Art in Our Libraries

Public Art at King Library

artwork by Mel Chin Recolecciones: The Art of Mel Chin
These 33 "sculptural insertions" integrated into King Library are designed and located to provoke your interest, curiosity, sense of mystery, and wonder. Some concepts are invested with a sense of humor, while others are designed to encourage contemplation. These artworks include functional installations such as chairs, tables, and shelves as well as wall paneling, sculptural ceilings, curious light projections, and traditional sculpture.

Edmonia LewisEdmonia Lewis Sculptures
Mary Edmonia Lewis (1845/46 -September 17, 1907) is considered to be the first internationally renowned black American sculptor. Her mother was of African-American and Native American descent, and her father Haitian. She studied in Boston with sculptor Edward Brackett (1818–1908) before moving to Rome in the late 1860’s, returning to the U.S. occasionally to exhibit her work, including an exhibition in San José from September to December of 1873. At this time, the new San José Library Association (a fee-based library that predates the public library by a few years) purchased her Bust of Lincoln (1871). The pair of cherub sculptures Asleep (1871) and Awake (1872) were later donated from San José resident Sarah Knox-Goodrich. These beautiful marble sculptures have been owned by the library for more than 140 years. more about Edmonia Lewis

You can view the 3 Lewis sculptures in person in the California Room.

Public Art at the Branches

Public Art Fact Sheets (PDF):