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Disarmament

If you were especially observant during your years on campus, you may have noticed a stone carving by the York Street entrance to Sterling Memorial Library that depict a hostile encounter: a Puritan pointing a musket at a Native American (top). When the library decided to reopen the long-disused entrance as the front door of the new Center for Teaching and Learning, says head librarian Susan Gibbons, she and the university’s Committee on Art in Public Spaces decided the carving’s “presence at a major entrance to Sterling was not appropriate.” The Puritan’s musket was covered over with a layer of stone (bottom) that Gibbons says can be removed in the future without damaging the original carving. 

Filed under Sterling Memorial Library

28 comments

  • Hmm
    Hmm, 11:16am August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    When will the bow that the Native American is pointing at the Puritan be covered as well?

  • Ricardo Montalbon
    Ricardo Montalbon, 1:36pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Or maybe both the indian and pilgrim/puritan/whatever are simply holding weapons, which was pretty normal at the time, and are not actually aiming at each other. Also supported by the fact both figures are looking outward and not at each other.

    Boy, used to be librarians were mucho respected as the holders of the keys of all knowledge. Now? Not so much.

  • Chris Bray
    Chris Bray, 1:56pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    The future is easy to know -- it's the past that keeps changing. Historical image: rectified!

  • Michael W. Perry, medical writer
    Michael W. Perry, medical writer, 2:50pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Note what is actually portrayed. Neither is pointing a weapon at the other. Both are looking away and in the same direction. The most plausible explanation is that they're hunting together.

  • Kevin Mulcahy
    Kevin Mulcahy, 2:50pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Who needs ISIS blowing up Palmyra when you have Yale librarians defacing structures?

  • Christopher Ekstrom
    Christopher Ekstrom , 3:12pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    SMU was just taught a lesson that in TEXAS there are NO SAFE SPACES! Yale is undergoing a Stalinist revival. #PCU

  • John Fembup
    John Fembup, 3:14pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Yes. Because the portrayal of Puritans dropping a large rock on Native Americans is so much more in keeping with our times.

  • Earnest Prole
    Earnest Prole, 3:45pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Taliban.

  • John Galt
    John Galt, 3:47pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Curious when the book burnings will start? I'm hoping to have time to buy marshmallows.

  • Ankylus
    Ankylus, 4:16pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    What about the Indian's bow. That's an "appropriate" weapon? And btw, my son is being recruited for his academics by the Ivy League right now. Nobody in the Ivy League makes the cut of his list of colleges because of this kind of nonsense. They clearly are preoccupied by things other than academic excellence.

  • Na Do
    Na Do, 4:31pm August 10 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    If only the head librarian used her own periodical of the library's own newspaper to gather the context or even looked at the entrance. The Yale University Library Gazette
    Vol. 5, No. 2 (OCTOBER 1930), pp. 22-23 The two shields on the left abutment: Lamp of Knowledge, Torch of Learning. Two shields on the right abutment: Open Book, Speculum. The corbels in the arch of the door: Student and Tutor and an Indian and a Puritan. What message does this entryway seem to convey when taken as a whole?

  • Amac
    Amac, 10:15am August 11 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Cultural appropriation of the Nazis. Check your privilege, Yale.

  • Winston Smith
    Winston Smith, 2:46pm August 11 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    into the memory hole it goes!

  • CCooper
    CCooper, 5:51pm August 11 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Now it looks like the Puritan is trying to hide from an armed and dangerous Native American. Was that the intent?

  • Dov Neidish
    Dov Neidish, 7:53pm August 11 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I didn't get my doctorate from an "Ivy", so maybe I just don't understand how this is different from the Taliban & similar groups destroying ancient artifacts. Maybe Susan Gibbons can explain?

  • J.J. Kitts
    J.J. Kitts, 12:40pm August 12 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Why is that nasty Puritan trying to hit that poor Indian with a big rock? What's going on here?

  • Synnful
    Synnful, 9:05am August 13 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Are you kidding me?

    The US was founded because its citizens were armed and able to fight back against a government they considered tyrannical. What is with the firearm gate? Police have guns, FBI agents guns, military guns. All the people YOU would need in an emergency have guns. Why not have your own so you can rely on yourself?

    Unreal. It's been a looong time since I was in college and I'm embarrassed for everyone of you students who allow themselves to be indoctrinated by this crap. Think for yourselves, it's why you're there in the first place.

  • Sassafras
    Sassafras , 2:50am August 14 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    And this is why no one wants to attend Yale any more....

  • Neo
    Neo, 10:00am August 14 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Can someone please tell me the difference between this and the destruction of the Buddhist carvings in Afghanistan by the Taliban?

  • Steven E Skwara
    Steven E Skwara, 10:12am August 14 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Why the half measure? Go all in and take the whole thing down with a sledgehammer. Someone could remove that tumor rock some day and be triggered by the musket carving.

  • YLS Grad
    YLS Grad, 3:46am August 15 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Guns sure are scary, and Yale sure is funny. Didn't Susan Gibbons realize that her decision would make her and Yale a laughingstock. And what about the artist whose work has been censored? Isn't that person entitled to be heard?

  • Anthony
    Anthony, 10:22am August 17 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Oceania's Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts applauds the committee's work.

  • Yale '66
    Yale '66, 12:29pm August 17 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Gibbons should be ashamed of herself, and Yale should be ashamed of another mindless bow to political correctness.

  • ConcernedCitizen
    ConcernedCitizen, 1:58pm August 17 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Nice! Very 1984-ish style. Lets alter the documented past so that no one knows we ever made mistakes.

  • Henry
    Henry, 6:45pm August 17 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Couldn’t Yale find any retired Soviet airbrush artists who would have done this for free, for nostalgia's sake?

  • Hugh
    Hugh, 11:37pm August 17 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    "...and the OLD ALUM wept, at the decline and fall of a once great University."

  • Richard
    Richard, 7:16am August 18 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Maybe Yale should change the name of the university since it is named after a slave trader and one who often captured and tortured Indians. Does not take much to learn about Elihu Yale. Then you can challenge the Harvard alum to pressure administration to change the name of that school as well since John Harvard was a slave owner and even had slaves working on the Harvard campus as early as 1639. Come one....be brave and take a real stand.

  • GoebbelsLives!
    GoebbelsLives!, 8:09pm August 18 2017 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Every record has been destroyed or falsified,
    every book has been rewritten, every picture has been
    repainted, every statue and street and building has been
    renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is
    continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has
    stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which
    the Party is always right. Orwell, 1984

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