from US Supreme Court – Information Sheet – Courtroom Friezes: South and North Walls:

“Cass Gilbert (1867-1934), architect of the Supreme Court Building, selected Adolph A. Weinman (1870-1952), a respected and accomplished Beaux-Arts sculptor, to design the marble friezes for the Courtroom. …. Gilbert relied on him to choose the subjects and figures that best reflected the function of the Supreme Court Building. Faithful to classical sources and drawing from many civilizations, Weinman designed a procession of “great lawgivers of history” for the south and north walls to portray the development of law.”

On the South Wall Frieze:

  • Menes
  • Hammurabi
  • Moses
  • Solomon
  • Lycurgus
  • Solon
  • Draco
  • Confucius
  • Octavian

On the North Wall Frieze:

  • Justinian
  • “Muhammad (c. 570 – 632) The Prophet of Islam. He is depicted holding the Qur’an. The Qur’an provides the primary source of Islamic Law. Prophet Muhammad’s teachings explain and implement Qur’anic principles. The figure above is a well-intentioned attempt by the sculptor, Adolph Weinman, to honor Muhammad and it bears no resemblance to Muhammad. Muslims generally have a strong aversion to sculptured or pictured representations of their Prophet.”
  • King John
  • Louis IX
  • Hugo Grotius
  • Sir William Blackstone
  • John Marshall
  • Napolean

 

Interestingly (and in my opinion, misguidedly), in 1997 CAIR asked that the sculpture be changed.

A statue of Prophet Muhammad by the Mexican sculptor Charles Albert Lopez went largely unnoticed on the roof of the Appellate Division Courthouse in New York City from 1902 until it was removed in 1955.

 

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