College students just want normal libraries Atlantic Magazine | Beautiful books and nooks

 

 

just a few photos of many beautiful libraries in Massachusetts (Boston, Gloucester, Quincy, Beverly, Middleton)

As do towns! The proposed new building (Dore & Whittier/Matt Oudens) related to the Sawyer Free Library is landing at the tail end of the visioning trend called out in this  Atlantic article by Alia Wong:

“College Students Just Want Normal Libraries: Schools have been on a mission to reinvent campus libraries—even though students just want the basics.” 

excerpts:

Likely in the hopes of proving that they have more to offer than a simple internet connection does, many college libraries are pouring resources into interior-design updates and building renovations, or into “glitzy technology,” such as 3-D printers and green screens, that is often housed in “media centers” or “makerspaces.”

“Yet much of the glitz may be just that—glitz. Survey data and experts suggest that students generally appreciate libraries most for their simple, traditional offerings: a quiet place to study or collaborate on a group project, the ability to print research papers, and access to books.”

So-called digital natives still crave opportunities to use libraries as libraries, and many actively seek out physical texts—92 percent of the college students surveyed in a 2015 study, for example, said they preferred paper books to electronic versions. (Plus, a growing body of evidence shows that physical books and papers are more conducive to learning than digital formats are.) The dean of learning and technology resources at one of the six campuses of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) recently told me about a student he had met: Upon learning that her campus library had only the e-book version of a text she needed to read, the woman opted to make the trek to another campus a nearly half-hour commute away that had the hard copy. A 2016 survey of students at  Webster University in Washington, D.C., also illustrates limited use of digital resources, finding that just 18 percent of students accessed e-books “frequently” or “very frequently,” compared with 42 percent who never used them.

“Duke University’s 2016 survey of its students drew similar conclusions, finding that book delivery was one of the most important services to students; fancy library services such as instant messaging or data-visualization help fell much lower on students’ priority lists. A separate, years-long project on community-college students by the NOVA dean and a team of researchers found that respondents “most often view the library as the service provider they would likely go to” for an array of bread-and-butter needs, such as help gathering research for a paper, registering for classes, or applying for financial aid. Demand for access to devices such as 3-D printers and virtual-reality headsets was relatively low; respondents tended to highlight the need for reliable Wi-Fi instead.

“Many college libraries are reinventing themselves, but perhaps they’re trying to fix an institution that isn’t, in fact, broken…”

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/10/college-students-dont-want-fancy-libraries/599455/

Rockport Library has dedicated quiet conversation and reading spaces as do Beverly, Quincy and Boston.

Resiliency- Claire Wyzenbeek’s inspiring artist talk and exhibition at Sawyer Free

CLAIRE WYZENBEEK_3rd from left_Sara Collins Dir Manchester Public Library 2nd from left_ after Claire artist talk_event at Sawyer Free Library_© Linda Bosselman

photo caption: after Claire Wyzenbeek’s artist talk at SFL 9/19/19 ©Linda Bosselman                                        Inspiring, thoughtful and genuine. Don’t miss any upcoming Claire Wyzenbeek artist talks. 

Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads and Wyzenbeek’s solo exhibition at Sawyer Free continue through September 30.

#ArtSavesLives

 

Tomorrow night! Invited Artist Claire Wyzenbeek kicks off September reception Cape Ann Reads Sawyer Free Library

RECEPTION

Please join us for the September artists and writers Cape Ann Reads reception 6-8pm September 19th, 2019 on the main floor at Sawyer Free Library. The event will feature Claire Wyzenbeek, the Invited Artist for the Gloucester venue. Wyzenbeek will kick off the opening with a brief overview of her work, especially the beautiful and enigmatic Water and Lunar series on view for this exhibition.

claire 2

CLAIRE WYZENBEEK_Once Upon a Contest_Invited Artist, Gloucester_ installation view Sawyer Free library _20190815_©c ryan

Installation

CLAIRE WYZENBEEK

Cape Ann Reads Invited Artist

Selections from Lunar and Water series

New paintings 2018-19

“Water is the wellspring of life. Living near the sea in Gloucester, where the moon calls the tides to rise and fall, where my garden is parched or flooded by the rain, I feel the water is everywhere around and within me.

Our bodies and feelings are fluid. The elation of floating in a calm bay, the release of tears flowing in grief, the vaporous clouds pregnant with rain all appear in my work as symbols of multiple experiences. Rising Tides and Beneath are about climate change, but also about emotions and relationships.  The Rain paintings were responses to the sorrows of loss. My figures and landscapes reflect life’s juxtapositions of love and suffering, awe and anguish, that flow through our internal and external worlds.”- Claire Wyzenbeek

Claire Wyzenbeek is the invited artist for the Gloucester venue of the “Once Upon a Contest” travel exhibition presented by the four libraries of Cape Ann. Wyzenbeek wrote and illustrated an original children’s picture book, Henrietta’s Moon Egg, a distinguished Cape Ann Reads Gulliver book. Wyzenbeek works in a variety of media with a current focus on building up layers of acrylic wash.  She maintains two studios; one at her residence in Gloucester and a second in Beverly where she teaches art classes.

Story time

Next week at the library, Wyznebeek will bring her award-winning children’s book Henrietta’s Moon Egg to a special Story time with Christy, Director of Children’s Services,  September 25, 2019.

Cape Ann Reads  childrens picture book reception-local authors & artists Jan 27 2018 City Hall Gloucester MA ©Linda Bosselman (8) (1).JPG

Her fall classes begin next week: Continue reading “Tomorrow night! Invited Artist Claire Wyzenbeek kicks off September reception Cape Ann Reads Sawyer Free Library”

Massachusetts Museum Guide: upcoming art exhibits at 150 institutions

installation view at ICA The Water Shed_JOHN AKOMFRAH PURPLE_2019_© photograph catherine ryan (5).jpg

Last Chance! These must see 2019 shows are closing soon: Don’t miss ICA Watershed Purple (installation view above) closing September 2;  DeCordova New England Biennial and the Provincetown Art Association & Museum’s 1945 Chaim Gross exhibition close September 15; and catch Renoir at the Clark before it’s gone September 22nd.

