Title: Enlightenment 

Year: 1963 

Artist: Jack Bechtel 

Medium: Mural (Fresco) 

Location: Kitchener Public Library, Main Branch 

85 Queen Street North 

Kitchener, ON 

N2H 2H1 

Acquisition Method: Other (Canada Arts Council) 

In January 1962, artist Jack Bechtel was commissioned to create a mural to 

decorate the lounge of the new main branch of the Kitchener Public Library 

(KPL). KPL received financial assistance from the Canada Council for this 


The artist worked for six months to create the mural. To work undisturbed, 

Bechtel worked from library closing until dawn. The paint chosen for this piece 

was an acrylic polymer emulsion which should last as long as does the wall. The 

final mural measures 12.5 x 36 feet.  

The theme of the mural is man’s historical striving for knowledge. It was officially 

unveiled on November 2, 1962.  

Jack Bechtel died from cancer in September 1966. His best-known work was 

considered to be “Enlightenment”, his 560 square foot mural at KPL.