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Livermore Library
Page 3 - Mural

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Livermore has a beautiful new state of the art Civic Center Library.
Unfortunately, it has made the national news for misspelled names on the mural near the entrance.
The mural is a beautiful circular art display, featuring a variety of images, and names of authors, artists, philosophers, scientists, and more.  It incorporates world and local history, events, and places.

Mural Words, Names, and Descriptions
The Famous Misspellings

Book Misspellings


Library Interior

The entrance to the Livermore Library.  The Mural is surrounded by benches with granite books.

The Mural, February 23, 2008

Words and Descriptions

Note that the following is unofficial.  The words were taken from photographs that I took of the mural.  Descriptions are from research on the internet, and encyclopedias.  Most of the information came from Microsoft Encarta 2004, and  www.Wikipedia.org.  In some cases I may have misinterpreted what was meant.  In a few cases I could not determine what was meant.  I did not put in descriptions of some of the more generic terms.

The artist's description of the mural can be found here.

Inner Circle Depicts divine love and enlightenment.
Diagrams - no words.  
Second circle The search for enlightenment.
Starting at 12:00 (nearest library doors) going clockwise.  
Courage (again)
Third Circle (narrow black strip):  
We were not made to live like beasts but to follow knowledge and truth... Dante Aleghieri... From Dante's Divine Comedy.  (It should be Dante Alighieri).
When the doors of perception are cleansed, everything will appear as it is infinite..Wm. Blake William Blake, from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
Fourth (largest) circle Divided into geographic areas.  Illustrations of culture, arts, etc.
Starting at 12:00 - closest to the library doors.  
Glow Longer in Livermore+ Reference to the over 100 year old light bulb.
A Graham Bell
Mr. Watson
Alexander Graham Bell.  1847-1922.  American.  Inventor of the telephone.
Thomas Watson was his assistant.
Marie Curie 1867-1934.  Polish-born French chemist.  Early investigator of radioactivity.
Pasteur Louis Pasteur (1822-1895.  French chemist.  Invented pasteurization.
Einstein Albert Einstein (1879-1955).  German born American physicist.
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).  English physicist, mathematician.  Most known for laws of gravitation.
Diagram of a windmill  
Botticelli Sandro Botticelli (1455-1510).  Italian. Real name was Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi.  Painter of the Florentine Renaissance.
Stonehenge English prehistoric monument.  Built and rebuilt between 3000 and 1000 BC.
Primitive Art Represented by several art forms.
One of the Misspelling.  Theseus was a the greatest Athenian hero according to Greek mythology.
Procrustes was a robber in Greek mythology.  Killed by Theseus.
Temples Represented by the ruins of a temple.
Winged Victory Greek sculpture from 200BC, also known as Nike of Samothrace.
Cassatt Mary Cassatt (1844-1926).  American Painter.
Gaia Gaia Theory, in which the earth conditions were changed by organisms.
Hercules In Greek mythology, a hero noted for his strength and courage.
Thailand A country in southeast Asia
Buddha About 563 to 483 BC.  Indian philosopher, who founded Buddhism.  Born in Nepal.
Henry Moore British sculptor.  1898-1986
Yoga Hindu philosophy.
Ecology The study of the relationship of plants and animals to their physical anb biological environment.
China World's most populace country.
Japan Island nation in east Asia.
Pablo Picasso Spanish painter, 1881-1973.
Alexander the Great King of Macedonia.  Conquered the Persian Empire.  356-323BC.
Pueblos A style of native American housing, made of adobe.
Deja Picasso (I do not know what this refers to)
Voodoo A religion of Haiti and other areas.
Deer Dancers Mayan festival.
Mambo Queen (I do not know what this refers to)
Fertility Figures Developed in many cultures to promote fertility.
Masks Used for ritual and other reasons since antiquity.
Native American panel.
Katcinas is normally spelled Kachinas.  Katcinas is sometimes listed as a specific Kachina.  Another misspelling
Petroglyphs are rock paintings.
Gauguin Paul Gauguin (1848-1903).  French postimpressionist painter.
Archipenko Aleksandr Porfiryevich Archipenko (1887-1964).  Ukranian-American sculptor.
Giacometti Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966).  Swiss sculptor and painter.