A few of the listed upcoming exhibitions to note: the NEW building and exhibits at PEM are opening September 2019; Homer at the Beach is on display at Cape Ann Museum thru December 1 (and catch a Richard Ormond lecture on John Singer Sargent’s Charcoals Sept.28 at Cape Ann Museum (ahead of the Morgan exhibition opening October);  three new shows opening at MFA; Gordon Parks at Addison; and Alma Thomas at Smith. A Seuss-focused experience was pronounced destined for Boston, ahead of its TBD venue, by the LA entertainment company co-founders. Some shows I’ve already visited and may write about, mostly from a dealer’s perspective as that is my background. Exhibition trends continue to evolve and reveal new directions. A few patterns I see in the exhibition titles: what’s annointed for display and how it’s contextualized (corrective labels); immersive exhibits; revisiting colonial methodologies and themes; major solo surveys; women artists (and this upcoming season boost underscoring womens’ suffrage and 100th anniversary of the ratification of women’s right to vote); illustration; environment; and issues of humanity and migration. The list is illustrated with images of the sites. All photographs mine unless otherwise noted. Right click or hover to see info; click to enlarge. – Catherine Ryan

The guide – Massachusetts Museum Guide, Fall 2019

Note from author: The list below is alphabetized by town, and details upcoming exhibitions at each venue as well as some that are closing soon. Click the word “website” (color gray on most monitors) for hyperlinks that redirect to venues. For a list alphabetically sorted by venue, see my Google Map (with a Candy Trail overlay) “Art Museums in Massachusetts” here and embedded at the end of this post. I pulled the map together several years ago. No apps to download or website jumping. Easy scroll down so you don’t miss an exhibit that’s closer than you think to one that you may already be exploring. A few are open seasonally (summer) or weekends only–call first to check before visiting. Major new architectural building projects are underway at BU (closed) and MIT. The 54th Regiment Memorial on Boston Common will undergo restoration. Get ready for close observation of conservation in process.  – Catherine

AMESBURY

1. John Greenleaf Whittier historic Home and Museum website 

AMHERST 

2. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art website

  • September 7, 2019- March 1, 2020 Under the Sea with Eric Carle
  • Through October 27, 2019 The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sis video of exhibition
  • November 10, 2019 – April 5, 2020 The Pursuit of Everything: Maria Kalman’s Books for Children
  • Through December 1, 2019 William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary

3. Emily Dickinson Museum website ongoing special guided tours through two historic house museums- Homestead and Evergreens, and programs

4. Eli Marsh Gallery – Amherst College website

  • September 16-October 11, 2019 Do Things to Images: An Exhibition by Odette England

5. Mead Art Museum –  Amherst College website

  • Opening September 12, 2019 Rotherwas Project 5 | Christopher Myers: The Red Plague Rid You for Learning Me Your Language
  • Through September 11, 2019 Fleeting Nature: Selections from Collection
  • Fall 2019 Ten Years of Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisitions
  • Opening December 2019 Students’ museum seminar exhibition
  • Through January 5, 2020 Constructing Collage

ANDOVER

6. Addison Gallery of American Art Philips Andover website

  • September 1, 2018- July 31, 2020 A Wildness Distant from Ourselves: Art and Ecology in 19th-Century America press release
  • September 1, 2018 – December 15, 2019 The Art of Ambition in the Colonial Northeast press release
  • September 1 – November 15, 2019 George Washington: American Icon press release
  • October 5, 2019 – January 5 2020 Men of Steel, Women of Wonder press release
  • February 1 – April 26, 2020 Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950 press release

ARLINGTON

7. Cyrus E. Dallin (1861-1944) Art Museum website

ATTELBORO

8. Attleboro Arts Museum (like NSAA) website

BELMONT

9. The Belmont Woman’s Club & 1853 Winslow Homer (seasonal) website historic house museum

BEVERLY

10. Montserrat College of Art website

  • Through September 13, 2019 Montserrat Gallery | Julian Howley: Building Better Mobs
  • Through September 21, 2019 Ashley Brown Durand: It’s Ok to Feel Things
  • Through October 12, 2019 301 Gallery | Adrian Fernandez Milanes

11. Murals, Cabot Street Beverly

 

12. Beverly Public Library website

 

13. Long Hill historic home and gardens 114 acres website 

BOSTON

14. Boston Athenaeum website

  • September 17, 2019 – March 14, 2020 Required Reading: Reimagining a Colonial Library on display in the Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery press release

15. Boston Black Heritage Trail, NPS website

photo info: Visitors will see the Robert Gould Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial undergoing conservation beginning fall 2019

16. Boston Children’s Museum website

Boston Children's Museum_20190828_Hood icon © c ryan

  • Through September 30th HUMAN GARDEN | Handmade Installation by Lani Asuncion on display in The Gallery
  • Through Fall 2019 Pickup Music Project www.pickupmusicproject.com
  • iconic permanent public art/architecture, i.e. Hood Milk Carton; mini temporary displays and/or art commissions integrated every floor

17. Boston Freedom Trail website

18. Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park website

(photos show info gateway on the Greenway near the ferry access to Boston Harbor Islands)

  • Summer 2019 public art: Boston Harbor [Re]creation The Project: Artists Marsha Parrilla; Robin MacDonald-Foley; Brian Sonia-Wallace more(Jury: Luis Cotto MCC; Lucas Cowan, The Greenway; Celena illuzzi, National Parks; Caroly Lewenberg; Denise Sarno-Bucca DCR; Courtney Shape, City of Boston; Rebecca Smerling Boston Harbor Now; Kera Washingon; Cynthia Woo, Pao Arts Center)

19. Boston Public Library website

  • Through November 10, 2019 America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century, special exhibitions, more

20. Boston Society of Architects website

  • Through October 25, 2019 Canstruction 2019
  • Through December 31, 2019 2019 BSA Design Awards 
  • December 6 – January 2, 2019 8th Annual Gingerbread House Design Competition
  • January 10, 2020- May 15, 2020 The Architecture of Time
  • February 14 – April 5, 2020 Women in Design Award of Excellence 20th Anniversary celebratin and exhibition
  • February 21 – May 31, 2020 Durable: Sustainable Material Ecologies Vilna Shul website

21. Boston University BU Art Galleries website

  • Reopening Fall 2020 – 808 Gallery (temporary closures)
  • Reopening Fall 2020 – Faye G., Jo & James Stone Gallery (temporary closures)
  • Annex

22. Design Museum, Boston website

23. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway website 

Super A_ Stefan Thelen_Resonance_2019_Greenway mural Boston Massachusetts© photograph c ryan.jpg

