And Justice for All

About the Art Wall

Courthouse Mosaic

Full mosaic of the 1916 Durham County Courthouse

Visitors entering the lobby of the new Durham County Courthouse see, on the right, a three-story, 48-by-30-foot image of the county’s second courthouse, a Neoclassical structure built in 1916. The image is created from 265 unique photographs that have been duplicated many times to create a collage of 6,500 postcard-size images.

The primary subject of the photos is justice in Durham County. The mural includes photos of judges, sheriffs, clerks of court, district attorneys, and others involved in the county’s justice system since its beginnings in 1881. Other photos depict images of justice beyond the courtroom, including those who fought for the rights of African-Americans, gays, women, and workers and historical justice-related events such as the largest troop surrender of the Civil War and the taking of land for Camp Butner. It also includes photos of Durham’s former courthouses and of the neighborhood where the new courthouse sits.

About the “And Justice for All” Web Exhibit

In July 2011 county manager Mike Ruffin called a meeting of representatives from Durham County government, the Durham County judicial system, O’Brien/Atkins Associates, PA (architects), and the community. The purpose of the meeting was to form a committee to select photographs that would form the individual components of a mural of the 1916 Durham County Courthouse. That mural would be installed in the lobby of the new courthouse. The Art Wall Committee, as it came to be known, carefully selected 265 photographs, most of which were chosen to depict the theme of justice in Durham County. The committee determined that viewers of the mural needed a way to learn about the individual photographs that it was made of, and this web exhibit was born.

This exhibit is available both online through the Durham County Library and as a touch-screen exhibit in the lobby of the new courthouse. If you find errors, discrepancies, or omissions in facts or interpretation, please contact Lynn Richardson, North Carolina Collection, Durham County Library, 919-560-0171, lrichard@dconc.gov.

Exhibit credits

Courthouse Mosaic - Detail

Detail of a section of the courthouse mosaic

  • Lori Neumeier, intern, Durham County Library North Carolina Collection
    • Lori compiled the exhibit content. She is a student in the joint School of Information and Library Science/Public Administration master’s program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked long and hard to compile a tremendous amount of information. This exhibit could not have been completed without her.
  • Lynn Richardson, librarian, Durham County Library North Carolina Collection
    • Lynn curated the exhibit and edited the content.
  • Hitoko Ueyama-Burke, graphic designer, Durham County Library
    • Hitoko produced the large image on the front page of the site.
  • Matthew Clobridge, library webmaster, Durham County Library
    • Matt designed and built the exhibit website.

The Art Wall Committee

  • Mike Andrews, Durham County sheriff
  • Bob Ashley, editor, Herald-Sun newspaper
  • R. Kelly Bryant, Jr., historian of Durham’s African-American community
  • E’Vonne Coleman-Cook, chief operating officer, Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Fred Hill, deputy clerk of superior court, District 14, Durham County
  • Worth Hill, former Durham County sheriff
  • Tim Hillhouse, architect, O’Brien/Atkins Associates, P.A.
  • Kevin Montgomery, principal and director of architecture, O’Brien/Atkins Associates, P.A.
  • Rebekka Olsen, assistant public defender, District 14, Durham County
  • Lynn Richardson, librarian, Durham County Library North Carolina Collection
  • Ademola Shobande, senior project manager, Durham County Engineering and Environmental Services Department
  • Kathy Shuart, trial court administrator, District 14, Durham County
  • Archie Smith, clerk of superior court, District 14, Durham County
  • Glen Whisler, county engineer, Durham County Engineering and Environmental Services Department