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Posts Tagged ‘art’

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Beauty is everywhere throughout the Copley Square branch of the Boston Public Library. You just have to look up. 🙂

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Poetry Made Visible (2017) is described as “a guidebook for tourists and natives of the Boston Area, for students and teachers, for lovers of poetry and lovers of public art.” Well, in order to review the book and write about it, I knew I had to use the book. So I began with the first chapter focused on the main branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. As I walked around what Bresler refers to as “the temple of poetry,” an amazing thing began to happen. I walked around the library with an open book, reading, pausing, looking, and guess what? People began to notice me. They too paused and looked and, since they had no book in-hand, their brows furrowed as they tried to see what I might be seeing, carved into stone or sculpted into a door.

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Poetry with her halo, McKim building door

As I traveled around the library, I found myself engaging with librarians. While Bresler does an amazing job of pointing out the poetry integrated into the library’s exterior and interior structure, the challenge is that the Boston Public Library’s interior design is quite dynamic and in the past year there have been major renovations and redecoration. So I had to converse with the librarians to ascertain where certain sculptures had been moved because the book’s walking directions don’t always match up.

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Dare I say that I believe that the librarians had a great time helping me to track down the various sculptures mentioned, and peering into the book because it was a resource that was helping them to see their building with fresh perspective. And I think that’s the strength of this book. As the title suggests, Bresler truly does make poetry visible. I’ve lived in Boston long enough that I take the Boston Public Library for granted, but with his book in-hand I paused and peered up and truly looked at what was there. And so did the little kid next to me.

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Throughout the book he asks thought-provoking questions. They cannot be answered by “yes” or “no.” One must actually pause, ponder, reflect. I can imagine a teacher or a parent using excerpts of this book to help guide their students or children in seeing the world around them and exploring how something done so long ago, whether the poem or the sculpture, has relevance to their lives today.

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Maya Angelou Bust in Boston Public Library

You’ve heard of a date movie? This is a date book.” So it says on the back cover. Well, when you look at the list of Dispersed Sites of poetry that he has compiled, I can see that it would be fun to make a date with a friend to see a site, to reflect upon the poets remembered, and the contemporary artists capturing their spirit in stone and more.

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As has the Boston Public Library, the City of Boston and surrounding areas will continually change. I do hope that the sculptures and other public artworks that Bresler has captured survive over time. I think Bresler’s book is a wonderful reminder of the literary heritage of the Greater Boston area and the important role of poetry in society.

Poetry Made Visible: Boston Sites for Poetry Lovers, Art Lovers & Lovers

 

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They are meant to be viewed from afar, the wall paintings in the Boston Public Library’s Abbey Room, but I do love zooming in on the murals. There’s always something new to appreciate.

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http://www.bpl.org/central/abbey.htm

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The American Sphinx is located in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. Commissioned and designed by Jacob Bigelow, founder of the cemetery, the sphinx was sculpted by Martin Milmore. It is composed of a single block of granite and was completed in July 1872 by Milmore and his brother, Joseph.

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It is a rather unique Civil War monument. Inscribed in Latin and English on its sides are the following words:

American Union Preserved

African Slavery Destroyed

By the Uprising of a Great People

By the Blood of Fallen Heroes

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In a rather poignant twist, Jacob Bigelow never actually saw the sculpture. By the time it was completed he was blind though as recounted on the Mount Auburn Cemetery website, friends remembered him visiting the statue and “fondly touching the contours of the massive form.” Learn more via the link below.

African American Heritage Trail – The Sphinx

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This particular creative expression began as part housecleaning and part trying to entertain myself while housebound during a blizzard (a blizzard which continues, by the way). Flipping through a stack of books I haven’t read in ages, I came across a book about Japanese Noh robes, Patterns and Poetry, produced by the Rhode Island School of Design. A visually stunning book. I was motivated to pick up some colored pens and paper and see what might emerge as I lingered over each colorful page.

Nature is a predominant theme of the costume designs, and so as the world turned white around me I decided to free sketch and see what might happen. Drawing a heron is bit beyond me at this stage but I knew I could handle branches, leaves, berries and butterflies. I scratched a few lines on paper and then moved on to GIMP.

What evolved was the height of simplicity, my little nature sequence of leaves, then berries and then a butterfly in a field. Not quite Picasso but rather fun, I have to say, on a gray day in a troubled world, to produce a colorful flight of fancy. Enjoy.

 

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Here’s a new woven scarf designed by Donna McNett using a photograph of the stenciled wall inside Trinity Church. Available now in the shop. It’s meant to be worn but I do love how the light shines through.

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Dorcas is one of a set of two windows purchased by William Amory (1808-1888) in memory of his parents Thomas Coffin Amory (1767-1812) and Hannah Rowe Linzee Amory (1775-1845).

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Located in the north transept of Trinity Church in Copley Square, the window was installed between 1877-1878. According to the literature, both the Amory and Linzee families had long been associated with the parish which was found in 1733. Designed and executed by Burlison & Grylls of London, the window depicts the biblical figure of Dorcas, a woman of wealth, who aided those who were in need. In this case the artist shows Dorcas throwing a garment over someone beseeching her for aid.

 

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It is a beautifully rendered window full of drama and rich colorful detail. See for yourself when you have the chance: http://trinitychurchboston.org/visit/tours

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