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August 14, 2020

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Take a summer art walk through Bluffton

Marble busts of Noah C. Hirschy and Menno Simons in Musselman Library

Sixth in a series –
More photos at the bottom this story

Summer is a great time to explore the art spread across the Bluffton community – especially for viewers unable to visit art galleries elsewhere in Ohio.

As a weekly series, The Icon will feature the art created by John Peter Klassen (1888-1975), a long-time Bluffton College art professor.

For some viewers, this series is familiar. For others, it may be a first-time experience.

Either way, it’s an opportunity to take a walk and view some art that is uniquely Bluffton. Much of Klassen’s art is spread through Bluffton University campus, however several pieces, shown in this series, are elsewhere in the community.

Today’s feature
Marble busts of Noah C. Hirschy and Menno Simons

Previous works by Klassen in this series were bronze sculptures. Here are two marble busts. These were created in the late 1920s. The following descriptions are posted near the two pieces, where they are located in the entrance to the Musselman Library on the Bluffton University campus.

Noah Hirschy
Hirschy was the first president of Bluffton University (then Central Mennonoite College), serving from 1900-1908. His life-long passion for botany is reflected in the detail of the bust, a violet in his lapel.

"A fitting tribute to a man who, although a scholar through and through, recognized God's beauty of nature."

Menno Simons
Menno Simons (1496-1561)  was an early Anabaptist leader in the Low Countries. While his followers became known as Mennonites, he was not the founder. 

"His significance lies in the fact that he assumed the responsiblities of leadership at the crucial moment of the movement when it was in danger of losing its original identity. He maintained original peaceful biblical Anabaptist concepts.

Click here for the fifth installment in this series. Each installment in this series links to an earlier feature.