Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York

Percent for Art

   Ousmane Gueye

Traveling Books and Secret Pages, Oak Sculptures, 1999


Traveling Books and Secret Pages

Completion Date:



Oak Sculptures




Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center


40 West Tremont Avenue, Bronx


Garrison McNeil & Associates and Davis Brody Associates

Sponsor Agency:

Queens Borough Public Library

Design Agency:

Department of Design and Construction

In creating his artwork for the library, Ousmane Gueye was inspired by Langston Hughes' quotation, "Knowledge is the key to life. We all contain it. As individuals with individual minds and universal experiences, the information we can provide one another with is endless. Illiteracy does not conotate ignorance as education does not legitimize wisdom. This is the meaning of the tettete livre of the Bookhead. The Bookhead represents the secret pages of the mind, the wisdom and the knowledge present in every mind." Ousmane Gueye carved two large sculptures out of oak. On the sculptures are images of faces, the pages of books, and selected quotes from Hughes' poetry.

About the Artist...
Ousmane Gueye was educated at the Ecole des Beaux de Dakar and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He has exhibited in galleries and museums in Switzerland, Japan, Dakar, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He has also had several pieces on temporary exhibition in parks in New York City.