  • Unveiled 2019 – Super A (Stefan Thelen) Resonance, 2019, latex and spray paint
    • Note to Greenway (see photo notes below): food trucks by the stop should be relocated to other food truck areas (and maybe one tree) to optimize and welcome sight line to the Greenway and public spaces from streets, sidewalk, and South Station. There are pauses elsewhere along the lattice park links, and a generous approach past the wine bar. The temporary commissioned mural could extend verso (or invite a second artist) so that the approach from Zakim Bridge/RT1/93North is as exciting as the approach from Cape Cod.
  • Skip the app AI download– swamped my phone battery despite free WiFi on the Greenway.
  • See complete list of 2019 public art currently on view at The Greenway here
  • The Greenway packs a lot of punch in a compressed area; its lattice of dynamic public spaces and quiet passages are an easy stroll into the North End or along the HarborWalk to the ICA, roughly similar in size and feel as walking Battery Park and Hudson River Park in New York City.
college students from Boston University volunteer grounds keeping before the semester kicks off_ at The Greenway_Boston Mass_20190828_©c ryan.jpg
photo credit: Grounds help | College students from Boston University volunteering before the semester kicks off at The Greenway, Boston MA © c ryan _20190828_
ICA needs to be on these wayfinding guides.jpg
p.s. Need to add ICA to The Greenway wayfinding 

24. Innovation and Design building (aka Boston Design Building makeover in process in winter 2016 photos posted here) website

25. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website

  • Through September 15, 2019 BIG PLANS: Picturing Social Reform more
  • Through October 20, 2019 Contemporary Art  Joan Jonas: i know why they left more
  • Through January 14, 2020 Anne H. Fitzpatrick Facade Laura Owens: Untitled 
  • October 17, 2019 – January 20, 2020 In the Company of Artists featuring Sophie Calle, Bharti Kher, Luisa Lambri, Laura Owens, Rachel Perry, Dayanita Singh, and Su-Mei Tse

26. Guild of Boston Artists website

  • Through September 28, 2019 Annual Regional Juried Exhibition 2019 Winners announced September 21, 2019. The 2018 gold winner, Leon Doucette of Gloucester, exhibiting again, and Melissa Cooper. more

27. ICA Institute of Contemporary Art website

ICA BOSTON_silvery day_©c ryan.jpg

  • On display at The Water Shed ICA Boston venue

installation view at ICA The Water Shed_JOHN AKOMFRAH PURPLE_2019_© photograph catherine ryan (7)

  • Through September 2, 2019 at The Water Shed, ICA Boston John Akomfrah: Purple more 
  • What’s coming in 2020 to The Water Shed? Still TBA
  • Through September 22, 2019 ICA Less Is a Bore: Maximilist Art & Design more

Nice installation with a few surprises and thoughtful connection to other exhibtions on view. (The LeWit and Johns selections triggered what about that work or artist? I wish May Stevens and Harmony Hammond were included and my list grew from there. That’s part of the fun of the exhibit.)

ICA installation view_Less is More 2019 © photo copyright Catherine Ryan

  • September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling more
  • September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama more
  • October 23, 2019 – January 26, 2020 ICA When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art more
  • Through December 31, 2019 ICA 2019 James and Audrey Foster Prize Boston area artists: Rashin Fahandej; Josephine Halvorson; Lavaughan Jenkins; Helga Roht Poznanski more 
  • Through December 31, 2019 ICA Vivian Suter more 
  • January 17, 2020 – March 15, 2020 ICA Fineberg Art Wall | Nina Chanel Abney mural more

ICA Boston installation view_Fineberg Art Wall_ artist Nina Chanel Abney _ 2019 © photograph copyright Catherine Ryan.jpg

  • January 20, 2020 – July 5, 2020 ICA Tschabalala Self: Around the Way more
  • January 20, 2020 – July 5, 2020 ICA Carolina Caycedo more
  • February 26 – May 17, 2020 ICA Sterling Ruby more
  • July 1, 2020 – October 18, 2020 ICA Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech more

28. John F. Kennedy JFK Presidential Library & Museum, UMASS Boston website

  • Through November 28, 2019 JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos  more
  • Through December 31, 2019 Freedom 7 Space Capsule more

29. Massachusetts State House art collection website  and Boston Commons public arts and spaces

30. McMullen Museum of Art BC – Boston College website

  • September 9, 2019 William Trost Richards: Hieroglyphs of Landscape more
  • September 9, 2019 Simon Dinnerstein: “The Fulbright Triptych” more
  • September 9, 2019 Alen MacWeeney and a Century of New York Street Photography more 
  • September 9, 2019 Mary Armstrong: Conditions of Faith more

31. MAAH – Museum of African American History, Boston website

32. MFA – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website 

Museum of Fine Arts Boston_20170113_Manship sculptures © c ryan.jpg

  • September 13, 2019 – May 3, 2021 Women Take the Floor (The fugitive textiles and printmaking sections will rotate out Part 1 May 2020) at the MFA more 
  • October 12, 2019 – August 9, 2020 Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Family and Friends at the MFA more
  • October 13, 2019 – January 20, 2020 Ancient Nubia Now at the MFA more 

installation at MFA underway _20190820_readying for Ancient Nubia ©c ryan.jpg

  • Through October 14, 2019 Community Arts Mindful Mandlas at the MFA
  • Through December 15, 2019 Viewpoints: Photographs from art dealer Howard Greenberg Collection at the MFA more 

big league photo art dealer Howard Greenberg stellar vintage photography collection.jpg

  • Through January 20, 2020 Make Believe: Five Contemporary photographers at the MFA more
  • Through January 20, 2020 Kay Nielsen’s Enchanted Vision at the MFA more
  • Through February 20, 2020 Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death at the MFA more
  • Through February 23, 2020  Jackson Pollock |  Katharina Grosse Abstraction on a Massive Scale at the MFA more

POLLOCK at MFA orginially commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim.jpg

  • March 1, 2020  – May 25, 2010 Lucian Freud: The Self Portraits at the MFA more 
  • Through March 8, 2020 Collecting Stories: Mid Century Experiment at the MFA
  • Through March 29, 2020 Boston Made Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork at the MFA more
  • Through June 30, 2020 Conservation in Action: Japanes Buddhist Sculpure at the MFA

33. Otis House Museum, Historic New England website historic house museum

34. Paul Revere House website

35. Society of Arts & Crafts, at Pier 4 Boston website 

  • Sepember 10 2019 – November 10, 2019 Kogei-Kyoto x SA+C, Boston more
  • save the date: Society visits Gloucester, Mass

