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Joseph Stiglitz in front of his portrait

Gary Public Library mural brings Nobel Prize winner Stiglitz for a visit

Contributed By:The 411 News

Painting depicts Gary’s character, culture, and history

Unable to attend the June 16th unveiling of the Gary Public Library and Cultural Center’s new mural, the 2001 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics Joseph Stiglitz visited the library in July for a private showing.

Stiglizt’s portrait is among the 22 notable places and people in the 10-foot by 50-foot painting that depicts Gary’s character, culture, and history. The portrait of Gary’s former Mayor Richard G. Hatcher is next to Stiglitz. Born in Gary in 1943 and a Gary high school graduate, he has been a member of the Columbia University (New York) faculty since 2001.

Not just any economist, Stiglizt is a star in his field and sought after as an author and speaker.

Occupying an entire wall of the 2nd-floor public study area, the mural is available for viewing Monday through Thursday 9am to 8pm; Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm.

To help determine the mural’s content, library visitors and the public were asked for comments and suggestions. In the forefront are facial composites of people who made Gary thrive: Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and European immigrants. The backdrop shows natural scenes of the lake front and sand dunes, the built environment of steel mills, smokestacks and railways.

Roosevelt High School is included as the nation’s first high school built for African Americans. Froebel High School appears as a pointer to the city when it was divided over racial integration of public schools.

World-renown Garyites are included: Jackson 5, astronaut Frank Bormann and the NBA’s Glen Robinson. And there’s Gary’s everyday people, like Joe May’s, the “Peanut Man.”

Felix Maldonado, the mural’s artist is from East Chicago. He’s known for his murals of the Jackson 5 on buildings in downtown Gary and Miller.

To learn more about the 22 people and places depicted on the mural, visit the library’s Indiana Room, 2nd floor or visit the library’s website at

Joseph Stiglitz in front of his portrait

The mural

Joe Mays, the “Peanut Man” made a special trip in March to view the mural while it was in progress

Story Posted:08/03/2018

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