Art in Cornette Library

Several original pieces of art as well as reproductions hang in Cornette Library, including paintings, prints, and engravings.

The Evolution of the Book

In the Lecture Room reproductions of six paintings by John White Alexander illustrate The Evolution of the Book. The original paintings are displayed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The artist, John White Alexander, was born in Pennsylvania in 1856, and died in New York in 1915. At the age of 18 he was working as an illustrator for Harper's Weekly. He studied in Munich, Venice, Florence, Holland, and Paris. By 1881 he was well known as a portrait painter and many famous people sat for his portraits both in this country and in Europe. Alexander painted murals for the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh and for the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Pattern and light were of particular interest to the artist and the flowing lines of art nouveau are obvious in his work.

men heaping stones

Primitive men heap stones into a cairn to communicate a message.

Arabian storyteller

Arabian storyteller illustrates how information was passed orally from one generation to another.

Egyptian workman

An Egyptian workman is cutting hieroglyphics (characters used in picture writing) into a stone.

Native American

A Native American is painting symbols that tell a story onto a dressed and smooth deerskin.


In the interior of a monastery cell a monk laboriously illuminates the pages of a great folio book.

Gutenberg and printing press

Gutenberg the inventor of the printing press and his assistant examine a proof sheet while an apprentice operates the press.

Texas Panhandle Artists

Olive Vandruff

Untitled Panhandle Scene with Pronghorns

Olive Vandruff (1908- ) was born in Ohio and studied with Edmund Giesbert at the University of Chicago. She moved to Kerrville, Texas in 1950 and worked with San Antonio sculptor Pompeo Coppini. In 1960, she married Clarendon, Texas, artist Harold Bugbee. When Bugbee died in 1963, she assumed his position as curator of art at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, a position she held until 1986. Vandruff lives in Clarendon, Texas, and specializes in paintings of animals.

The painting was placed in the library in memory of Miss Bertie May Williams for 38 years of devoted library service.

A. W. Mack


Rescue of Andromeda

Alexander Watson Mack (1894-1988) was born in Pumpherston, Scotland. He studied at the Herriott-Watt Engineering College at Edinburgh and at the Edinburgh College of Art as well as the Royal Academy in London and in galleries and museums of Europe. He taught at West Texas State's Palo Duro Art Colony during the summers along with Harold Bugbee, Amy Jackson, and Isabel Robinson.

The paintings were presented to the library by Dr. and Mrs. James K. Knott in memory of Velma James Knott.


Sacrifice to Neptune

Isabel Robinson


Untitled Watercolor

Isabel Robinson (1894-1976) was a native of Missouri and studied at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Pratt Institute, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She was head of the art department at West Texas State Teachers College from 1927 to 1955. While at WT, she founded the Palo Duro School of Art, a summer school offered in the 1930s.

Dr. Emilio Caballero

Copper enamel art Conquistadors in the Blackburn Room

Dr. Emilio Caballero, former professor and art department head at West Texas State, created these two panels of enameled copper art.

Cornette library thanks Dr. Caballero for donating these pieces.

Copper enamel art Conquistadors in the Blackburn Room

Boydell Engravings

The Library owns three Eighteenth Century engravings published by John and Josiah Boydell. The engravings illustrate scenes from Shakespeare, and were a gift from Wendy Marsh. Images of the engravings are currently unavailable. Titles and descriptions appear below.

Merry Wives of Windsor. Act II. Scene I.
Engraved by Robert Thew after a painting by the Reverend William Peters. Published December 24, 1793. The wives discover Falstaff has written them identical love letters in hopes of swindling them out of their money.
King Henry. Part II. Act II. Scene IV.
Engraved by William Leney after a painting by Henry Fuseli. Published March 25, 1795. Prince Hal eavesdrops as Falstaff boasts about his own superiority which in reality is questionable.
Merry Wives of Windsor. Act III. Scene III.
Engraved by I.P. Simon after a painting by the Reverend William Peters. Published December 24, 1793. The wives seek their revenge in an elaborate plot culminating in Falstaff's concealment in a basket of foul laundry.

Pippa Statue

Photo of plaster sculpture Pippa Passes

On loan from the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Pippa Passes graces the library's Atrium reading area. This large plaster sculpture by Texas artist Waldine Tauch is the original which was used for the bronze casting that is displayed in front of the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University.

The sculpture was inspired by the dramatic poem of the same name by Robert Browning. The four medallions in back of the girl's figure represent the poem's four main divisions. It's best known line is: "God's in His heaven, All's right with the world"

The library's coffee shop "Pippa's" was in turn inspired by the statue.