Outdoor Sculpture & Building Ornamentation

Knight Library Heads

Artist: Edna Dunberg and Louise G. Utter. Date: 1936-37
Location: Knight Library, Frieze, East, North, and West Facades
Medium: Cast stone

St. Thomas Aquinas
John Locke
Jesus Christ
Michelangelo Buonarotti
Ludwig von Beethoven
Leonardo da Vinci
Isaac Newton
Charles Darwin
Thomas Jefferson
Oliver Wendell Holmes
William Shakespeare
Dante Alighieri

Location of heads:

  • East frieze, south to north: Thucydides, Leonardo da Vinci, Buddha, Thomas Jefferson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Isaac Newston, Charles Darwin

  • North frieze:

    • East entrance: Jefferson, Darwin, Jesus Christ, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare
    • Central portion: St. Thomas, Aristotle, Locke, Thucydides, Buddha, Christ, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, Darwin, Jefferson, Holmes, Shakespeare, Dante
    • West entrance: Aristotle, Locke, Jesus Christ, Michaelangelo, Thucydides
  • West frieze, south to north: Michelangelo, Beethoven, Dante, Shakespeare, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Locke, Buddha.


Dunberg, Utter


In 1936, Edna Dunberg and Louise Utter were hired to create the 15 sculptured heads that, with their duplicates, are the key features of a frieze that occupies the east, north, and west exteriors of the Depression-era Knight Library. The sculptures represent figures from the disciplines taught in academia and were selected by Ellis Lawrence in collaboration with a University committee. In moving one of the heavy plaster casts during the creation of the works, Dunberg suffered an intense pain that was eventually diagnosed to be cancer of the spine. She died on July 21, 1936, and artist Louise Utter (Pritchard) finished the rest of the models for the works, which were then made into cast stone.

Left:  Edna Dunberg (left) and Louise Utter (right) in about 1935.

This digitized photo was provided by Shasta Dawson of Australia. Mrs. Dawson is the daughter of Louise Utter Pritchard. Her father, Walter Pritchard, who married Louise while they were students at UO, was also an artist and worked at Linfield College and Washington State University. Louise Utter Pritchard's other works on campus include a plaque on the south exterior of the older part of Allen Hall and the figure Pan in the courtyard of the Museum of Art.


  • Obituary, Edna C. Dunberg (Funeral Notices). Oregonian July 26, 1936.
  • "Fifteen sentinels guard library entrances." Daily Emerald 3 Oct. 1951, 8.