Art at the Columbia Public Library

“Tree of Knowledge”

by Joseph Falsetti, 1970

Created in 1970, this pair of metal sculptures are each 14 feet in length and were welded together with brass and silver. On the original Broadway library, the sculptures hung on either end of the north face of the building. They now hang on the clay block wall overlooking the Gene Martin Secret Garden on the southwest end of the building.

Joseph Falsetti was an associate professor of housing and interior design at the University of Missouri. According to the artist, the horizontal shapes in the sculptures represent the branches of enlightenment and the pointed shapes located at the very top of each piece symbolize flames and the “burning desire for knowledge that must be part of every human being.”

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