36. USS Constitution, NPS website

BREWSTER 

37. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History website

  • Long term display in the Naturescape Gallery James Prosek and Barbara Harmon (see also Thornton Burgess in East Sandwich) 

BROCKTON

38. Fuller Craft Museum heads into 51st season website

  • Opens September 7, 2019 Striking Gold: Fuller at Fifty press release 
  • Opens September 7, 2019 Gleam: Golden Selections from the Permanent Collection press release
  • Through September 8, 2019 Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists
  • Opens September 28, 2019 Human Impact: Stories of the Opiod Epidemic
  • Through October 6, 2019 Brockton Youth Creates
  • Opens October 19, 2019 Stitch by Stitch: Activist Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy
  • Through October 27, 2019 Take It Outside: Works from the Boston Sculptors Gallery
  • Through October 27, 2019 Maine Crafts Association: Ten Years of Master Craft Artistshttps://larzanderson.org/exhibits/goldenage/
  • Through November 17, 2019 Elizabeth Potenza: “Look up,” she said, “there is more color than you ever imagined.
  • Opens January 25, 2020 Stephanie Cole: Secular Cathedral
  • Opens May 2, 2020 Another Crossing: Artists Revisit the Mayflower Voyage
  • Through May 3, 2020 Tending the Fires: Recent Acquisitions in Clay

BROOKLINE

39. Larz Anderson Auto Museum website

  • Through mid April 2020 Golden Age – Era of Distinction, Style and Grace 1915-1948 more
  • Permanent display – The Anderson Collection 

CANTON

40. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate  website

41. Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon website

  • Through September 15, 2019 Under Pressure– Birds in the Printed Landscape: Linocuts by Sherrie York more
  • Through September 29, 2019 The Shorebird Decoys of Gardner & Dexter more

CAMBRIDGE

Harvard – 

42.  Harvard Art Museums (Fogg; Busch-Reisinger; and Arthur M. Sackler) website

Why do any of the Harvard museums charge an entrance fee?

  • Through January 5, 2020 Winslow Homer: Eyewitness (in conjunction with Cape Ann Museum Homer exhibition) University Research Gallery
  • Through January 5, 2020 Early Christian Africa: Arts of Transformation
  • Through January 5, 2020 Critical Printing
  • Through January 5, 2020 Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art
  • Through November 14, 2021 On Site Clay — Modeling African Design

43. Harvard – Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts website

  • Through September 29, 2019 Anna Oppermann: Drawings

Harvard Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts closed for event_20190705_©c ryan.jpg

The Carpenter Center was closed for an event on the day I scheduled to see the Oppermann exhibition – good reminder to call first for the must see shows on your list.

  •  Jonathan Berger: An Introduction to Nameless Love
  • Harvard Film Archive weekly film series

44. Harvard – ‘The Cooper Gallery’ / The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art website

The Cooper Gallery Harvard University_20190705_Boston MA_ ©c ryan.jpg

  • September 16 – December 13, 2019 The Sound of My Soul: Frank Stewart’s Life in Jazz photography, curated by Ruth Fine
  • the Gordon Park exhibition that recently closed was on my list of top shows for 2019

45. Harvard – Gutman Gallery website

  • Through August 30, 2019 Sneha Shrestha (aka Imagine), Ed.M.’17

46. Harvard –  Graduate School of Design Gund Hall Exhibition website

47. Harvard – Ernst Mayr Library website

48. Harvard – Houghton Library website

49. Harvard – Lamont Library (Harvard ID required) website

  • Through March 29, 2020 Harvard College International Photo Contest Winners

50. Harvard –  Museum of Natural History website

  • September 25, 2019 – December 31, 2019 Rotten Apples: Botanical Models of Diversity and Disease at Harvard Museum of Natural History more
  • Ongoing, Glass Flowers Gallery

51. Harvard – Peabody Museum of Archaeology website

  • Through December 31, 2019 Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology more

52. Harvard- Pusey Library Exhibition Gallery website

  • Through October 31, 2019 Mapping the Moon in Black and White Harvard Map Collection
  • Through January 22, 2020 The Rittase Touch: Photographic Views of Harvard in the 1930s

53. Harvard – Widener Library (Harvard ID required) website

  • Though September 30, 2019 Colonial North America: Portals to the Past

54. Central Square Murals, Cambridge website

MIT –

55. MIT Museum website  **OCTOBER 2021 MIT Museum moving to KENDALL SQUARE**

  • Through September 1, 2019 Arresting Fragments: Object Photography at the Bauhaus  more
  • Opens October 11, 2019 The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology more 
  • Opens November 7, 2019 Making Digital Tangible more
  • Through May 1, 2021 Lighter, Stronger, Faster: The Herreshoff Legacy design and engineering and the Hereshoff Manufacturing Co. more
  • Ongoing Harold Edgerton exhibit; Holography collection; and Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson

56. MIT List Visual Arts Center website MIT Media Lab more

  • Through September 15, 2019 Student Lending Art program more
  • Through October 20, 2019 List Projects: Farah Al Qasimi more
  • October 18, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Alicja Kwade: In Between Glances more
  • December 12, 2019 – February 9, 2020 List Projects: Becca Albee more
  • February 7, 2020 – April 12, 2020 Christine Sun Kim: Off the Charts more
  • February 7, 2020 – April 12, 2020 Colored People Time: Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, Banal Presents more
  • March 17, 2020 – May 17, 2020 List Projects: Rami George more

57. MIT Hart Nautical Gallery website

58. MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery student projects website

59. MIT School of Architecture Galleries website

  • September 1 Gallery 9 SA+P Thesis show website
  • School of Architecture Dean’s Gallery website
  • School of Architecture Keller Gallery website
  • Rotch Library Exhibition space website
  • Through September 30 GRAND CANYON: Geology, Exploration Tourism and Architecture more 
  • Through October 4, 2019 A theater without theater on display Maihaugen Gallery and Rotch Library more
  • Opens December 9, 2019 ACT Fall Studio Final exhibit
  • PLAZmA Digital Gallery website

60. MIT Wiesner Student Art Gallery website Stratton Student Center

  • Through September 15, 2019 Surrounded by Digitized Faces and Bodies 

61. Mount Auburn Cemetery website 

62. Museum of Science, Boston website

Museum of Science_20170530_George Rhodes 1987 commission, Archimedean Excogitation, mesmerizing audiokinetic sculpture ©c ryan.jpg