Schweitzer Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965).  1875-1965.  German born theologian, and medical missionary.
Tutankhamen Egyptian pharaoh "Boy King".  Ruled from 1333-1323 BC, from the age of 9 through 18, when he died.
Lost Worlds Lost worlds are both the subject of Legend, archeological discovery.
Anwar Sadat 1918-1981.  Egyptian president from 1970 to 1981, when he was assassinated.
Cleopatra (60-30 BC). Queen of Egypt from 51-30BC.
Caesar Probably refers to Julius Caesar (100-44BC).  Roman general and statesman.
Burial Urn  
BC Hair
Egyptian queen, chief wife of Akhenaton, the pharaoh from 1353-1335 BC.
Egyptian Decorative Arts  
Sumerian Trade Sumerian Trade routes
Douanier Rousseau Henri Rousseau (1844-1910).  French painter.
Bactrian Camel Two hump camel used by traders since ancient times.
Assyrian Bull Discovered in 1929, a large human-headed winged bull.
Delacroix Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863).  French painter.
Harriet Tubman
1820? to 1913.  African American who fled slavery and guided runaway slaves to freedom before the Civil War.
Rabbi Honorary title of the Jewish masters of the Law.
Chagall Mark Chagall (1998-1985) Russian born French painter and designer.
Luca Della Robbia (~1400-1482) terra-cotta reliefs, marble
Michelangelo 1475-1564 Italian painter, sculptor, architect, poet.
Moses Hebrew prophet and lawgiver.  Led the people of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
Beckmann Max Beckmann (1885-1950).  German expressionist painter.
Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).  Florentine artist.  Paitner, sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist.
Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).  American jazz singer.
Matisse Henri Emile Benoit Matisse (1869-1954).  French artist, leader of the fauve group.
Ballet Theatrical dance.
Clara Schuman Misspelled.  Clara Josephine Schumann (1819-1896).  German pianist.  Married Robert Schumann, a composer.  Lifelong friend of Johannes Brahms.
Duke Ellington (1899-1974).  American jazz composer, bandleader.
Tango modern ballroom dance, originating in Argentina.
Leonard Bernstein Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990).  American composer.
Madam Walker Sarah Walker ("Madame C.J.") (1867-1919).  American entrepreneur, developed hair care products and techniques for black women.
Moulin Rouge Name of a French cabaret, frequented by Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901).
Degas Edgar Degas (1834-1917).  French painter and sculptor.
Van Gogh Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890).  Dutch postimpressionist painter.
Shakespeare William Shakespeare (1564-1616).  English playwright and poet.
Tonantzin In Aztec mythology, Tonantzin was a lunar mother goddess.  Depicted as a toad swallowing a stone knife.
Beklin Arnold Bcklin (different spelling) (1827-1901) is a Swiss painter.  The mural clearly has an "E".  I have found that spelling on the net, but the spelling with an "E" gets 480 hits, while spelling with a "C" gets 280,000 hits.
Pagliacci The opera Pagliacci (Clowns), written by Ruggero Leoncavallo in 1892.
Virgen De Guadalupe Juan Diego, a Native American Aztec man claimed to see visions of the Virgin Mary in 1531, in Mexico.  This is referred to as the Virgen de Guadalupe.
La Ruta Maya I am not sure exactly what this refers to.  There is a "La Ruta Maya" boat race in Belize, and a search will bring up tourism in Guatemala.  It may refer to the route of the Mayans.
May refer to Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957), Mexican painters.  Could also be a novel Diego et Frieda (Diego and Frida), a 1993 novel by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio of France.  It is probably the former reference, as this is a Mexican part of the mural.
Day of the Dead Celebration to honor the spirits of the dead, observed in Mexico and other Latin American countries on November 2.
Babylonia Ancient country of Mesopotamia from the 18th to the 6th century BC.
Emil Nolde (1867-1956).  German expressionist painter.
Frog Prince A fairy tale, best known through the Brothers Grimm's version.
Freyr In Norse mythology, a fertility god, son of the fertility god Njord.
Olmeca Culture in southern Mexico from 1300 to 600 BC.  Produced many sculptures, such as the one shown on the mural.
Wimple A garment of mediaeval Europe worn by women.
Thor In Norse mythology, the god of thunder.
Snow Queen A fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, published in 1845.
Fifth (outer) circle:  
All images, except the title:  The Doors  



