Lilly Library Bicentennial Murals Project

Indiana University was honored to receive 76 expressions of interest for the Lilly Library Bicentennial Murals Project, submitted by artists from Indiana and around the globe. After thoughtful consideration of many factors, including context, the reading room environment, and the Lilly Library collections, seven artists were selected as finalists. These artists represent a diverse range of artistic approaches and styles that mirror the breadth and diversity of the Lilly Library's extensive collections.
The vision for the murals will be a reflection of the Library's rich resources in world literature, history, the sciences, and the arts, and honor the legacy of J. K. Lilly, Jr. whose remarkable private library of books and manuscripts formed the nucleus of the Lilly Library collections. 

Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded Indiana University an additional gift to commission an inspirational and educational cycle of murals in the Reading Room of its world-class Lilly Library. The library, built in 1960, will be completely renovated during IU's Bicentennial year, thanks to a previous gift of nearly $11 million from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Thousands of hours each year are spent in the Lilly Library Reading Room by scholars, students, and intellectually curious visitors exploring the millions of literary artifacts held in what is one of the world's great rare books libraries. A major and arresting cycle of murals in the Reading Room reflecting the nature of some of the Lilly Library's great holdings and themes will signify its importance as the heart of the Lilly Library. Once complete, the murals will boldly declare the Lilly Library Reading Room as a treasured destination for all who wish to study and work here.

The new cycle of murals in the Lilly Library will be situated in close proximity to the venerable Thomas Hart Benton murals located in three buildings near Indiana University's Fine Arts Plaza, which is also home to the Lilly Library. This Bicentennial cycle of murals will long stand as testament to the artistic and intellectual traditions reflected in the Lilly Library and will be in the safekeeping of a university committed to conservation and with a fierce regard for the educational impact art brings to learning.




Learn more about the Lilly Library



Expressions of Interest were collected in January and February 2020 and this call for interest is now complete.

View our archived Request for Expressions of Interest.


Committee Members



Art that asks us to consider our history opens dialogue, sparks new curiosities, and invites deeper consideration of the human experience. The cycle of murals in the Lilly Library Reading Room will invoke a sense of wonder as visitors encounter an inspiring depiction of the breadth and diversity of the Lilly Library's extensive collections, as well as an acknowledgment of the collectors whose passionate pursuits helped to form the connected libraries that scholars investigate today.

The Lilly Library Reading Room Mural Project Committee will ensure the potential inherent in this vision is met through a international search for artists.  Direct questions to


As Associate Dean for Planning & Administration, Diane Dallis-Comentale oversees several units that are critical to the day-to-day operations of the IU Bloomington Libraries: Assessment, Business and Financial Services, Communications, and Libraries Human Resources. Diane’s experience includes large scale library space renovations, re-envisioning library services in support of digital scholarship and online learning, promoting and supporting outstanding information literacy instruction, development and donor relationship building, creation of library services to advance digital scholarship, user experience, and project management. Diane has a long history of successful collaborations with various university departments and entities with whom she has partnered to deliver essential and highly valued services and spaces for students and faculty.

Diane’s research interests include the impact of libraries on student learning and research, the relationship between library staffing and faculty output/student success, and library management and administration. Her recent publications include “Perspectives on Library Public Services from Four Leaders” published in 2017 in portal: Libraries and the Academy (pre-print freely available); "Scholars and Learners: A Case Study of New Library Spaces at Indiana University", which appeared in New Library World in 2016; and a chapter co-authored with Angela Courtney in Supporting Digital Humanities for Knowledge Acquisition in Modern Libraries (2015). Diane is also actively involved in professional service at the national level, serving as a member of the editorial boards for the journals portal: Libraries and the Academy and Library Leadership & Management. Since 2017 she has served as editor for the “Reports from the Field” feature in portal; and from 2014-2018 she chaired the Public Services Discussion Group for the Big Ten Academic Alliance (formerly the Committee on Institutional Cooperation) Library Initiatives.

Diane has over 27 years of library experience, including a decade in Library Administration at IU and the University of Chicago. Prior to taking on her current role at the IU Libraries, Diane served as Associate University Librarian for Research and Instruction at the University of Chicago Library, where she directed a number of new initiatives and services and created or strengthened partnerships with several major units across campus; and Associate Dean for Library Academic Services at Indiana University Bloomington Libraries. Diane earned her Master of Library Science and Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University Bloomington.

David A. Brenneman was appointed Wilma E. Kelley Director of the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art in 2015. Since arriving at the museum, Brenneman has overseen a number of initiatives, including the $30 million renovation of its I. M. Pei–designed building, which includes an enhanced visitor experience; re-imagined interpretative strategies; and new centers for conservation, curatorial studies, education, and prints, drawings, and photographs. As director, he also leads the curatorial team in the creation of a robust exhibition program as well as an acquisitions strategy that strengthens the museum’s collections. Brenneman has also spearheaded several transformative partnerships for the Eskenazi Museum of Art, including those with Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, China, and the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. Previously, he was the Frances B. Bunzl Family Curator of European Art, then Chief Curator, and, finally, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2008, Brenneman was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government for leading a three-year collaboration of exhibition and exchange programs between the High Museum and the Musée du Louvre. Prior to his role at the High, Brenneman was the Assistant Curator of Paintings at the Yale Center for British Arts in New Haven, Connecticut. He received his BA in art history at Pennsylvania State University and his PhD in art history from Brown University.

