Clark Hall Murals

Allyn Cox

The murals in Clark Hall were painted by Allyn Cox on a commission from William Andrews Clark, Jr., who was the donor of the building. The project took four years from 1930-1934. Mr Cox (1896-1982) was responsible for painting and designing the murals in collaboration with Clark and Lile, Dean of the Law School. One of the nation’s leading muralists during the 1930’s, Cox was the son of the renowned artist, Kenyon Cox. He studied under his father and at the National Academy of Design in New York, and earned a fellowship in painting at the American Academy in Rome. Cox had worked with Clark before, painting the ceilings of the W. A. Clark, Jr., Library in Los Angeles between 1925 and 1927. Cox’s later works included murals for the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA, the mosaic mural in Grant’s Tomb, New York City, completion of the frieze in the rotunda of our nation’s Capitol Building, and murals in the east corridor of the House Wing of the U.S. Capitol.

The Murals

Over the south door, opposite the entrance, is the table of dedication, supported by two female bronze-colored figures, Diké representing Law and Order, and Eunomia representing approximately the Moral Law.

To the right, on the west wall, the three large panels in color depict a passage from the 18th book of the Iliad describing one of the scenes from the shield of Achilles. This primitive trial over the blood-price of a slain man is used to represent the Law as a means of settling disputes – weighing the conflicting interests of groups or individuals, and divining their relations to each other – a development of the idea expressed by Diké, Law and Order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opposite, on the east wall, is Moses delivering the Tablet of the Law to the Children of Israel. This indicates the idea of Eunomia, the Law of the Individual for Himself, that which it is good for him to be.

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In the four corners of the hall, over the smaller doors are four grisaille panels, each divided in two:

  • On the west wall, at the left, the entire panel connotes criminal law with “Punishment” above and “Crime” below.
  • On the west wall, at the right, the top part represents “Civil Law” and “Contract Law” is shown below.
  • On the east wall, at the left, “Canon Law” is the upper portion and “Admiralty” the lower.
  • On the east wall, at the right, is depicted “Equity Staying the Hand of the Common Law” above, and “Torts” below.