Q: Craning our necks as we passed the corner of Huron and Fourth Ave. the other day, my spouse and I wondered what those solemn-looking figures high on the walls of the county courthouse are supposed represent. Can you find out? 

A. According to an Ann Arbor News article from the day of its installation, September 9, 1954, the tall figures represent power and peace, while the smaller figures depict industry, science, and medicine. The artist is Carleton W. Angell, and this is one of two relief sculptures that he created for the courthouse. 

Angell’s best-known works are the life-sized pumas that recently followed the U-M Natural History Museum to its new home in the Biological Sciences Building. If you go to see Jim Cogswell’s Cosmogenic Tattoos there, check out Angell’s nature-themed bas reliefs on the old building next door, now home to the U-M’s central administration. 

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