Current Exhibitions

At the Central Library

Celebrating Toulouse-Lautrec at the BPL

Central Library in Copley Square (Boylston Hall)
Through August 4, 2019

Image of three people on bicycles, with many people on bicycles in the foreground. There is a large group of people on biclcyes in the background. The text on the image reads, "La Chaîne Simpson. L.B. Spoke Directeur Pour La France. 25, Boulevard Haussmann."

BPL and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston have partnered to mount a major exhibition featuring more than 80 works by Toulouse-Lautrec from the BPL’s Special Collections. Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris is on at the MFA from April 7 through August 4. 

BPL will host a rotating display of four of the nine original Lautrec posters that received conservation work at Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in preparation for this exhibition. The display will provide more information about Lautrec, his approach to designing vibrant posters, and the BPL’s significant collection of over 350 works by the artist. One side of the display is devoted to the conservation process that allows these posters to be preserved and enjoyed as research objects both now and in the future.


America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century

Central Library in Copley Square (Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center)
Through November 10, 2019

During the 19th century, the United States expanded dramatically westward. Immigrant settlers rapidly spread across the continent and transformed it, often through violent or deceptive means, from ancestral Native lands and borderlands teeming with diverse communities to landscapes that fueled the rise of industrialized cities. Historical maps, images and related objects tell the story of the sweeping changes made to the physical, cultural, and political landscape. Moving beyond the mythologized American frontier, this map exhibition explores the complexity of factors that shaped our country over the century.

America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century, is presented in two chapters:

  • The United States Expands Westward, 1800-1862, May 2019-November 2019
  • From Homesteads to Modern Cities, 1862-1900, November 2019-May 2020

At the Branch Libraries

Ruth LaGue: Landscapes

Jamaica Plain Branch
Through June 29, 2019

A graduate of RISD, LaGue credits her childhood in Alaska as well as her later travels through India for her interest in landscape, where she sees both the limitless interior universe that lives within us and the outer vastness of our physical environment. Working with palette knives on canvas, she strives for economy in her work, combining textures, colors, and patterns. Her large-scale paintings capture various seasons and environments with energetic marks and an abstract ambiguity, seeking to welcome her viewers into her landscapes, perhaps jogging a memory or a simple moment of introspection. They are visual reminders of the concept that everyone is a small part of something larger, more expansive than our individual selves.