Tonight you will take at least one of the three patterns below to create matching effects. One legend and one understudy will join forces to show how voguers are inspired by veteran performers.

Plant Motifs

Look around the Library and you will see plant motifs incised in the Peabody’s cast iron. The Peabody architects were inspired by Greek design principles from Grammar of Ornament. The book shows that the Greeks developed the plant motif from Egyptian design based on the lotus palmette.

plant motif
railing detail
Detail from the Peabody Library
railing detail

Greek Key Pattern

The Peabody Library columns are covered in a Greek key pattern—a long, continuous line that repeatedly folds back on itself. Earlier variations of this design are found on Egyptian tombs.

Renaissance Design

The Peabody Library columns feature elements of Renaissance design.

book illstration
Grammar of Ornament
Peabody Column
Peabody Column
Peabody Library detail showing plant motifs, key pattern, and Renaissance-inspired design
Peabody Library detail showing plant motifs, key pattern, and Renaissance-inspired design

About Grammar of Ornament

Grammar of Ornament plates on Greek ornament helped establish neo-Grec style, details loosely based on ancient Greek decoration. Peabody architects used neo-Grec ornament to design the Library. Grammar was a ground-breaking book for architects, artists, designers, and others wanting authentic patterns, colors, and motifs from historical sources. The author aimed to convince others that the foundations for good design were to be found in studying the lessons of history. Grammar’s purpose was not to encourage others to copy or revive these older decorative arts, but to help young designers make use of the rich underlying design principles – the grammar – in their own work.