Press Room

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Elevating Arts, Culture & Special Collections

by mschuler

AEB_2961Boston Public Library is one of the city’s great cultural institutions and is home to thousands of significant works of art. The renovated Johnson building provides several new locations to showcase these iconic works, including Gallery J on the first floor with rotating exhibitions of artwork from the library’s collections, the Community Learning Center on the mezzanine where reproductions of selections from the BPL’s vibrant travel poster collection hang, and the Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center, which features large-scale reproductions of photographs of Boston by Spencer Grant and Lance Keimig.

In addition, patrons are treated to an array of artwork installed around the circulating collections. Look for expressionist artwork from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s by major artists György Kepes and Hermon di Giovanno; the copper half-eagle, half-lion griffin that once resided on the roof of the McKim building; a selection of historic and contemporary author busts, including two new acquisitions recently added to the library’s collection of Edgar Allan Poe and Maya Angelou; Psyche, a large Neoclassical marble figure that overlooks the mezzanine stairs; and a large-scale mosaic of the Boston skyline made from salvaged and repurposed books, designed by Boston-based firm Arrowstreet.

Items from the BPL’s Special Collections that have been digitized and made available at are also featured on four new Digital Stacks located near the Boylston Street entrance. Using this interactive tool, patrons can explore the BPL’s collections of digitized maps, manuscripts, photographs, prints, and travel posters.