Artist: Michael B. Croydon (website)

Medium: Cast bronze sculpture
Fabrication: Daniel T. Blue

Location: Front Lawn of Library
Installed at Lake Forest Library: October 1996
Description: Six pieces in bronze of varying heights and widths, generally to human scale; arranged in a convex arc out from the building and down the slope.
Commissioned by: Deer Path Art League of Lake Forest
Donors: Individual benefactors and donors are listed on a plaque in situ


The sculpture entitled Ex Libris, designed by Michael B. Croydon and fabricated by Daniel T. Blue, was commissioned by the Deer Path Art League for the Library’s Centennial.  The title of the sculpture is a reference to the Latin term used on bookplates meaning “From the books of…”   Each of the six elements of the sculpture represents books or groupings of books, more or less as if arranged on a shelf.  Like humans – both children and adults – the books vary in height, width, and depth.  All seem to be well-worn; the patina reflecting the earth and sky.  Growing out of a deep appreciation for the classical, antimodern inspiration behind the original 1931 Library building, Croydon explains that his work “manages a highly respectful updating of the image of the Library through the sculpture’s modern form, but with profound homage paid to traditional information and knowledge.”

Born and educated in England, Michael Croydon taught at Exeter College of Art in England and the University of East Africa, before accepting a position at Lake Forest College in 1968, where he taught painting, photography, drawing, art history, and sculpture.  He retired in 1995.  Croydon works primarily in a figurative and expressionistic vein, which combines the searching realism of Rodin and the stark power of Marino Marini, and many of his later works features geometric/organic constructions utilizing mixed media.  His work is internationally recognized and represented in public and private collections throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Africa, and Japan.