The Misspellings

The Livermore Library Mural has received a lot of press about the misspellings.  There are generally considered to be 11 misspellings in the original mural, although not everyone seems to agree on which names make up the 11!  There are 13 total in question.

Below is a list of the misspellings, or alleged misspellings, and their approximate locations on the Mural, as well as the current status.

Mural Spelling
Current Notes Position *
Einstein Eistein Fixed   12:30, middle
Theseus Thesues unchanged To be retouched 1:00, outer edge
Dante Alighieri Dante Aleghieri unchanged Alternate spelling 2:00, black ring
Kachinas or katsina Katcinas unchanged Alternate spelling 4:30 toward outer
Gauguin Gaugan Fixed   5:00, inner
Nefertiti Nefertite Fixed   6:30, center
Michelangelo Michaelangelo Fixed   7:30, outer edge.
Luca Della Robbia Luca Della Robia Fixed   7:30, middle
Beckmann Beckman Fixed   8:00, Inner
Schumann Schuman Unchanged To be retouched 9:00, center
van Gogh Vangough Fixed   10:00, outer edge
Shakespeare Shakespere Fixed   10:00, center
Bcklin Beklin unchanged To be retouched 10:00, center

* Position:  12:00 is closest to the library entrance doors.  6:00 is closest to Livermore Ave.

Update on the misspellings:

The Livermore City Council voted 3-2 to pay the artist $6,000 plus travel expenses to correct the misspellings (the original fee was $40,000).  The changes were made from August 7 through 10, 2005.

8 misspellings were corrected.  The artist had brought three additional tiles to replace as requested by the city.  These were for Schumann, Theseus, & Bcklin. As the work progressed, there was a danger that the physical integrity of the mural would be compromised, as the work required sawing and drilling.  It was decided that the final three names would be retouched rather than replaced.  This will be done at a later date.  The three replacement tiles are to be displayed at the library in the future along with a description of the mural (My own description appears above).

As far as the other two names:

"Katcinas" is officially considered to be an alternate spelling.  "Kachinas" is by far the most common spelling, with "Katsina" being listed as an alternate (but not "Katcinas").  One source lists the "Kat'cina Mosa" as the Hopi spelling for the Cat Kachina.  I.E., a very specific one.  So if it is referring to the specific Cat Kachina, it is spelled correctly from my research.

Dante Aleghieri is also officially considered to be an alternate spelling.  My research does not agree with this conclusion (but I've been known to be wrong before - just ask my wife).  It should be "Alighieri".  The listed spelling can be found in searches, but appear to be typos, as even where this spelling is found, most of the same article spells it Alighieri.


Photos of some of the more well known names (prior to being fixed):



Book Misspellings

It has been pointed out to me that there are few misspellings on the granite books which surround the murals also.


The author of Lonesome Dove is Larry McMurtry, not McMurty (last "r" missing).
This one is on the outside, opposite the library (the library doors can be seen through the gap)


It is the Scarlet Pimpernel, not "Pimpernal"
This is on the inside, left side (about 9:00 of 12:00 is toward the library)