The Goddess of Wisdom

photo of a mural

Photo by Scott Rudd

Students in Butler Library pass under the watchful eye of Athena, depicted in Eugene Francis Savage’s Videbimus Lumen. The book A Guide to Columbia University With Some Account of Its History and Traditions, published in 1937 and edited by John William Robson ’35, says of the 1934 mural, “A figure of Athene in white is depicted warding off two devils, symbolic of malevolent influence and disorder. The flying figures at the right represent divinity, the sciences, and the arts. Below is a group symbolic of modern occupations: agriculture, industry, and intellectual endeavor. Behind the figure of Athene is the skyline of lower Manhattan.