Roots of Knowledge

  • 800 West University Parkway
  • Orem, UT 84058
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Spanning the undulating wall of Utah Valley University’s Ira Fulton Library, Roots of Knowledge is a magnificent stained glass window that explores humankind’s quest for knowledge since the dawn of time. 

Nearly 12 years in the making, Roots of Knowledge is comprised of 80 individual panes of glass totaling 10 feet in height and 200 feet in length and taps the ancient storytelling art form of stained glass while uniquely adapting it for a modern, secular setting. The series of windows chronicle the human quest for intellectual advancement and progress. The panes are vibrantly colored glass paintings and interpretations of world history, including major inventions such as the Mayan Calendar and the printing press; important figures such as Joan of Arc and the Kangxi Emperor; major world events, such as Scotland’s Declaration of Arbroath and the American Civil Rights Movement; and thousands of other historical figures, tools and events. Altogether, Roots of Knowledge incorporates 60,000 pieces of glass, as well as actual rock, fossils, coins, meteorite, petrified wood and coral.

Conceived by Utah artist Tom Holdman and UVU President Matthew Holland, Roots of Knowledge was created with the help of 40+ artists, 26 UVU faculty, and 350 students.

Visitors to the windows can download an app that describes the panes in detail, providing a fully interactive experience.