The Story of Gilgamesh

Year Acquired: 1977

Stairway Landing

The bas-relief depicts highlights from the legend of King Gilgamesh of Sumeria, the oldest surviving epic poem. The story of Gilgamesh and his adventures predates the invention of writing. It was passed down through oral storytelling until around 2000 B.C. when the Sumerians, using cuneiform script, recorded the epic on clay tablets.

Sculpted by Dallas Cole, the bas-relief was donated by the Downers Grove Friends of the Library in honor of librarian Frieda Humphris who worked at the Downers Grove Library from 1925 to 1972. This piece has been a familiar sight for many years at DGPL, originally displayed in the former library building. Since then, the piece has been refurbished, conserved, and transferred to its current location in the new building.