(see The Ten
Commandments in the U.S. Supreme Court

(new letters added)

Christian Heritage Tours Inc.

(Books, Videos, Newsletters)

Murals in the Main Library, U.S. Department of Justice
Maurice Sterne (1877 – 1957)

  1. Brute Force, to the left of the main entrance, is the most primitive manner of settling disputes; superior strength replaces Justice. 
  2. Greed portrays a group fighting over and casting dice for the garments of Christ at the foot of the cross.
  3. Ordeal generated controversy by depicting a man undergoing trial by ordeal. The robed figure represents Pope Innocent III. Some officials of the Roman Catholic Church felt that the depiction of clerics in the composition would associate the Catholic Church with trial by ordeal.
  4. Justice Tempered by Mercy. “He who is without sin should cast the first stone.” The action is reflected in a mirror.
  5. Intolerance. A Roman scene in which literature is being burned. In the foreground a figure collapsed over books is being covered with tar.
  6. Tradition depicts a woman holding two babies. To the left are Hammurabi, Moses and Justinian: to the right are Roman, Medieval and Modern soldiers. The composition contrasts the constructive and destructive elements of tradition.
  7. Superstition portrays the Delphic Sybil surrounded by attendants. In the background is a human sacrifice.
  8. The triptych over the circulation desk represents Continuity of the Law. Included are The Past, Continuity of the Law, and The Future.
  9. In Belief in Magic a magician pulls a rabbit from a hat. He is also shown swinging ticker tape from which a Pied Piper entices people and their savings to follow him.
  10. In Competition and Monopoly, men are shown in a tug-of-war. In the background two steers are fighting, while in the foreground, a figure stifles his competitors.
  11. False Witness wears two faces. The deceitful face hides behind the honest face. Behind him stands Bribery while Truth collapses before him.
  12.  Justice and Science. The central figure holds a lens to illuminate fingerprints. A kidnapping is in progress on the right as a criminal is being groomed in a barber shop at the left.
  13. Children witness a holdup in Environment. A woman hands flowers to a criminal and a newsboy sells the “Daily Yellow Gazette” while a news broadcast is in progress.
  14. In Ambition Jacob wrestles with the angel as people climbing up a rock represent earthly ambition.
  15. Red Tape is a huge spider web with a skull. The clock suggests the passage of time. The people caught in the web are being released by Justice Holmes.
  16. The triptych over the main entrance to the Library represents Attributes of Justice. Shown are Intuition, the Scale of Justice and Reason

    Maurice Sterne, artist and sculptor, was born in Latvia in 1877. At the age of ten, he emigrated to New York City where he held various jobs to support his widowed mother and sister. He was encouraged to develop his artistic talent while working as a designer’s helper in a map engraving house. He studied at Cooper Union and at the National Academy of Design where he learned anatomy under Thomas Eakins. Early in his career he achieved success as an etcher, but later confined himself to painting and sculpture. “The Search for Truth” was completed in 1939. Mr. Sterne became an American citizen in 1904. He died in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. in 1957.



Copyright@2011-2015 - Christian Heritage Tours, All rights reserved.

for(var i=0;i