and air are the background for the painting within the circle in
the dome's eye. A woman representing "Human Understanding"
lifts her veil and looks upward from finite intellectual achievement,
as typified in the figures in the collar, to the future and intellectual
progress. Cherubs attend her, one holding the book of wisdom and
knowledge, the other, by his gesture, encouraging those beneath
to persist in their struggle toward perfection. The winged figures
of the collar represent the twelve countries or epochs, which have
contributed the most to the development of present-day civilization.
theme of the Bicentennial, "Libraries, Creativity, Liberty,"
captured the link between libraries and creativity and Jefferson's
belief that the power of a knowledgeable citizenry could shape a
free and democratic society.
goal of the Bicentennial was "to inspire creativity in the
century ahead by stimulating greater use of the Library of Congress
and libraries everywhere." The Bicentennial highlighted the
Library of Congress as "America's Library" and the importance
of all libraries to the communities they serve.