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Literary Landscapes: Maps from Fiction Exhibition Opens February 2

Posted on January 26th, 2015 by admin in Media Releases

panemMaps feature locations from action, adventure, fantasy, and children’s fiction

The exhibition Literary Landscapes: Maps from Fiction opens at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library on Monday, February 2, and runs through October 25. The exhibition, curated by Stephanie Cyr and Lauren Chen, examines the many types of maps that accompany works of fiction and features items from the 16th century to the present day.

“Literary Landscapes is for readers and map lovers of all ages and stages,” said Stephanie Cyr. “The collection of maps and books in the exhibition offers a creative and fun look into the relationship between literature and placemaking.”

In this exhibition of 40 items, visitors will discover maps from a variety of fictional genres, learn how authors create imaginary worlds, and appreciate why descriptive geography is essential to a story. People and creatures, even those who exist only in tales, are related to place, and maps of their imaginary worlds allow readers to be transported into the geography of fantasy. Maps of imaginary places have accompanied literature for centuries, as visualizing the fanciful worlds described in works of fiction sets the stage for events taking place in a story and often provides insight into the characters themselves. (more…)

State of the City Poem 2015: Praisesong for Boston

Posted on January 13th, 2015 by Gina Perille in General

COBseal_walsh-001Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s State of the City speech on January 13 featured a poem crafted by City of Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges. The library is honored to share it here.

Praisesong for Boston 

Begin with the Massachusett, setting nets in the harbor
Of Boston, before it was Boston harbor—Quonehassit,
Place of clear water, and arrive at my door.  I, immigrant

Like so many settlers nestled in your arms, write this poem
To you Boston.  If I write Trimount it is for your hills,
Some still standing, others razed, the land changed, as lands are,

As time passes, and yet history is yours, Boston, the good and bad of it,
The inarticulated and the often-stated:  A Puritan’s beacon, Wheatley’s
Pen, Winthrop’s city upon a hill, Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured

Citizens of the world, the vision and grandeur that are Gardner’s,
The words lost to the grey and blue Atlantic.  If I place an emerald
Necklace at your feet, it is to match the medallions of your ever-turning

Wheels:  bicycles and school-buses, the railroads and helms of trade
And fate, of fire and grit, of determination’s grip, of cod and beans,
And the great house of science, and the great house of knowledge,

And the great house of art.  International since the day you were born,
If cities are born.  And if you are grown, then out of everything you
Have grown:  a revolution’s spark, the arc of a wide bridge,

Cable-stayed, lit electric, wharves and new waves,
And the complicated notions of freedom and forward,
And the ease of summer days and sturdy neighbors:

Chris, young terror of Sumner Street; Alana eating a pear,
Already in third grade; John, but call him Mac; Santiago
Who yells louder than God; and Wendy who yells louder;

And Wayne, uncle to all, from his big yellow house greeting
Each newcomer to the neighborhood.

Danielle Legros Georges

CityofBostonLaureate

(this poem is indebted to Robert J. Allison’s
A Short History of Boston)

Bacchante and Infant Faun Sculpture Restored

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by admin in General

Frederick MacMonnies’ (1863-1937) spirited piece Bacchante and Infant Faun, which is located in the courtyard of Boston Public Library’s Copley Square location, was recently restored. The piece was originally given to the library by architect Charles Follen McKim, but removed in 1897 amid protest by the local community, who thought the dancing woman celebrated drinking — and, even worse — subjected her young child to debauchery. The original piece was removed and given to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. More than 90 years later, Bacchante returned to her intended home in the fountain, cast from a copy of the popular original in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Conservators first constructed scaffolding around the piece and used granulated walnut shells to “blast” green corrosion off the sculpture. Next, they treated the sculpture’s surface to recreate the original patina. A lacquer was applied to recoat the sculpture and re-wax its surface, which adds a final protective coating. Restoration work recently took place on Bela Pratt’s Art and Science sculptures outside the Central Library’s Dartmouth Street entrance. Further details on library artwork not to miss can be found on the walking tour section of the BPL website. Visit www.bpl.org/tours for information on the library’s daily art and architecture tours.

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Purloined Letters Exhibition Opens, Edgar Allan Poe Bust Revealed at Boston Public Library

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases

Desktop149Exhibition displays correspondence of Oscar Wilde, Edwin Austin Abbey, Bram Stoker

The exhibition Purloined Letters: Literary Correspondence and its Unintended Recipients opens in the Special Collections Lobby at the Central Library in Copley Square on Wednesday, October 15. Purloined Letters features an array of rare and important purloined, or stolen, letters written by revered literary figures. Also in October, a bronze bust of Edgar Allan Poe will be unveiled at the library, honoring the Boston-born poet, author, and critic.

“Purloined Letters gives us the rare opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of the writers and learn more about them than, in many cases, their published works may reveal,” said Susan Glover, Keeper of Special Collections at the Boston Public Library. (more…)

Arts + Culture Sampler

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by Gina Perille in General

Story_sqThere is a range of art and culture events taking place across the Boston Public Library system this month. There are free gallery exhibitions and author talks along with daily art & architecture tours. There are also several arts-related convenings that the library is proud to play host to at the Central Library in Copley Square:

And that is just the beginning of what’s on the library’s calendar this month. Click over to bpl.org/calendar to search through the full set of listings. View events by neighborhood, audience, and event type.

Arts and culture is a big part of what the Boston Public Library system offers to the residents of Boston.  Arts and culture feature prominently in our strategic plan, too, under the Fun principle, where we pledge to embrace our role as a cultural and entertainment hub in the City of Boston; connect people to popular books, music, films and artwork; and showcase the library’s collections through vibrant interactive exhibitions and programs.