel on a small vault owned by William Walker Scranton.
The local medical community is also recognized in this panel with the names of city hospitals: Mercy Hospital, Community Medical Center, Moses Taylor Hospital.
Leonard N. Wolf, professor of biology, and Umbay H. Burti, professor of chemistry, two respected and distinguished members of the University science faculty, are recognized in Panel 5.
The contributions of laboring men and women to the growth and history of Scranton are honored in Panels 5 and 6. A woman works at Scranton Lace; a man labors in the coal mines. The lace factory was once owned by Harry Weinberg. John Mitchell, whose name is in Panel 6, was the American labor leader who led the anthracite strike of 1902 and organized the coal mines of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Three small images in Panel 6 form a symbolic unit. The lower panel depicts a prehistoric fern fossil, the sort from which anthracite coal derives; the left panel, coal itself; and the right, a sprig of wild mountain laurel. The progression is from prehistory to present to future with Pennsylvania's state flower— the wild mountain laurel— representing the continuing reclamation of northeastern Pennsylvania's natural beauty.
Global Science and Technology
Key moments in science and technology display the range and wonder of discovery and achievement, and suggest a starting point to contemplate Hopkins' lines:
“The rainbow shines, but only in the thought/ Of him that looks. Yet not in that alone,/ For who makes rainbows by invention?”
The images in these panels move chronologically from such early achievers in science, medicine and mathematics as Hippocrates, Archimedes, Ptolemy, Pythagoras and Euclid in Panel 1 to Renaissance and later scientists: Copernicus, Kepler, Lavoisier, Faraday, Boyle, Galileo, Leonardo and Descartes in Panel 2. The portrait of Sir Isaac Newton in the second panel is adjacent to the image of the title page of Galileo's controversial Intorno alle cosec he stanno in su, dedicated to Cosimo II de' Medici.
In Panel 3 the portrait of Albert Einstein and the formula E=mc2 rise above a universe, the principles of which prompted his discoveries. The reptiles near the name of Charles Darwin suggest his inquiry On the Origin of Species, and the microscope slides and name of Louis Pasteur in the lower right comer suggest biological investigation.
Women in science are acknowledged by the name Marie Curie in Panel 2. She shares the panel with Leonardo da Vinci, whose studies of anatomy are suggested by the skeletal human hand and skull rising above a star-filled galaxy.
Panel 5 is given entirely to the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb; a reminder that the final half of the twentieth century has been lived in the shadow of mass destruction. This warning leads to the message of hope and possibility in the final panel of this series. A great, blank universe waits for an imprint. Two images, a cat-scan of the human brain and a prism reflecting the colors of the rainbow, symbolize achievement and hope.
In the lower comer are names symbolizing invention and discovery: Bell, Edison, Ford, Marconi.
These images draw meaning from Hopkins' verse below:
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God./ It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;/ It gathers to a greatness...”
The slender figure of a young Christ stands at the center of the six-panel composition, his arms extended as if to show the wounds of the Passion. Behind him is Mary, his mother. The triangle of golden light framing Christ is a halo borrowed from medieval art to symbolize the Holy Trinity.
In Panels 1 and 2 are symbols of religions from early history. The form of the Venus of Willendorf evokes prehistoric belief in the mother goddess; the profile form of an eye, Egyptian religion; the geometrized sun with rays, the Babylonian sun god Shamash and the religions of the ancient Near East; the wide-horned bull, the Persian religion; the carved Mayan hieroglyph, the religions of the Pre-Columbian New World.
A totem pole represents the religions of Native America, and a carved mask the religions of Africa.
Judaism is symbolized by the tablets of the Law and the names of the Old Testament patriarchs, Solomon, David, Abraham and Moses, adjacent to the figures of Christ and Mary. In Panels 5 and 6 Islam is represented by the star and crescent, Hinduism by the hand holding a lotus flower, and Buddhism by the seated figure of Buddha.
The final set of panels is dedicated to the arts: literary, visual, performing, and architectural.
“Beauty it may be is the meet of lines/ Or careful-spaced sequences of sound,/ These rather are the arc where beauty shines...”