  • Temporary art and photography exhibitions top floor moments of excellence
  • Ongoing George Rhodes 1987 commission, Archimedean Excogitation, mesmerizing audiokinetic sculpture (Relocated to lobby 2015- I prefered lower level.)
  • Ongoing Katherine Lane Weems (1899-1989) animal sculptures. MoS is the largest repository of her work.
  • Historic Eames installation dismantled 😦

CLINTON

63. Museum of Russian Icons website

  • Through October 20, 2019 Wrestling With Angels Icons from the Prosopon School of Iconology and Iconography more
  • November 15, 2019 – March 8, 2020 Emil Hoppe: Photographs from the Ballet Russes more

CONCORD

64. Louisa May Alcott Orchard House 399 Lexington Road, Concord, Massachusetts 01742, United States (978) 369-4118 guided tours year round plus special events

65. Ralph Waldo Emerson House (seasonal) website

66. Walden Pond State Reservation – Henry David Thoreau website

67. Concord Museum website

  • Opening October 19, 2019 Concord Collects 
  • February 14, 2020 Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere press release

COTUIT

68. Cahoon Museum of American Art website

  • September 6 – October 30, 2019 Through the Looking Glass: Daguerreotype Masterworks from the Dawn of Photography
  • October 6 – October 30, 2019 Cahoon Contemporaries: Jodi Colella, Jackie Reeves, Kimberly Sheering
  • November 8 – December 22, 2019 Soo Sunny Park: Boundary Conditions installation
  • November 8 – December 22, 2019 Gretchen Romey Tanzer Weaver
  • Rotating – Highlights from the collection; New Acquisitions; Cahoon studio tours; and historical installation designed by Mary Ann Agresti  

DALTON

69. Crane Museum of Papermaking website Founded in 1930. Mill venue dates to 1844, built after papermaker Zenas Crane’s retirement

DENNIS 

70. Cape Cod Museum of Art – 39th year website

  • Through October 6, 2019 Milton Teichman sculpture
  • Through October 20, 2019 Ship of State…Paintings by Robert Henry
  • Through December 21, 2019 Interpreting Their World: Varujan Boghosian, Carmen Cicero, Elspeth Halvorsen and Pual Resika

DUXBURY 

71. The Art Complex Museum (Weyerhaeuser collection) website

  • August 18 – November 10, 2019 Steve Novick: Approximation 
  • September 15 -January 12, 2020 Draw the Line
  • September 15 – January 12, 2020 Rotations: Highlights From the Permanent Collection Nocturne including Lowell Birge Harrison (American, 1854–1929), Suzanne Hodes (American, b. 1939), Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883–1957), George Inness (American, 1825–1894), Johan Barthold Jongkind (Dutch, 1819–1891) Martin Lewis (American, 1881–1962), and Henri Eugene Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939)
  • November 17 – February 16, 2020 George Herman Found Paintings

EAST SANDWICH

72. Thornton W. Burgess Society Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen website *may join Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster to combine and become the Cape Cod Museums of Natural History

ESSEX

73. Essex Shipbuilding Museum website

  • September 8th and 15th, 2019 Clam Basket Making Workshop
  • September 12-13th,2019  The Great Rowing Adventure, the first collaborative rowing program with Lowell’s Boat Shop and the Essex Shipbuilding Museum

74. TOHP Burnham Town Hall & Library, Essex website don’t miss Alexia Parker paper collage

TOHP Burnham town hall and library_20190416_©c ryan.jpg

FITCHBURG

75. Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) website

  • Through September 1, 2019 84th Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft
  • Through September 1, 2019 Broad Strokes: American Painting of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries from the FAM collection
  • September 7, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Sage Sohier/David Hilliard: Our Parents, Ourselves more
  • September 21, 2019 – November 10, 2019 Adria Arch: Reframing Eleanor more
  • September 21, 2019 Daniela Rivera: Labored Landscapes (Where Hand Meets Ground) more 
  • September 21, 2019 – January 12, 2020 David Katz: Earth Wares more
  • Ongoing Evoking Eleanor; Discover Ancient Egypt; Thurston sculpture by Douglas Kornfeld

FRAMINGHAM

76. Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham State Univ.  website

  • September 7 – October 13, 2019 Populux Steven Duede | Sean Sullivan on display in the works on paper gallery
  • September 7 – December 30, 2019 Dressed! Exhibiting artists include Catherine Bertulli, Jodi Colella, Merill Comeau, Mia Cross, Nancy Grace Horton, and Marky Kauffmann
  • September 7 – May 2020 Highlights from the Permanent Collection

GLOUCESTER

Continue reading “Massachusetts Museum Guide: upcoming art exhibits at 150 institutions”

Save the date! Artist Mary Rhinelander reads from her children’s picture book for a special Cape Ann Reads storytime with Christy Rosso at Sawyer Free Library

Sawyer Free Library Children’s Services shares the flyer for this fun family program with special guest, Mary Rhinelander.  A surprise friend may make an appearance 🙂🐾🐶

Mark your calendars for this Wonderful  storytime September 11 2019 10AM

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scenes from August evening arts reception at Sawyer Free Library

On August 15, 2019, Sawyer Free Library hosted a beautiful celebration for Once Upon a Contest. A second reception for the artists and writers will be held on September 19th with an opening talk by Claire Wyzenbeek, the invited artist for this leg of the show. Also, look for upcoming special morning programs featuring Kim Smith, Mary Rhinelander and Claire Wyzenbeek.

Special thanks for photos:  credit mostly Linda Bosselman and Justine Vitale, SFL

 

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Reception tonight! 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘜𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 authors and artists at Sawyer Free library #GloucesterMA

Once upon a Contest: Selection from Cape Ann Reads 

ON VIEW AUGUST 1 – SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

TONIGHT! AUGUST 15th RECEPTION, 6:30PM

SEPTEMBER RECEPTION & INVITED ARTIST TALK SEPTEMBER 19, 6PM
GLOUCESTER LYCEUM & SAWYER FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 2 DALE AVENUE, GLOUCESTER, MASS. 

installation view Once upon a contest Sawyer Free Library Gloucester Mass_20190727_©c ryan (1).jpg

flyer by Linda

Front page news| Sawyer Free Library features Once Upon A Contest children’s picture books

Photos courtesy Sawyer Free Library ©J Vitale

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Gloucester Daily Times tremendous support for arts and library coverage is a big community builder.

Read Gloucester Daily Times article, “Cape Ann Reads Show Moves to Sawyer Free library”, by Caroline Enos here

 

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KIM SMITH FREE MONARCH EVENT FOR KIDS AT THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY

Save the date for my upcoming Monarch Butterfly program for kids at the Sawyer Free Library on August 21st at 10am. This program is free and held in conjunction with the Cape Ann Reads exhibit on display at the Sawyer Free.

