Geology Library Artwork

Below is information about the artwork found in the Geology Library.  The arwork features people and places with a geological theme.



Image Topic/Subject Artist
John Bownocker (1865-1929)


John Bownocker


1-1) John Bownocker (1865-1929)


Bownocker was Head of the Ohio Geological Survey (1906-1928) and Department of Geology Chair (1916-1928). He bequeathed his entire estate to OSU as an endowment for the work of the Geology Department. The Bownocker Lectures have been presented since 1937.


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Yeteve Smith

A Columbus native, Smith studied at OSU. Her unfussy works revealed her aesthetic kinship with artist George Bellows. A member of the Columbus Art League, she won several prizes.

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Petrified Forest by Thomas Moran


Petrified Forest 


1-2) Petrified Forest – Arizona (1904)

The Petrified Forest was a tropical jungle millions of years ago. Its trees were toppled by volcanic eruptions and swept away by floods. Chemicals in the water reacted with the wood to form colorful quartz crystals.

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Thomas Moran

Owners of the Northern Pacific Railroad paid Moran’s passage throughout the west, so he could create Works that could be used to encourage western travel.

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  • Click to see, "Thomas Moran's Diary," from the collections of Yellowstone National Park's Museum and Archives.  
Eternal City by Lewis A. Ramsey


Eternal City 


1-3) Eternal City - Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah (1926)

Bryce Canyon has remarkable formations of rich, red rock. This location was at various times a sea, a seashore, a coastal plain, and a lake bottom. It is world famous as a masterpiece of erosional scenery.

Find out more:

  • Watch a Web Video about the erosional features of Bryce Canyon.
  • Learn about the geology of the area using this actual map at the Geology Library.

Lewis A. Ramsey

Ramsey’s talent was evident as early as age 5. He used practical cubism to create landscapes that could not be photographed, using different perspectives within the same painting. “Eternal City” is part of a series that he painted of Bryce Canyon.

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  • Click here for a short biography about the artist.
Yellowstone Geyser by Albert Bierstadt


Yellowstone Geyser


1-4) Yellowstone Geyser – Yellowstone National Park (1886)

Old Faithful erupts for up to 5 minutes every 35 -120 minutes, reaching heights up to 184 feet. It erupts more frequently than any other large geyser. These eruptions are an indication of the volcanic caldera below.

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Albert Bierstadt

Bierstadt used the neat realism of the Dusseldorf School, which was not yet in vogue. His canvases were huge and he had a flair for self-promotion that was not yet the norm.

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  •  Click to read an article about the artist from an April 1991 issue of the journal Apollo.
John Newberry (1822-1892)


John Newberry


1-5) John Newberry (1822-1892)     

Newberry helped the Union during the Civil War. He published over 200 volumes and articles and helped found the Geological Society of America. He was Ohio’s 2nd state geologist (1869-1882).

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H. L. Upp
Charles Prosser (1860-1916)


Charles Prosser


1-6) Charles Prosser (1860-1916)

Prosser was the first recipient of the Cornell Fellowship in Natural History, and he served as an assistant at the U.S.Geological Survey during his time at Cornell.  While working for the Survey, he did a lengthy study for the Maryland Devonian. He was Chair of the Department of Geology from 1901-1916.

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  • Request the OhioLINK book, "Devonian," which Dr. Prosser helped write while he worked for the Maryland Geological Survey.
L. Ruch
Quartzite Peak – Canadian Rockies by Albert Bierstadt

Quartzite Peak

Canadian Rockies


1-7) Quartzite Peak – Canadian Rockies (1890)

The Continental Divide follows the crest of the Rocky Mountains, including the peak Mt. Sir Donald, which has good rock quality and a classic Matterhorn shape making it perfect for alpine rock climbers.

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  • Read about the Continental Divide of the Americas here.

Albert Bierstadt

Part of the Hudson River School, his five-month long Rocky Mountains trip in 1859 changed the course of his career. While his paintings made him wealthy, the Civil War started a popularity decline.

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Dark Cove - Maine by Alexander Bower


Dark Cove - Maine 


1-8) Dark Cove – Cape Elizabeth, Maine (1923)

This coastal area of Maine shows rocks that are metamorphic, greatly folded, and contorted. One of many Maine coves, Dark Cove has an anticline in the middle and a syncline to the right.

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Alexander Bower

Always fascinated with the sea, Bower moved to Maine and was known as a seascapes impressionist. He exhibited throughout Europe and the U.S., later becoming Director of Portland’s School of Fine and Applied Arts.

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Edward Orton Sr. (Painting) by James Hopkins


Edward Orton Sr.



1-9) Edward Orton Sr. (painting) (1828-1899)

Orton was The Ohio State University's first president (1873-1881), and Ohio's third State Geologist (1882-1899). President Orton had autonomy to plan the curriculum with a view to advance the state of Ohio and higher education.

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James Roy Hopkins

An Ohio native, the artist was disappointed while attending Columbus Art School. He eventually went to Paris, won major awards, and returned to Columbus to head OSU’s Fine Arts Department.

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Edward Orton Sr. (Bust) by Anneta Johnson St. Gaudens


Edward Orton Sr.


