An important era in the state’s architectural history came to an end when architect Fay Jones, FAIA, died at home on Aug. 30, 2004. Internationally renowned, his work honored by numerous design awards, Jones inspired generations of students during his years at the School of Architecture. His 58-year relationship with the school began in 1946, when he enrolled in the first architecture classes offered at the University, and continued through 35 years of teaching and service as the school’s first dean.
Jones viewed the 41-foot-tall Fulbright Peace Fountain, one of his last projects, as the “exclamation point” of his career. Located in front of Vol Walker Hall, home to the School of Architecture, Jones donated the Peace Fountain with the following thoughts on his craft:
“Any work of art must contain the element of mystery and stimulate the enlargement of our vision. The search for symbolism is left to the observer. The fountain is an affirmation. It is here in this place to commemorate and celebrate the exchange program for which J. William Fulbright is known around the world.
The fountain is composed of many pieces. All parts, large and small, are integral to a harmonious and unified whole. Water provides a peaceful sound.
Light is the form delineator, creating an ever-changing array of patterns determined by time of day and seasons of the year. Images will change. It is hoped the images will leave indelible imprints on many minds.
Are we ever more human than when we respond to beauty – to beautiful words, to beautiful sounds, to beautiful images?”
Images and quotation courtesy of the Fay Jones Papers, Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Arkansas.