The Rose Window has long reigned as the symbol of the Drew University Library. A dazzling array of reds and blues, it sits in singular splendor above the main entrance, aloof from any aesthetic competition in the Learning Center, the Rose Library, or the Methodist Center. These buildings excel in functionality but offer few places of artistic inspiration. No longer.
A major work of art was commissioned for the new Kean Reading Room & Gallery in the Rose Library—a mural to capture two major phases of the career of Thomas H. Kean. The left side of the room-length panorama is the artist’s rendering of Mead Hall around 1836. The right side portrays the New Jersey State House from about the same period.
The studio of the artist, Daniel Mulligan, in Chester, New Jersey was not large enough to accommodate a 65-foot canvas, so Mulligan created it in two phases. On the weekend of February 11, he and a crew of family and friends installed “Mead Hall” in the new space, and the room took on a beauty beyond the expectation of the project planners.
The mural was completed in time for the room’s dedication on April 21, Governor Kean’s birthday. Mulligan is a nationally known muralist and was chosen through a competitive process. His murals have been featured on the covers of House and Garden, Traditional Home, and numerous other magazines.
He readily admits that a lot of his talent is inherited from his mother, Audrey Mulligan, an accomplished artist, sculptor, and tile smith. Mulligan’s work is included in many private and corporate collections in the United States, and his commissioned murals can be found in many businesses and private homes throughout Northern New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area.