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The Tree of Knowledge, 1960-61

 
Paul Aschenbach,
Tree of Knowledge,
1960-61
 
Created by UVM sculpture professor Paul Aschenbach for the entrance to Bailey Library in 1961 this welded metal sculpture, placed on an elevated pedestal - gift of the Class of 1962 - abstractly depicts various branches of knowledge taught at the University of Vermont. A remarkable number of drawings and studies for this work are in the permanent collection of the Robert Hull Fleming Museum including a small metal crucifix, a maquette for the large Crucifix which was commissioned in the early 1960's for the Chapel at Trinity College (Burlington, VT). The crucifix in its tree-like form is related in composition to the Tree of Knowledge. The sculpture was moved from the plaza in front of Bailey Library when the Howe addition was constructed in 1980 to the walkway adjacent to the new entrance to the library.

Aschenbach was also well known as a carver in marble and granite, and organized two International Sculpture Symposia whose many works are placed on the rest stops areas of the Vermont Interstate System (I-89/I 91). Other work by the sculptor can be found in the Burlington area at Trinity College, St. Michael's College, and on the Battery Street promenade.