Underwood & Underwood
Title: (8) Grand Staircase, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Mead B. Kibbey
Accession Number: 2002.0027.0047
Inscriptions:This is the hospitable entrance to the most magnificent and beautiful library building in the world. The great western doorway which faces the Capitol is behind us at the left. We are looking N. E. up the northern staircase. (There is a similar staircase on the south side.) If we pass through his stately arch of Italian marble and go on straight east, past the foot of the staircase, we shall reach the vast, high-walled Reading Room in the center of the building, under the dome where 300 students can easily work at one time. The red Italian marbles inlaid in the hall floor came from Verona, the yellow slabs from Siena of electric lights with sueh stately dignity is by Martigny. The sculptured decorations of the staircase are Martigny’s too - to those child figures alternating with the graceful drooping curves of the looped garlands represent different interests and occupations of daily life - the gardener, the student of natural history, the student of books.
We can see through he magnificent arches there at the left just a glimpse of Charles Sprague Pearee’s Labor, one of the many admirable paintings that attract thousands of visitors to the building. Some of the best mural paintings in America are here, the work of our own American artists. They are not frescoes in the ordinary sense. As a rule, the paintings were made in oils on canvas and afterwards fixed on these walls.
The book-stacks of the library are a quarter of a mile distant from the halls of the Senate and House over in the Capitol behind us, but the buildings are connected by a tunnel through which runs an endless cable, and by this means any book needed for reference by a member of Congress in the middle of an exciting debate can be in his hands in three minutes.
See Washington through the Stereoscope, with patent maps locating all the most effective standpoints and identifying the important landmarks; published by Underwood & Underwood.
Grand Staircase, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., U. S. A.
Le Grand Escalier de la Bibliotheque du Congres, Washington, D. C., E. U. d’ A.
La gran Escalera, Biblioteca del Congreso, Washington, D. C., E. U. de A.
Paradtrappan, Confress-biblioteket, Washington, D. S., F. S. A.
(Also another German and Russian translation)
Description: View of a stone archway, a bench and a staircase
Place Depicted:North and Central America, United States, District of Columbia, Washington