Stop Day tour will offer fresh perspective of campus landmarks

Wed, 05/07/2014

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Julia Johnston
KU News Service

LAWRENCE — Retired University of Kansas professor Ted Johnson, French and Italian, will give his Stop Day walking tour of the architecture and sculptures along the university’s campus Friday, May 9. Attendees will make observations during the informal, peripatetic, Socratic dialogues that grow out of the various sites visited.

“The idea is to bring people to understand the campus and the university. The word campus in Latin means 'field.' Teachers by and large are gardeners, and thus the campus consists of various fields that we cultivate and where people and ideas are constantly growing. As we move about the campus, examine certain structures and sites, and draw out ideas from them, we gain fresh perspectives on ourselves and the world," Johnson said.

The tour takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and begins in front of the Natural History Museum, located at the intersection of 14th Street and Jayhawk Boulevard. The program schedule is as follows:

9 a.m. “Whoso findeth wisdom findeth life.” Location: Natural History Museum. An inquiry into the interrelations of the Romanesque Revival architecture and iconography of Spooner Hall and the Museum of Natural History.

10 a.m. The Seven Liberal Arts and the Classical Tradition. Location: Lippincott Hall. The interrelations of the Daniel Chester French statue group, the Ionic portico of Lippincott Hall, law and the seven liberal arts.

11 a.m. “Make our garden grow” (final chorus of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide”). Location: Twente Hall and then to the Prairie Acre. An inquiry into the implications of the quotation from Plato’s “Republic” just inside the door — “Our youth will dwell in a land of health and fair sights and sounds” — and the campus as garden with the Prairie Acre and sculptures representing a “Prairie Formation,” “The Pioneer,” “St. George and the Dragon” and “Mercury.”

Noon: Memory, the Muses, and the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Location: Watson Library, then across campus to Burge Union: An inquiry into the implications of the College Gothic northern façade of the University Library; the Romanesque Revival eastern façade of Stauffer-Flint; late Brutalism and the humanities building; the glass pyramid of the science library; the military science building and the 1943 wall, Murphy Hall and the arts, then on to the Burge Union.

1 p.m. Lunch and conversation.  Location: The Crimson Café, Burge Union. Time is approximate.

2 p.m. “Civilization is measured by the extent to which people obey unenforceable laws.” Location: The School of Law. “Tai Chi Figure I” by Ju Ming, “The Spirit of Laws” by Stephen Johnson, the I-beam sculpture at the engineering building, the foundry in the fine arts building, and the student-designed memorial at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

3 p.m. “Of cycles and civilizations: the Chi Omega Fountain and the University of Kansas Korea and Vietnam War memorials.” Location: Chi Omega Fountain. Location: The Chi Omega Fountain and Memorial Drive. An inquiry into the implications of the iconography of the fountain and the story of Persephone, Demeter and Hades, beginning with pomegranates and then turning around the cycles of life, death, wheat, seasons, courage, honor, sacrifice and wisdom.

4 p.m. The World War II Memorial Carillon and Campanile and the northern slopes of Mount Oread. Location: The Memorial Campanile. After reflections on the memorials on the northern slopes of Mount Oread, a descent through the shadows and raking light of Marvin Grove and then a gradual return up to the plane of Mount Oread.

5 p.m. Tentative Syntheses and Perspectives. Location: Arthur D. Weaver Court,  adjacent to Spooner Hall: Having come full circle, a summing up of the day’s dialogues in a garden where, formerly, under the dappled shade of graceful trees arching over the merry splashing of a fountain, floated a quartet of large rocks.



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