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Posts Tagged ‘john singer sargent’

Based on yesterday’s post, I was asked by a few folks if I went up one more flight of stairs to view the hands of the Sargent murals.  Oh, yes indeed I did.  I did not begin with the Madonna of Sorrows with her silver crown.  With my limited time, I focused first on the prophets.

At the end of my stay, as I focused more on the Madonna of Sorrows, I had to stand close to a young security guard.  Finally I turned to her and asked, “Do you ever get bored?” She smiled and suddenly looked about twelve years old.  She said, “No, ma’am.  Every day I see something new.”

See all of the Sargent murals, in context, via this link.  This is an excellent site as well: http://www.sargentmurals.bpl.org/

 

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Following are pictures taken of the John Singer Sargent murals located on the top floor of the McKim Building at the Boston Public Library.  You can read more about the murals creation and restoration here and here.

 

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Reading Emily Toth’s The Public Library Was My Bookstore just reinforced for me that there is no greater public institution than the public library.  As a child in Lynchburg, Virgnia, the public library was one of the few places my mother would allow my younger brother and I to walk by ourselves.  When we were older, and our young niece and nephew would visit for the summer, we would literally carry them piggyback to the library to keep them entertained.  My nephew who is now 30 with a child of his own still remembers those rides.  Once I moved to the Boston area, one of my homes away from home quickly became the Boston Public Library.

If you are ever in Boston, please visit the main branch located on Boylston Street in Copley Square.  It was the country’s first public library and remains one of its most important.  It is an expansive structure that has evolved over time.  In the “old part” you will find some of the most beautiful and unique art of John Singer Sargent.  In the “new part” you will find the books and there amidst the shelves and sitting at the tables you will find the mix of Boston’s humanity – young mothers with children, high school students studying (kind of), college students researching, business people escaping the office for a bit, the homeless resting, people learning English with tutors, tourists snapping photos (without flash), and everything and everyone in between.  It is an experience.

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With the winter winds whipping through Boston, I have been trying to remind myself of all the beauty to be found inside.  There are few places in the city as beautiful as the main branch of the Boston Public Library (BPL).   It is a mammoth structure located in the heart of Copley Square in the area known as the Back Bay.  For the books alone, of course, it is well worth a visit.  But, the BPL is also an architectural and artistic masterpiece.  You can learn more on the BPL website, as well as a view this nice summary about the library murals on a website dedicated to John Singer Sargent.  Below are a few pics I snapped recently.

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