Less than an hour’s drive from Park City is a stunning, 10-ft x 200-ft , stained glass art window that The Guardian called “one of the most spectacular stained-glass windows made in the past century.” 

Roots of Knowledge is an 80-glass-panel work of art that chronicles the human quest for intellectual advancement and progress, starting with the dawn of humanity and ending in the present day. Each panel strives to celebrate art, music, literature, philosophy, science, architecture and culture. Th e piece peeks into ancient Greece to see Alexander the Great, glimpses Joan of Arc in France and includes other prominent historical figures. Significant world events can also be found throughout the stained glass including the signing of the Magna Carta, Michelangelo carving his famous work David, and the founding fathers signing the Declaration of Independence. Film enthusiasts may also enjoy searching for movie icons such as Alfred Hitchcock and Humphrey Bogart.

Roots of Knowledge is permanently installed at Fulton Library on the Utah Valley University campus in Orem.

Local glass artist Tom Holdman conceived and presented the idea to UVU president Matthew Holland with the goal of bringing inspiration and hope to future students for years to come.

President Holland embraced the project with one request, make it bigger. Holdman completed the project with help from private donations, dozens of artists, multiple UVU faculty members and over 250 students. From conception to completion Roots of Knowledge took 12 years and includes over 60,000 pieces of glass. Other special materials used to create the piece included fossils, coins, petrified wood, coral, a piece of the Berlin Wall and even meteorite.

The overall theme throughout Roots of Knowledge is connection. Tree branches and roots are shown throughout the piece, all connecting back to the trees at both ends of the artwork. Roots of Knowledge depicts our connection to the past, the future and to each other regardless of nationality, race or religion. Th e last panels of glass showcase the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge where an elderly couple bids farewell and passes the proverbial torch to the younger generations who continue the journey to new discoveries. Th e Tree of Hope for Humanity roots connect all past achievements and pioneering while the branches expand into the sky.

Roots of Knowledge is open for public view at the Utah Valley University campus during normal library hours.

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