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Posts Tagged ‘Inside BPL Collections’

Boston Public Library Restores Treasured Artwork Using Unprecedented Conservation Technique

Posted on September 28th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

desktop296Philosophy Panel Returns to the Grand Staircase at the Central Library in Copley Square

Artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’ Philosophy panel, approximately 14’ x 7’ in size and 160 pounds, has been successfully restored and returned to its location on the walls of the grand staircase in the McKim building at the Central Library in Copley Square. This section of the Chavannes’ mural was conserved using an unprecedented innovative technique and returned to its alcove after months of careful restoration. The ambitious procedure has rarely been attempted on a marouflage canvas, as artwork adhered in this way is not expected to be removed once permanently affixed to its backing structure.

“Preserving Boston’s dynamic arts and culture will always be an important part of our city’s heritage,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Visitors at the Central Library can once again enjoy the Pierre Puvis de Chavannes mural in its entirety. I welcome all to visit the mural, and see a great work of art in Boston.”

French artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes is considered one of the preeminent European artists of the 19th century, and the Central Library contains his only mural installation outside of France. Philosophy is one of eight allegorical scenes – each depicting an academic discipline – that surround the Central Library’s grand staircase. Other panels in the cycle include Astronomy, History, Chemistry, Physics, Pastoral Poetry, Dramatic Poetry, and Epic Poetry. A ninth, broader panel flanks the entrance to Bates Hall and depicts “The Muses of Inspiration Welcoming the Spirit of Light.” (more…)

Boston Public Library Loans Centuries-Old Illuminated Manuscripts for Collaborative Beyond Words Exhibition

Posted on September 16th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

januarius_0212Exhibitions opening this month at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the McMullen Museum at Boston College, and Houghton Library at Harvard University

Boston Public Library is loaning 36 medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts and printed books from its collections to three area cultural institutions, part of an ambitious collaborative project entitled Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections. The largest ever exhibition of medieval and Renaissance books held in North America, the BPL items date from the 10th century to the early 16th century, part of the Library’s Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts Collection of Distinction. The materials will be featured at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the McMullen Museum at Boston College, and Houghton Library at Harvard University from September 2016 to January 2017. For more information about the exhibitions, visit www.beyondwords2016.org.

“These illuminated manuscripts and bound books represent a crucial period in the Western evolution of writing and reading,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “This first of its kind collaborative exhibition is an exciting opportunity for the Boston Public Library to put our collection on display, and make these objects viewable and easily accessible to the public.”

“The Boston Public Library’s early manuscripts collection is astounding in its breadth and overall quality. Scholars come to Boston from around the world in order to study these artifacts,” said Jay Moschella, Curator of Rare Books at the Boston Public Library and one of the facilitators of the exhibition for the library. (more…)

Boston Public Library to Commemorate 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death with Two Exhibitions in Fall 2016

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

F1_title-pageFree and open to the public; presented by Iron Mountain

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and Boston Public Library and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center will honor the Bard’s lasting legacy with two exhibitions at the Central Library this fall, as well as programming at library locations citywide. Boston Public Library holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Shakespeare in a public institution, including the first four folios of his collected works, 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, and thousands of volumes of early source material, commentaries, translations, manuscripts, and more.

“At some point in life, everyone has experienced the work of Shakespeare,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “These opportunities at the Boston Public Library give all the chance to learn more about the creative genius of Shakespeare and how his legacy lives on today.”

Shakespeare Unauthorized: Experience the original works of “The Bard”

Shakespeare Unauthorized, a major gallery exhibition on view from October 14, 2016 through March 31, 2017, will include extraordinarily rare first and early editions of familiar and beloved plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, as well as all four Shakespearean folios, most notably the BPL’s own copy of the world-famous First Folio. Through the pages of these precious books, visitors can experience Shakespeare in his original language and spelling, just as he would have been read by book lovers and theater-goers hundreds of years ago.  Shakespeare Unauthorized will take place in the McKim Exhibition Hall on the first floor of the McKim building at the Central Library in Copley Square.

Shakespeare Unauthorized is made possible through the financial support of Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), a leader in storage and information management services. Based in Boston, Iron Mountain provides charitable grants of funding and in-kind services to cultural and historical preservation projects like Shakespeare Unauthorized all over the world through its Living Legacy Initiative. (more…)

Boston Public Library’s Top Ten Books for Black History Month

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 by BPL News in General

2016 low resIn honor of Black History month, Boston Public Library publishes the annual “Black Is” book list, a compilation of recent works by and about African Americans for adult readers. BPL staff have undertaken the difficult task of narrowing down the list of titles to bring you their top ten favorite books from 2016’s “Black Is” book list.

Fiction

Non-fiction

To view the full “Black Is” book list, download a PDF or pick up a copy at any Boston Public Library location.

BPL’s Top Borrowed Books of 2015

Posted on December 11th, 2015 by BPL News in General

CompassBoston Public Library’s Collection Development team is pleased to present the top ten borrowed books of 2015. Check out the BPL catalog to locate these and other books to read.

  1. The Girl on the Train
  2. All the Light We Cannot See
  3. The Boston Girl
  4. Gone Girl
  5. Yes Please
  6. The Goldfinch
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
  8. The Invention of Wings
  9. The Fault in Our Stars
  10. The Book Thief

Book lovers, additional 2015 top ten lists are also available:  Juvenile Books, Teen Books, E-books, Adult Fiction, and Adult Nonfiction.