Sssnakes at Sawyer Free children’s library | scenes from Rick Roth visit

Summer reading, new books, ongoing weekly programs, and special summer events: Sawyer Free children’s department is impressive! Families time regular visits to check out and return books with an array of fun plans. Rick Roth and crew engendered smiles and gasps with snakes from New England and the world on July 27, 2019.

Ssssecurity!

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Captures from Assistant librarian and wonderful photographer Linda Bosselman

 

With the crowds at capacity year round, the children’s library is ideal on this level.

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Imagine using stairs and the elevator to access the crush of ongoing and popular children’s programs on a proposed top floor of a proposed new building (review plans here). Sawyer Free has appropriated $935,000 from the endowment for a fundraising firm to assist with the capital campaign to raise 20 million of a 26 million plus project. Preliminary plans displayed at the annual meeting can be seen here

 

The childen’s department needs renovation and expansion, and access to its outdoor space again. The future planned terracing limits the public outdoor space and will impact the rich flexibility of so many outdoor options, running around and programs this department made use of since the Monell build.

Reminder – Pop UP Planetarium at City Hall tomorrow July 29,2019 summer 2019 a Universe of Stories (separate reminder post coming)

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Summer smiles for Curious Creatures at Sawyer Free Children’s Library

Sawyer Free Library (SFL) Children’s Services  shares photographs from Curious Creatures program (July 25, 2019), one of many special summer 2019 events amidst regular weekly busy & fabulous children’s programs. Photo credit: Linda Bosselman. Christy Russo is the children’s services director.

Scroll below to see photographs from the teen program held later that day, Galaxy Tie Dye.

Scenes from Curious Creatures summer program Childrens Services Sawyer Free Public Library July 27 2019 ©Linda Bosselman (2)

 

 

 

Snakes of New England with Rick Roth scheduled tomorrow! Mark your calendar for more summer fun.

SFL flyer for Curious Creatures summer 2019
Snakes of New England Coming Saturday July 27, 2019
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Not to miss ongoing weekly programs PLUS Summer Reading 2019 A Universe of Stories special events

 

Scenes from Sawyer Free Library teen program yesterday,  Galaxy Tie-Dye, programming inspired by the 2019 summer reading theme “A Universe of Stories”.

 

 

 

Now that security help is squared away, let’s open that side door back up to its open space and make it easy on these outdoor programs (and patrons)  to set up and go.

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Closing soon: Amy Kerr I am more Sawyer Free Library July art exhibit

Selections from Amy Kerr’s I Am More series on view in beautiful Matz Gallery, Sawyer Free Public Library July 2019. Learn more here

AMY KERR solo exhibition_I am More_Matz Gallery_Sawyer Free Public Library installatino views20190723_©c ryan (1)AMY KERR solo exhibition_I am More_Matz Gallery_Sawyer Free Public Library installatino views20190723_©c ryan (2)

The ongoing series has grown and been displayed in different configurations and groupings at numerous venues, encouraging repeat visits and consideration. Here is an installation view from the iteration at Cape Ann Savings Bank May 2019.

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50 years ago today…the art of the first moon landing and Gloucester Daily Times front page

Today is the anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. When I think about this momentous day, I mostly remember the artist Robert Rauschenberg, one of the established artists paid a tiny honorarium to travel to see space launches first hand. NASA gave artists total freedom to create any visual response if so awed. They were. Decades later, Rauschenberg agreed to loan rare works of art inspired by the space program for a solo exhibit that I co-curated. It was a big surprise when he scheduled a visit. He spent a morning at the show with me, closely observing each and every piece, some he hadn’t seen since he made them.  Many were created long after his residency. He was flooded; it’s very emotional.

Where were you on this day? I was in Plymouth, MA.

As i’m in a wishing and reflective mode, may I add that I look forward to the day when all Massachusetts newspapers are scanned and searchable. In the meantime, the Gloucester Daily Times coverage of that inspiring moon walk is on microfilm at the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library. Enjoy the headlines and some local quotes from 1969.

“Older folks take moon in stride–They’ve seen a lot, but this one…” by Henry Meyer, Gloucester Daily Times

article excerpts including quotes from Arthur Jones, Mrs. Bertha Silva, and John Bordreau (91)

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This moon shot business: Can you dig it?  Arthur W. Jones, 67, who lives at the Huntress Public Medical Institution can. Jones and some of his fellow residents on Emerson Avenue have seen the entire panorama of the development of aircraft… “This is one of the greatest things that has happened to our country.” The moon shot had helped to “unite people together,” he said…“When this country gets together, they do things right. No matter what they start, they finish it.”

Mrs. Bertha Silva said that Lindbergh’s flight was exciting back then. However she agreed with Jones that the landing of the first man on the moon really outdid all other flying feats…

John Bordreau, 91, also a resident of the institution was delighted by the whole affair. Boudreau predicted that astronauts soon will be flying all over the solar system…”We’ll just have to wait and see where they’re headed.” Both Jones and Boudreau said they had heard there was oil and gas on the moon. Boudreau remarked, “That’s kind of a long drive for just a couple of gallons of gas. Jones predicted that within 10 years men will be living on the moon. Some scientists said over the radio that there were eaves on the moon where people might live. He said there was oil up there and that they might be able to extract water from rocks.”…One person said that at her age she tended to be leery of these things…Others expressed confusion at the speed at which this generation seems to be moving…

excerpts from Our men on the moon: ‘A long day’…a hazardous return, by Edward K. Delong, Space Center, Houston, UPI article ran in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Mrs. Stephen Armstrong, Neil’s mother who watched her son on television from her home in Wapakoneta, Ohio, noticed this: “I could tell he was pleased and tickled and thrilled,” she said.

“Magnificent desolation,” commented Aldrin. “It has a stark beauty all of its own. It’s much like the desert of the United States.”

“It’s different, but it’s very pretty out here,” said Armstrong, who lived in California’s Mojave Desert when he was flying the X15 rocket plane. Armstrong and Aldrin, both about 5’11” cast 35 foot shadows…Zint said he was surprised by the emotion in Armstrong’s voice when he stepped onto the moon. “That was more emotion than I’ve ever heard him express before. Even when he talked about things he was excited about like space travel he always had a calm voice.”

