By Kimberly Woodworth
Data collection for the Olympic College mosaic from the 1950s and the 1960s yearbooks mostly picture Harrison V. Blass, creator of the mosaic, as a faculty member. Intentional and unintentional pictures of the mosaic itself are found throughout the yearbooks as well as pictures of the construction of the Olympic College Science Building of which the mosaic is a part. The yearbooks 1950, 1951, 1964, 1966, and 1967 all show Harrison V. Blass as an Olympic College faculty member. He was a professor in the Art Department with a B.A. degree from the University of Washington and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Also shown as an Art department faculty member in the years 1951, 1964 and 1966 of our data is Jack W. Crouse, a fellow Art professor who was also involved with the mosaic. The 1964 yearbook has various pictures of Blass painting and representing the Art Department. There is one distance shot taken of the mosaic also in the 1964 yearbook. Some pictures of college clubs with the mosaic as a background are shown often in the yearbooks as well. In 1966, the Science building was under construction (addition); so there are several pictures taken of the process including the completed mosaic on one side of the building with a pond in front.
There isn’t much to tell about the faculty photos of Mr. Blass other than the fact that he aged well. His colleague Jack Crouse joins him later in the series. He is however always pictured first in the Art Department section because of alphabetical order; but it seems to make him stand out above the rest. He stands out most in the 1967 faculty photos because he was the department chairman at that time.
Interestingly enough, many of the pictures of the mosaic were not taken specifically for the mosaic. One group of photos in particular show the AXE and Transit Club made up of engineering and forestry majors. Every picture of the club taken on that page shows it in front of the mosaic. It seems to be a popular back drop for any photo opts. A long distance shot of the mosaic, shown in the 1964 yearbook, is probably just a picture of that part of campus but it’s a straight shot of the mosaic and the fountain beside it and so it makes their artistic nature the center of attention. The Science Building was on its way to completion in 1966. Within various pictures of the construction shown in that yearbook is a perfect angled picture of the mosaic and the pond in front of it. The mosaic is an important part of the Science building as well as the Olympic College campus.