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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

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’s Local and Family History Series

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

collage-9-28Boston Public Library’s fall Local & Family History Series continues, offering a wide range of topics from the Gilded Age and researching ancestors’ artifacts to today’s notable restaurants and the history of Haymarket:

 

  • Stephen T. Moskey, author of Larz and Isabel Anderson: Wealth and Celebrity in the Gilded Age explores the intersection of wealth, celebrity, politics, gender, and race on Wednesday, September 28, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Pamela Holland helps attendees find the stories of their ancestors and locate sources such as newspapers, diaries, letters, digitized books, photographs, and ephemera, many of which are now freely available online, to incorporate into colorful narratives of their ancestors’ lives. Wednesday, October 12, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Lindsay Fulton discusses the tabulation of the federal censuses from 1790-1840, the records that survive, and the questions that were asked during each enumeration on Wednesday, October 19, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • The BPL’s own Justin Goodstein explores the history of Haymarket, from its beginnings as an expansion of Quincy Market in the first half of the nineteenth century to its current incarnation as a host of an ever-changing and diverse population. Wednesday, November 2, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • James C. O’Connell shares stories of the most-beloved Boston restaurants of yesterday and today—illustrated with an extensive collection of historic menus, postcards, and photos, discussing Dining out in Boston: A Culinary History on Wednesday, November 16, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • David A. Lambert helps attendees research World War I and World War II veterans through exploring how key resources such as family ephemera related to the service of the veteran, including dog tags, personal letters, or discharge papers, can give clues to the unit or the vessel to which their relative was attached. This Local & Family History Series lecture is presented on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Wednesday, December 7, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.

 

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

 

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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…)

Discussion: Public Art and Irish Influence on Art in Boston

Posted on September 15th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

Featuring artists Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile and Michael Dowling at the Central Library in Copley Square

On Sunday, September 18, at 2 p.m. Boston Public Library President David Leonard will welcome Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile (Ireland) and Michael Dowling (Boston-US/Ireland) to the Central Library in Copley Square for a discussion about public art, the Irish influence on art in Boston, and their work which is featured in the temporary public art project, Tír na nÓg, now on view in the Back Bay Fens.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen incredible energy around public art installations in Boston,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “Projects like Tír na nÓg promote public discourse, bringing people together in conversation and helping us reach the goals of the Boston Creates Cultural Plan. We are thrilled to see it in the Fens and look forward to hearing from the artists.” (more…)

Quincy Carroll, Author of “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside,” Brings a Captive Audience to Rural China.

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by kmiller@private.bpl.org in General

On a rainy Thursday evening in Boston, Quincy Carroll took his audience’s imaginations to the countryside of China. The crowd in the Commonwealth Salon in the Central Library in Copley Square sat engaged as Carroll discussed the inspiration for the novel “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside” as well as reading two carefully chosen passages from the book.

Carroll began the talk by discussing how his background and personal experiences influenced the novel. Born and raised in Natick, Massachusetts, Carroll attended Yale University. After graduating in 2007, Carroll headed to New York to enter the financial world in sales and trading. It didn’t take long for Carroll to realize that he wanted a different life, leading him to quit his job and move to China. Before departing he found a graphic novel, “East meets West,” by Yang Liu that informed his knowledge of the differences between the cultures. Upon arriving in China, however, he found quickly there was a gap in the literary world for an exploration of foreigners living and experiencing China and Chinese culture. After returning to America, Carroll enrolled in the Creative Writing MFA program at Emerson College and the journey of writing “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside,” began.

The first passage Carroll read was a particularly meaningful one, considering the location of the talk. Carroll revealed to the audience that this portion of the novel was written just a few yards away in Bates Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. This passage is also significant as it’s the first time we meet two of the main characters, Thomas Guillard and Bella while they waited for a train to Ningyuan. The scene creates an image for the audience of Guillard’s nonchalant attitude towards the Chinese culture, through his smoking and staring at a nearby girl. The passage sets the audience up to learn more about these two characters and how their different backgrounds will influence their relationship.

The second passage Carroll read introduces the other main character, Daniel. Daniel is traveling by bus to visit friends and the contrast between him and Thomas is immediately felt. At one point Daniel automatically nods to a man he passes and is embarrassed because “Simply because they came from different countries did not mean they owe each other a hello.” This quote spoke to Daniel’s mindfulness of the culture and his role as an outsider.

Carroll ended the night thanking everyone who attended, as well as answering numerous questions from the audience. In response to the questions, Carroll discussed the artful act of infusing Chinese into a novel meant for English speakers, his plans for the next novel, and that the characters were hybrids of many different people he met in his travels.

This talk is part of the Boston Public Library’s Author Talk Series. The next talk in the series will take place on Monday, May 9, 2016, at 6 p.m. featuring Paul Lewis, editor of “The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789-1820, and taking place in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square. Learn more via here.