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Historic District Commission meeting June 25: Sawyer Free Library’s new building presentation

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Historical District Commission meeting, Tuesday June 25, 2019 at 7pm

First informational review meeting to HDC: Sawyer Free Library, review of proposed renovation/addition and exterior concept design

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Harry and The Potters This Friday, June 21st at 7pm Sawyer Free Library

Harry and the Potters.  They’ve been around for a while (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_and_the_Potters), and they basically started what people now call ‘Wizard Rock’.  They recorded their latest album last summer with Tony at Bang-A-Song Studios, and loved the town and everything so much that they’re kicking off their tour here with a free show at the Sawyer Free Library next Friday, June 21st at 7pm (which they announced in Rolling Stone).

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/harry-and-the-potters-lumos-829736/

Because they write and perform songs about books (The Harry Potter series), they’re doing all sixty dates at libraries (https://www.harryandthepotters.com/shows).

 

ANYHOW, the library just got permission to have the show outside, and we really want people to come out and enjoy it.  I know Joey loves it when non-local people give it up for Gloucester, and these guys are definitely in that camp.  So, I’m hoping you can help me spread the word. We’re just really excited they’re coming!

 


2 Dale Ave
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Sawyer Free Library the new building concept plans and rediscovering architect Donald Monell #GloucesterMA #ModernMass

This photo chronicle begins with scenes from the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library 2019 Annual meeting, including views of the concept proposal for renovation and addition intended for the library as they appeared in the feature presentation that evening with some brief analysis. The second part of the piece provides  background about the American architect, Donald F. Monell, and visual context regarding his designs for the library expansion built in 1973 and largely ignored through this current new build consideration. Links to several reference documents relevant to this process are collected and provided at the end. (This update is part of an ongoing series published on GMG.)

Annual meeting – Arriving/settling in

About 85 people including Trustees with guests, library personnel, and marketing and architectural representatives were present for the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library’s Annual Meeting on May 20, 2019. (click individual photos to see full size)

Introductions

Mayor Romeo Theken, Library Dir. Deborah Kelsey, and Trustee Chair John Brennan welcomed the public. Brennan thanked several Trustees for long service and welcomed new ones.

 

Award

Deborah Kelsey presented the Mary Weissblum Smith Volunteer Award to Susan Oleksiw and Christy Park in recognition of their curation and management of the Matz Gallery rotating exhibitions over the past five years and their notable careers. Ironically, in the new concept plans, there is no Matz Gallery and limited art space. Read more about Matz’s philanthropy and work in Gloucester here. The major works from the art collection continue to be off view and similarly unaccounted for in future plans.

Dir Kelsey presents M Weissblum Smith Award to esteemed Matz Gallery volunteers_SFL Annual meeting installation views_architect presentation_Gloucester MA_20190520©c ryan

Financial Statement YR 2017-18

The library’s treasurer explained that the Annual Meeting financial reports always illustrate the prior year rather than the one just completed. So for this 2019 annual meeting, the report reflects May 2017- May 2018. He explained next year’s will represent the year 2018-19 and will show red and depletion of the 6 million endowment. Former board members asked about expenses to date, related to the new build, and itemization of the Trustee expenses line item, which was not in use when they served. A trustee explained that a title more accurately reflecting those expenses would be helpful. Reports will be shared.

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Architect’s renderings / Oudens-Ello (with Dore & Whittier for library and MBLC)

 

The 25 million+ quoted for the concept plan does not include preservation of the original heart and soul of the library, the Saunders building, or any mention of the library’s fine art. A recent estimate for potential Saunders preservation begins at 3 million– which would be in addition to any work done elsewhere with the library.

EXTERIOR addition added to Monell_view from fire station_architect presentation_SFL Annual meeting installation views_Gloucester MA_20190520 ©c ryan
View of a proposed addition to Monell (out back). The Saunders House will not be visible. This concept image is not precisely drawn–i.e. City Hall in situ is not captured accurately in this rendering.
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surrounding context for comparison with rendering above

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Stairs and more stairs

3 story glass staircase larger than atrium now_View from Central Grammar renderings_architect presentation_SFL Annual meeting installation views_Gloucester MA_20190520 ©c ryan

Design inspiration did not come from Saunders or Monell. (I asked.) One of the stated goals was striving to continue to make the library accessible for all, although in my opinion since the first presentation years ago, this design undercuts that aim.

Because of gentle switchback steps, currently there is technically no “accessible for all” direct entry from Dale to the Main Floor, or from Middle Street. The accessibility option from Dale curves around to a side* and back entrance. If that level is not the destination, patrons continue to the elevator.

Increasing all of the buildings’ gateway capacities is a fantastic goal. I do not understand how a concept with such tremendous staircase emphasis will remedy that expression of accessibility for all, or ease patron flow. The monumental scale of the three-story glass central stairwell takes up the transition volume between the original Monell and concept addition, and looms larger than the current Monell atrium. In this concept, children’s and teen spaces will be on the top floor. Crowd flow of all ages will need to access the elevator from the ground floor near the back entrance. Once upon a time the children’s wing was on the top floor of the Saunders building and intentionally moved to a space on the ground level. Currently, children’s services is on the ground floor. Friends and librarians using Reading and Salem libraries are not fans of children’s spaces on the top floor.

*The side entrance was sealed off this year due to safety concerns which can be helped by architecture and staff. The new security officers received the biggest applause of the night.

 

Glass staircase design statements — stacked cantilevered and floating– are common features in malls, retail, and transportation (airports!) hubs, often with escalator options, and ample budgets for cleaning staff. They’re not super kid friendly or easy to clean. For this concept, the staircase massing can be greatly reduced and favorably impact the footprint, cost and siting. I’ve written about the odd flow of moving the library’s busy children’s services up to the top level in this proposal. Just one of Christy Russo’s daily programs may bring in 20 to 80 kids and their grown-ups!

Moving to elevator and stairs with or without strollers will increase flow inefficiency dramatically, and be a disservice to an evergreen and engaged population. Children’s could be flipped back to the ground floor, with or without a separate teen space on this level. Research and multi use rooms requested for “21st century programming needs” could be dispersed throughout the expanded upper levels. Safety issues and bathrooms can be addressed on any floor. The librarians have been patiently awaiting remodeling and interior update and upgrades on the ground floor since 2012. The build out goal of 2026 or later is too long!  They need more space, a functioning and better test kitchen, and major bathroom renovations (yesterday!).