1-10) Edward Orton Sr. (bust) (1828-1899)

President Orton published over 100 scientific papers on geology, many for the Ohio Geological Survey, and Orton helped with the establishment of the third Ohio Geological Survey.  He was one of the first to promote conversation and relationships with the surrounding states.

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Anneta Johnson St. Gaudens

St. Gaudens a was sculptor and craftsperson who worked at Orchard Pottery and Pelican Pottery.

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Edward Orton Jr. by James R Hopkins


Edward Orton Jr. 


1-11) Edward Orton, Jr. (1863-1932)

Orton Jr. followed his father’s career and interests, and he was fourth State Geologist (1899-1906). He developed the first Department of Ceramic Engineering in the U.S. He was also Dean of the College of Engineering (1902-1906, 1910-1915).

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  • Read an online paper about Orton Jr.'s involvement with the Ohio State University's Ceramic Engineering Department.

James Roy Hopkins

The artist won a gold medal in 1915 at the Panaman-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California.

Find out more:

  • Read a short bio, and see additional examples of the artists works at 
Wild Basin - Mount Orton by Dean Babcock


Wild Basin - Mount Orton


1-12) Wild Basin, Mt. Orton – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (1922) (commissioned by E. Orton Jr.)

Mt. Orton is in the center middle distance. On its sides are U-shaped glaciated valleys. After Orton climbed it with faculty, he had it named in honor of his father.

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Dean Babcock

Babcock was one of the first National Park forest rangers. Babcock made the first survey of the Wild Basin area and the first extant map of the area.

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Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius by Pierre-Jacque Volaire


Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius 


1-13) Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius (1771)

Vesuvius’s most famous eruption was in 79 AD. This active volcano caused problems during the 1908 Olympics, which were originally scheduled to be held in Rome; and with World War II’s Allied invasion of Italy. The eruption in March 1944 caused one of the heaviest losses of planes by the US Air Force 489th bomb squadron. 

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Pierre-Jacque Volaire

Volaire was from a dynasty of artists, including father, uncle, and grandfather. He painted over 30 views of the Vesuvius, including winter scenes.

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Swiss Mountain Valley by August Johann Jacob Vollweider


Swiss Mountain Valley


1-14) 1-14) Swiss Mountain Valley (1922)

The Ober Alpstock mountain towers in the background. The U-shaped Maderaner Valley is the result of erosion from streams and glaciers.

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August Johann Jacob Vollweider

Vollweider published a manual of perspective and some lithographed landscape studies. He traveled most of Europe, and then taught art at several French schools.

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William Mather by Yeteve Smith


William Mather


1-15) William Mather (1804-1859)

Mather was a professor at West Point during which he wrote Elements of Geology for use as a textbook. He was attached to the New York Geological Society and was the first State Geologist for Ohio (1837-1838).

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Yeteve Smith

Smith painted modernist portraits and landscapes. She was also a member of the Ohio Watercolor Society.

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Wilber Stout (1876-1961)


Wilber Stout


1-16) Wilber Stout (1876-1961)

Stout devoted his life to geology and was the sixth State Geologist (1928- 1946). His Geology of Water in Ohio is a classic in ground water literature.

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New England Coast by Alexander Bower


New England Coast


1-17) New England Coast (1921)

This painting of a Maine coastline shows the wave erosion of the igneous and metamorphic rocks of the region.

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Alexander Bower

Bower studied at prestigious academies in Paris in 1906. He exhibited extensively throughout Europe. Although this painting is an oil painting, he was also known for his watercolors, and he was active in watercolor societies.

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J. Ernest Carman (1882-1966) by Eugene McFarland


J. Ernest Carman


1-18) J. Ernest Carman (1882-1966)

Carman was Chair of the Department of Geology from 1928-1944. He studied the Chillicothe Test-Core Section for inaccuracies in the fossil identifications. He found evidence that supported a very thorough restudy of the core sections.

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  • Read an online article about fossil footprints, like the one in the Geology Library, by J. Earnest Carman.

Eugene McFarland

McFarland was an educator and painter of the American Frontier genre. From Delaware, Ohio, he had a fine arts degree and studied at OSU.

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Grand Canyon – Arizona (print) (1912) by Thomas Moran


Grand Canyon – Arizona (print)


1-19) Grand Canyon – Arizona (print) (1912)

The basic landform is a series of cliffs and slopes produced on alternating resistant and nonresistant rock layers. The results present as cliffs, slopes, alcoves, plateaus, mesas and buttes, terraces and platforms and the deeply, incised inner gorge. Rock layers of the Canyon region have mostly retained their original horizontal position. Since rivers only erode down to sea level, the great deal of vertical movement in uplift periods of the canyon coupled with rockfalls, landslides, and massive erosions account for the cliff-and-slope pattern seen today.

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  • Request the book, "Grand Canyon Geology," by Stanley S. Beus and Michael Morales for more in depth information about the geology of Grand Canyon.

Thomas Moran

Often referred to with the moniker middle name “Yellowstone,” the artist documented over 30 different sites. He is known as the father of the National Parks Movement.

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Edmund Spieker (1895 -1978)


Edmund Spieker

(1895 -1978)

2-1) Edmund Spieker (1895 -1978)

Spieker is known for adding to the understanding of geologic time and advocating for field experience. His proudest achievement was the 1947 founding of OSU’s first field station in Ephraim, Utah.

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