Armstrong-Browning Library & Museum – Ceilings

My camera just died.

About two minutes ago. The part that holds the batteries and SD card in broke in half. I don’t like this camera anyway. It takes poor quality pictures, it’s focus isn’t very good, and Kodak is apparently getting out of the camera business, so maybe it’s time to find a better quality one. Maybe used? Maybe refurbished? The hunt begins!


One of the ideas I had for this blog back when it was just a twinkle in my eye was that I’d post pictures from around the museum in which I work! I am employed at Armstrong-Browning Library and it is by far the best job I’ve ever had! I adore my fellow employees {Mary, Pat, Richard, and Justin}, my boss Jessica, and all the higher-ups! Aside from answering phones, answering questions, directing patrons, counting visitors, and giving tours, I also have time during my day here to work on my blog, work on my music, and do my homework. This is the best job ever! Since many of you might not ever get down to the Armstrong-Browning Library, I’d like to bring a few of its treasures to you!

The Armstrong-Browning Library celebrates the poetry and prose of Robert Browning {Pippa Passes} and Elizabeth Barrett Browning {“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” Sonnet 43 from Sonnets of the Portuguese} and houses the world’s largest collection of their Browning material. Dr. Armstrong, an English professor, devoted his life to the Browning’s and the building of the library which opened in 1951 on Baylor University’s campus. But more on that story later.

One of my favorite features of the building is the ceilings! Dr. Armstrong traveled the world and picked up inspiration from all over and brought it into the design of this building.


This is the ceiling in the Martin Entrance Foyer. So many people who come in through the front doors are so mesmerized by the beauty of the paintings, busts, exhibits, and stained glass windows in this room that they forget to look UP! This is the ceiling I sit under every day!


This is the ceiling in the Hankamer Treasure room. The plaster-and-wood ceiling is hand-paintd in the style of the Italian Renaissance. This is different from many other room in which the ceilings better reflect the French style.


My now-dead camera did not take the most clear of pictures, but I think you can start to get an idea of the beauty and grandeur of ceiling here.


The exquisitely beautiful McLean Foyer of Meditation is a forty-foot cube with a dome that is recessed an additional five feet. The room was conceived and designed as a place for quiet peach and reflection. It was inspired by a room called the Arab Hall in the London home of Frederic, Lord Leighton, a famous Victorian artist who designed the tomb of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence. – The Self-Guided Tour for Armstrong-Browning Library

I couldn’t have described it better myself… so I didn’t. Special features you can see in the photo:

  • The two-ton bronze chandelier decorated with bells and pomegranates
  • The dome, whose wide inner circle is covered with 23-carat gold leaf hand-pressed into wet plaster to create the velvet-like texture.
  • The barnyard animals encircling the inner circle to tie in with the upper portion of the walls hand-painted in the style of the Italian countryside.

There will be much more to come from the Armstrong-Browning Library and Museum in the upcoming weeks and months. I hope you’ve enjoyed a first look at the beauty of this museum.

8 thoughts on “Armstrong-Browning Library & Museum – Ceilings

  1. BeeTreeStudios

    Magnificent ceiling! I could only dream if spending my days under such artwork! I feel your pain on the camera, it’s so frustrating not to be able to capture such grandeur!

    1. kathrynthemezzo Post author

      Haha! Flash photography is NOT allowed here. But I didn’t use flash. The lighting in here is good enough that I didn’t need it and actually using a flash makes the pictures darker. It’s weird. Thanks for checking my post out!

    1. kathrynthemezzo Post author

      Come on by! The building itself is magnificent and if you have about an hour and are so inclined, call in advance and arrange a tour. They are free and fabulous! So much insider information that you won’t find anywhere else!

  2. Pingback: Museum Monday – Stained Glass Windows | Kathryn Tall and Strong

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