Oskar J. W. Hansen’s Original Proposed Inscription for the Hoover Dam Star Map

Photo Credit: Jeremy Faludi

Oskar J. W. Hansen’s terrazzo “Star Map” at Hoover Dam is one of his most intriguing and recognized creations.

Terrific scholarship on the structure and meanings of the Star Map has been done by Alexander Rose and Wally Motloch.

A few weeks ago, Oskar’s sole remaining son, Alex Hansen, and Oskar’s granddaughter, Donna Hansen, sent me a copy of Oskar’s original planned inscription that appears to never have been published before and adds additional scientific depth and new insight into Oskar’s intent for the project:

Beyond some additional detailed scientific context for Oskar’s astronomical calculations that experts might find interesting, it’s Oskar’s final sentence that I find most intriguing.

When greater truths are known record them here.

It’s clear that Oskar’s vision for the star map was that it would be a living sculpture for humanity to manage and update over the thousands of years he hoped the work would stand as reference.

1 thought on “Oskar J. W. Hansen’s Original Proposed Inscription for the Hoover Dam Star Map

  1. LARRY BARTOLI

    My dad J.. Bartoli in 1958 removed the star map and replaced it because it was destroyed when covering the map in World War II the heat cooked the Terrazzo and caused it to break apart The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation authorized the project and the measurements of the project had to be accurate to 1/64th of and inch and were verified by both departments I have all the documentation and history of the 1958 project. I understand it is being repaired again and want to share this part of history with the public.
    Behind the winged statue on the left is a bronze plaque TERRAZZO STRIP BY MANHATTAN STRIP COMPANY N.Y, N.Y TERRAZZO INSTALLED BY J. BARTOLI DALLAS TEXAS.

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