art & architecture of the bpl reveals similarities between the past and present20 Oct 2016
a few weeks ago, one of my closest friends, jonathan krones, got married. at his wedding reception, i met his aunt, gail. a few times a month she gives art & architecture history tours of the main branch of the boston public library, a place my co-founder and i often work out of. not only did i learn a ton about the bpl, i also learned how symbolic working there is for us. as always, this could be more elegant, but as i always say, better done than perfect.
- at the opening ceremony for library back in the 1880s, poet oliver wendell holmes read a poem that included a line calling the library “a palace for the people.”
- the two front statues are art and science.
- the artist/craftsperson who designed the 7 tiled ceilings in the library wanted to use his work in the library as his calling card; it was his first piece in america.
- there are a set of murals at the top of the stairs on the 2nd floor. the artist was parisian and never stepped foot in the building. the architect made a scale model of the building and sent it to the artist along with samples of the marble of which the room the murals would go in was made. the artist then painted the murals and sent them across the ocean where they were installed. aka - they were a virtual #thereisnothingnewunderthesun.
- sometime recently on a tour, a 10-year old tour participant thought that two characters were on a digital tablet and cell phone when one was just looking at a stone tablet and the other just had their hand to their temple in contemplation. ha.
- the library was funded mostly by the city government (first municipally funded library in the u.s.), but there was also state and private money to take it up a notch. #publicprivatepartnership?
- the murals in the abbey room are that artists first murals. he was known as a portraitist. he tried a new thing when someone gave him a chance to stretch himself (which we believe in). ironically, the mural is of the search for the holy grail…