The figure of a Chinese opera singer in Panel 1 is framed by the names of playwrights, beginning with Sophocles and Aeschylus, and of dancers and choreographers: Pavlova, Duncan, Graham, Fonteyn, Nijinsky.
William Shakespeare's portrait in Panel 2 accompanies a selection of names of poets and writers: Homer, Li Po, Chaucer, Dante, Milton, Voltaire, Goethe, Tolstoy, Dostoevski, Flaubert, Dickens, Kafka, Lawrence, Bronte, Balzac, Dickinson, Alcott, Eliot, Hopkins, Joyce, Hesse, Twain, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Sand, Woolf, Sartre, de Beauvoir. The images of a red rose and a thorned branch represent the opposite poles of all experience and feeling: pleasure and pain.
Leonardo's self portrait in sepia on paper in Panel 3 is surrounded by the beginning of a litany of artists from the Renaissance through modern times that continues into the next panel. Among others are: Giotto, Durer, Van Eck, Bosch, Botticelli, Raphael, El Greco, Bruegel, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Goya, Velasquez and Cezanne.
The sculpted arm of Michelangelo's David frames a composition in Panel 4 that continues the artists' names, among these: Delacoix, Turner, Manet, Monet, Cassatt, Degas, Rodin, Matisse, Picasso.
The bust of Beethoven and the portrait of Louis Armstrong in Panel 5 are part of its theme: music, film and photography. Above the images are the names of European composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Strauss, Rachmaninoff. Below is a sampling of American musicians: Holiday, Gershwin, Porter, Foster. The lens of a camera reflects the images of the central panels of Global Religion and the names of photographers, Daguerre and Adams, and of filmmakers, including Disney, Eisenstein and Fellini, recognize the art of the camera.
Architecture is honored in the final panel with the ground plans and elevations of notable buildings: Palladio, Villa Rotunda; Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye. Linear forms of architectural elements, columns and capitals, silk-screened on the surface of the panels are joined by the names of ancient and modem architects, Senmut and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Scranton Heritage
The principal reading room of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library is dedicated to the heritage of Scranton and the Lackawanna Valley. In addition to its artwork, it includes a number of reminders of those who are part of this region's past and present.
In the east alcove leading to the roof garden are the portraits of former Pennsylvania Governor and United Nations Ambassador William W. Scranton and Mary Scranton, his wife, painted by Trevor Southey. The portraits and a dedication plaque honor the Scrantons for their contributions to the region, the University, the nation and the world.
Among the furnishings of the Heritage Room are some items from the original Scranton residence, The Estate, which is now a central part of the University campus.
The fireplace at the end of the room contains a firebox and andirons preserved from the home of coal baron James L. Crawford, which once stood across Monroe Avenue from the Library.
The Heritage Room is surrounded on three sides by Diane's Garden, a rooftop plaza donated by a University Trustee in honor of his wife. The two entrances on either side of the Heritage Room are marked by marble doorsills engraved with lines from the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins: "Gather gladness from the skies" and "Take a lesson from the ground."
The Artist and the Commission
Trevor Southey (1940-2015), who was born in Zimbabwe, studied in Durban, South Africa, and at the Brighton College of Art in Sussex, England, before earning two degrees at Brigham Young University, where he was a faculty member until 1976. These panels were completed in his studio in San Francisco before shipment to Scranton for installation in the Heritage Room during the summer of 1992.
Mr. Southey was selected for the Heritage Room commission through a process in which artists working in many media submitted proposals to a special committee appointed by J.A. Panuska, S.J., president of the University. Members of the committee were: Josephine Dunn, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history, chair; Richard Rousseau, S.J., Ph.D., professor of theology and chair of the department; John Rogers, M.F.A., assistant professor of fine arts; David Wilson, A.I.A., University architect; Paul Brown, M.S., director of public relations; John Stalker, Ph.D., director of Alumni Memorial Library; Charles Kratz, M.L.S., director of the Weinberg Memorial Library; Richard Leonori, A.I.A., of Leung Hemmler Camayd, architects for the building.