Angell Hall Facade Bas Reliefs

Ulysses Ricci
1924; Limestone; Architectural Feature
Central Campus; West facade, Angell Hall

Flanking the main stairs are four reliefs with symbols of poetry, history, philosophy and art. The panel above the main door has the U-M’s motto and is flanked by figures depicting literature and knowledge. The two panels at the top of the building have images of Pegasus in one, and centaurs flanking a candelabra in the other. On the parapet is inscribed the words from the famous Northwest Ordinance of 1787: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Reliefs around the bases of the columns and in the spandrels represent subjects suggestive of learning, including an owl for wisdom, book for history, lamp of learning, harp for poetry, globe for world sciences and an hour glass. Ricci was also the sculptor of the medallions on the facade of Hatcher Library, as well as the corbel figures of the Law Quad and the bas reliefs on CC Little Building. He was associated with Angelo Zari and their shop in New York City was famous for its “Boweryesque” corbels.