Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cuyahoga County Courthouse Murals

As a continuation of my blog from last week about ”Justice”, the stained glass window in the Cuyahoga County Courthouse in downtown Cleveland, I thought I would feature the large murals that are on the second floor flanking each side of the large center hall of the Courthouse.

The mural on the north side of the second floor is “The Constitutional Convention, September 17, 1787” and was painted by Violet Oakley in 1915. It is a rendering of the final moment on the last day of the convention, held in Philadelphia, PA. George Washington is on the left side of the mural and he is presiding over the convention. Benjamin Franklin is on the right of the mural. As Franklin was too weak to speak, he is shown handing his speech to fellow Pennsylvanian James Wilson to read. The US Constitution was adopted on this day.

The second mural on the south side of the second floor is “King John Signing the Magna Carta at Runnymede, 1215” painted by Sir Frank Brangwyn in 1913. It depicts the King signing the document that proclaimed certain rights of the King’s subjects, whether they were free or not free. The Magna Carta was likely the key influence on what led to the rule of constitutional law that we know today. It was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects to limit his powers by law, and protect their privileges.

Here are a few photos of both of these beautiful murals and the surrounding area.

The Constitutional Convention, September 17, 1787
Painted by Violet Oakley (1915)

King John Signing the Magna Carta at Runnymede, 1215
Painted by Sir Frank Brangwyn (1913)

View of the Magna Carta mural from across the center hall

The 2nd floor hallway leading away from the one of the murals

I don't know where the doorways next to the murals lead, but one of the doors reminds me of the face of a lion.

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