Free Art and Architecture Tours Offered at Boston Public Library
Featured works include Sargent, Chavannes, and Abbey Murals
During the holidays, the Boston Public Library is offering free tours
of the McKim Building, including a set of tours on First Night.
Boston Public Library welcomes visitors to explore the treasures inside
its McKim Building at the Central Library in Copley Square this holiday
season and embark upon a free art and architecture tour detailing the
library's rich history.
The free tours last about an hour and are led by volunteer guides. No
appointment is necessary for groups smaller than eight people.
The McKim Building is known Boston's "palace for the people," and
stands as one of the City's iconic landmarks, showcasing the
architecture of Charles Follen McKim and housing works by famed
sculptors and painters.
||Lobby of McKim Build (Dartmouth St entrance)
|Tue / Thu
|Wed / Fri / Sat
part of the city's First Night celebrations on Tuesday, December 31,
30-minute tours will begin every 15 minutes in the McKim lobby between
1 and 5 p.m., with the final tour departing at 4:30 p.m. To learn more,
or to make a private tour reservation, please visit www.bpl.org/tours. Groups of eight or more must make a reservation for a private tour.
Art Works and Galleries
The works of notable American and European designers and artists such
as Rafael Guastavino, Frederick MacMonnies, Daniel Chester French, and
Louis Saint-Gaudens are featured within the library's entrance hall,
courtyard, vestibule, and main staircase. Exquisite murals adorn the
walls of the Abbey Room and Chavannes and Sargent galleries:
The Quest of the Holy Grail mural cycle by American artist Edwin Austin
Abbey graces the walls of the Abbey Room on the second floor. The work
falls into a series of 15 panels featuring 150 life-sized figures
illustrating the Arthurian legend. The room also features a beautiful
fireplace of French rouge antique marble, dark oak wainscoting, and a
beamed ceiling modeled after that of the library in the Doge's Palace
Painted by the renowned French artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, the
murals decorate the walls of the McKim Building's grand staircase and
second floor gallery. The central mural depicts The Muses of
Inspiration Welcoming the Spirit of Light. Eight stairway murals
representing the main disciplines of poetry, philosophy, and science
complete this allegorical cycle.
John Singer Sargent chose the development of world religions as his
theme for this ambitious mural cycle. The artist considered this effort
to be his most important work. Distinctly different from his
better-known portraits of distinguished Americans and Europeans and his
delicate landscapes, Sargent followed the style of Italian Renaissance
frescos by incorporating architectural elements of the building into
About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, a
literacy center, 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 publicly supported municipal library in America, the first
public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and
the first to have a children's room.
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 www.bpl.org.
|Posted: December 17, 2013 Nancy J Conrad
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