Carolyn Walters is the Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University, and co-director of the $27 million Media Digitization & Preservation Initiative (MDPI), IU’s ambitious work to protect IU’s rich repositories of audio, video, and film through digital preservation.   Marked by collaborative leadership through the momentous transformations occurring worldwide in academic libraries, Walters’ tenure at IU Libraries spans three decades. As the founding Executive Director of IU’s Office of Scholarly Publishing in 2012, Walters fully integrated the IU Press into library operations, establishing a sustainable framework to deliver national leadership in the evolving environment of open access scholarship.

Walters’ career at IU Libraries began in 1987 when she joined Undergraduate Library Services after obtaining her Master of Library Science from Indiana University. In her early career she managed branch libraries, directed collection development, and in 2003 transformed the traditional undergraduate library at Herman B Wells into one of the country’s first state-of-the-art Information Commons, in partnership with University Information Technology Services (UITS). Success in these projects led to her appointment as Director of Public Services in 2004, and then to Executive Associate Dean in 2005. Walters was named the Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries by Provost Lauren Robel in 2015.

Partnerships developed by Walters over the last 15 years have resulted in new library units, such as the Moving Image Archive, a growing film preservation repository containing 120,000 items. She has also spearheaded multiple renovations focused on services and spaces to support students and scholars, and expanded the Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facilities to provide superior and substantial off-site storage for the university’s significant collections, including specifically designed space for the growing film collection.  The innovative Institute for Digital Arts & Humanities (IDAH), a model for shared resource management with Office of the Vice Provost for Research, houses its services and staff inside the Herman B Wells Library. Nationally, IU is known as a premier partner in print repository consortiums, thanks to Walters’ early leadership in emerging opportunities.  IU Libraries is the first host of the Big 10 Academic Alliance Shared Print Repository, housing 250,000 volumes in the Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility.

 Walters is an appointed member of the HathiTrust Digital Library Board of Governors, a former chair of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Shared Print Archive program (BTAA SPR), convenes the Council of Head Librarians for Indiana University, and serves on the Association of Research Libraries Digital Scholarship Advisory Group, and Board of Directors for the Academic Libraries of Indiana.

Peg Faimon received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University and her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, earning the Norman Ives Memorial Award. She started teaching at Miami University in 1991, where she later served as the Chair of the Department of Art and Professor of Graphic Design. At Miami, she also held positions as the Co-Director of the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies (AIMS), Founding Director of the Miami Design Collaborative (MDC), and Lead Faculty of the Graphic Design program. She was named the Miami University School of Fine Arts Crossan Hayes Curry Distinguished Educator in 2000 and the Naus Family Faculty Scholar in 2008. In July of 2016, she moved to Indiana University Bloomington to become the Founding Dean of the newly formed Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Faimon has also maintained a design consultancy, Peg Faimon Design, and has received national and international recognition for her design work. Additionally, she is the author and designer of Design Alliance: Uniting Print and Web Design to Create a Total Brand Presence, and the co-author, with John Weigand, of The Nature of Design: How the Principles of Design Shape Our World—from Graphics and Architecture to Interiors and Products, both published in 2003 by HOW Design Books. Her third book entitled The Designer’s Guide to Business and Careers: How to Succeed on the Job or on Your Own, was published in June 2009 by HOW Design Books with the Kindle edition published in 2011.

At home, she shares her life with her children, Lillyanna and Lilith, and husband Don. They love to travel and spend time together.

Appointed as the director of the Lilly Library in 2013, Joel Silver has served in a number of capacities at the Lilly prior to taking on this new role. He began his long-standing career with the Lilly Library in 1983 and has served as head of public services, curator of books, associate director, and interim director for two separate appointments. In addition, Joel is an adjunct associate professor and director of the special collections specialization in the IU School of Library and Information Science and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of English. He also serves as a faculty member at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

An undergraduate English major at the University of California, Los Angeles, Joel went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Whittier College School of Law and his MLS at Indiana University.

Joel has also made significant academic contributions with his scores of published articles, multiple books and numerous exhibition catalogs. He has a distinguished record as a lecturer and leader of rare-books-related workshops, and he has curated many exhibitions at the Lilly Library, including “The Reign of Charles II,” “J.K. Lilly, Jr.: Bibliophile,” “English Renaissance Prose” and “Five Centuries of Music.” His most recent book, “Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly: Book Collecting in a Golden Age,” was published by Oak Knoll Press in 2011.

Professor Hull was appointed to the fine arts faculty in 1999 and has taught courses in foundation studies and sculpture. Prior to joining the school, Hull taught in the Sculpture Department at Kansas City Art Institute. His work and interests include interactive, kinetic, and timebased media including light, sound, and video. Other areas of experience include metal and wood fabrication as well as foundry techniques. His work is exhibited in galleries, museums and universities nationally. Professor Hull has created both temporary and permanent installations for institutions such as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the John Michael Kohler Art Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis’s Conrad Hotel, and the new Indianapolis International Airport. He is an Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellow and a Creative Renewal Grant recipient.