Friday, April 12, 2019

Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building in downtown Sacramento, California!

The Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building is part of the California State Library system. It's located in downtown Sacramento, California directly across the street from the Sacramento State Capitol Building.

My husband and I took the self guided tour of the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building during National Library Week... And I must say that the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building is a must see building for its rich history!! If you enjoy libraries, books, art, architecture, history, and learning more about the California court system, then this is the place to visit when you come to Sacramento.

Exterior of the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building
'Romantic Wealth' Statue
'Floral Wealth' Statue
The above statues sit outside the entrance of the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building.
The sculptor for each statue was 
Edward Field Sanford Jr. (1886-1951).
The statues were carved from marble.

Entrance Vestibules for the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building
I loved viewing the entrance vestibules for the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building. It's beautiful, very grand and regal.

The memorial vestibule was dedicated to Californians who served in World War I.

San Francisco artist, Frank Van Sloun (1879-1938), painted "twelve oil-on-canvas murals depicting a chronological history of warfare from the Stone Age through World War I." These paintings can be viewed in this room.

Grand Stairway
We enjoyed taking the Grand Stairway as we visited all five floors of the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building.

Gillis Hall - Third Floor Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building

Gillis Hall is named in honor of State Librarian, James L. Gillis. James L. Gillis served as State Librarian from 1899 to 1917. Gillis Hall serves as a reading room and is considered the general information point for the library itself.

The mural painted on the wall of Gillis Hall is titled "A Pageant of Traditions". The mural was painted by California artist Maynard Dixon (1876-1946) and measures 69 x 14. 

Maynard Dixon also painted other murals in the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building which may be viewed in the second floor corridor.

Close up view of the central figures of Maynard Dixon's mural in Gillis Hall.
The female figure represents beauty and the male figure represents power according to the brochure we received. 

I also noticed that at the feet of the female figure one sees food, which I surmised may represent fertility or bounty. California is known for its agricultural economy, so this seems like an appropriate interpretation on my part. The male figure is surrounded by technology, which may indicate what man may achieve through hard work and diligence... This makes me think of Silicon Valley and other areas of commerce/technology within the State of California. 

I also noticed that the female figure is higher in elevation than that of the male figure, which makes me wonder if her gifts to humanity might be considered more meaningful/powerful/important than that of her male counterpart's gifts. 

I am only speculating what the artist was trying to convey in the above painting. It would be interesting to know whether I've interpreted correctly what Maynard Dixon was trying to impart.

Circulation Room - Third Floor of the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building
Center Ceiling Panel in the Circulation Room - Third Floor of the Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building
The Circulation room is also located on the third floor and is located directly across from Gillis Hall. We saw signage that a new exhibit was going into the Circulation Room. It would have been very interesting to have viewed the latest exhibit during our visit.
The Circulation Room is another gorgeous room to view at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building.

Love the elevator doors with their clathri motif!
We didn't ride the elevators at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, but I hear they have beautifully paneled interiors.
Back in the early days, I heard that the elevators were operated by vertical transportation engineers who provided directions and other information to visitors.

Unfortunately, we missed seeing the The Court Room on the main floor as the doors were shut (maybe court was in session??). 

We also missed seeing the State Library Meeting Room on the fifth floor as a large group was holding a meeting during the lunch hour. So, we were disappointed in missing this beautiful room as well!!

If you visit Sacramento, California, then I encourage you to visit the California State Library buildings... Especially if you are a library lover!

P. S. As a quick side note ~

My husband and I also visited the Sacramento State Capitol and took the free docent guided tour (kudos to Isabelle, our docent, she gave an excellent guided tour) + walked the grounds. If you haven't visited the Sacramento State Capitol before, then you're in for a real treat! We visited the Sacramento State Capitol on the weekend and we were surprised to have only eight people on our docent led tour. I thought there would be a larger group of people on our tour.

Since the Sacramento State Capitol
isn't really book related, I won't be doing a full blog post of it 
here on my book blog.


  1. Lovely tour! Thanks for posting the pics and info accompanying them.

  2. Stunning photos! Thank you so much.

    1. Thank you very much for your compliment, but my photographs don't do justice to the beauty found inside and outside the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building.

  3. Wow, that's a beautiful library!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a comment. I am happy you enjoyed my post.