Oudens Concept plan Timeline

ETA library tentative opening 2026

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SFL Library atrium, architect Donald F. Monell

Monell building, top floor, no artificial light, no filter: looking across atrium with presentation underway on Main Floor as this space was being described again as an uninviting dark hole.

Design inspiration and high bar – Saunders House and Monell

For nearly 190 years, the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library has played a key role in the cultural life of the city of Gloucester and the Commonwealth.  Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library features not one but three iconic buildings. Investment in building projects with such inspiring history, pedigree, assets, materials and form are indeed a rare and enviable opportunity. Any library build should feature both Saunders and Monell. We are so lucky to have them!

There was worry about the Saunders and Monell buildings, the Stacks, and the Rando Memorial garden when the proposed new building first dropped and as this process continued. Thankfully, a Saunders stewardship committee has been reestablished and the Rando Garden will remain. (There was pushback that the “21st century building” left the community with less green space, not more.)  It’s only since last week that razing Monell was taken off the table. And it’s only since February 2019 that the architects began to emphasize green design as they had not realized how valued such criteria was in Gloucester. A workshop was held at the library.

Still, no one involved in the new process was discussing Monell, his inspiration, or influence. Regarding the library 2019 green visionaries—Monell may be more important to them than they realize. After all, he was ahead of his time incorporating wind and solar design into public buildings and homes. I’ve been thinking more and more about Monell, his studies and business ventures, his devotion to Gloucester.

Donald F. Monell earned multiple degrees at Bowdoin (BS, 1937) , Royal College of Edinburgh (1938), Tekniska Hogskolan in Stockholm (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), and M.I.T. (MS in city planning,1941 and MS in architecture, 1950).  He was a research assistant in City Planning at M.I.T. (1940-41), and a Research Associate in solar energy at M.I.T. from 1949 to 1951. During World War II he served as a Captain with the 333 Engrs. S.S. Regiment in the US Army Corp of Engineers from 1942-46. Prior to setting up his own firm in 1952, he worked as a community planner in Tennessee and for various architectural establishments. His son Alex Monell said that his father declined positions with larger international firms. “He preferred working on a smaller one to one relationship with clients.” Monell’s tenure at M.I.T. coincided with I.M. Pei and Buckminster Fuller; Monell set up his eponymous business two years prior to I.M. Pei. I asked Alex if his father worked with architect Eleanor Raymond. She built her home in Gloucester and had similar interest in sustainable design. She is credited with designing one of the first solar heated houses in 1948 “I know he worked with Maria Telkes (who invented a means to store heat in melted crystals that stored more than water could) on one of their solar homes and now that I looked her up I see the home was designed by Eleanor Raymond! So they knew each other.”

Monell was licensed to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York and was NCARB certified. He was a member of AiA and Boston Society of Architects. He served on Gloucester’s Civic Art Committee beginning in the 1960s. He was a trustee of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, an incorporator of AGH and Cape Ann Savings Bank, and a Vice President of the Cape Ann Museum (then Cape Ann Historical Assoc.).  Monell’s office was located in the Brown Building, 11 Pleasant Street. His son remembers visiting his dad on jobs and admiring the hand made scale models. Local residents may recognize the names of Monell hires:  Kirk Noyes who preserved Central Grammar and other award winning developments, was a draftsman, and Craig Toftey helped Monell with the Sawyer Free library.

The new building planners describe the need for a 21st century library. What does that mean today? Back in 2012, technology was the big discussion point and the library a possible tandem option for schools. (Elementary school libraries were shuttered and/or volunteer run, and school librarian positions cut.) Since then, libraries in schools became “Learning Commons” with a tech focus. By 2019 Gloucester Public Schools have a 1 to 1 student computer initiative. There was a desire for grounds improvement, since completed and well received with the Rando Memorial. I was asked about helping with a public art comission and how it might work as a play structure, too. Mayor Romeo Theken reminded us of the homes and neighborhood playground where the Monell addition and parking lot were built. Community input suggested opportunities for more outdoor spaces would be welcome, not less. Library design trends recommend co-work and makerspace options so the library is a community center. (Sawyer Free has been a community center since its founding.)

One thought regarding “21st Century” library tech goals: partnerships with M.I.T., Harvard, and Bowdoin could be fruitful and shored up by honoring Monell. Perhaps they’d help facilitate subscriptions to specialized libraries. Coordinating public access to resources like MatLab as one example would enhance “accessibility for all” in a 21st century sort of way.

Monell’s son, Alex, shared a section from M.I.T. President’s Report, 1951, with a reference to his father: “Mr. R. Buckminster Fuller, visiting lecturer, who contributed significantly to this conference, worked this year with the third-year students in architectural design and presented his concept of the “comprehensive designer” in a program emphasizing the relation of structure to design. In August, I950, occurred the five-day symposium on “Solar Energy for Space Heating,” under the auspices of the Godfrey L. Cabot Fund, attended by about 900 persons who were mostly visitors to the Institute. Mr. Donald F. Monell, research associate, was responsible for organization. Speakers included staff members and outside authorities in this field. Professor Lawrence B. Anderson was one of the contributors.”  

Don and Lila Monell could be the “Charles and Ray Eames of Gloucester”

Portrait of Lila and Don Monell ca.1951_at Sarah Fraser Robbins home_Gloucester MA_courtesy scan from historic photo.jpg
courtesy image: portrait of Lila and Don Monell ca.1951 at Sarah Fraser Robbins (photographer unknown)

Don Monell and Lila Swift should rightly be included on any Massachusetts #MassModernism trail. Monell and Swift, co-founders and collaborators of their own wrought steel furniture design firm in 1950, Swift & Monell, husband and wife, architect and artist, were the Charles and Ray Eames* of Gloucester.  Original examples of their woven leather, metal and enamel stools, tables, and bins are rare and placed in collections. The furniture was exhibited at Current Design (now ICA) and Furniture Forum. They operated the business in upstate New York when Monell worked for Sargent Webster Crenshaw & Folley. They built a studio for their business in their home when they moved back to Gloucester in 1952. Initial prototypes and editions were inspired by touring Lawrence Mills with Monell’s brother in law, who worked in the textile industry.  Alex clarifies: “I do not know what mill my father’s brother in law was involved in or to what capacity, I just remember my parents toured it and found the source of leather. A Cambridge firm sold them for awhile. And later my parents gifted them as wedding presents to close friends and relatives. Ray Parsons a blacksmith from Rockport often made the frames and later I made some at Modern Heat.”

*footnote: Ray Eames was in Gloucester. Before Hans Hofmann settled into teaching in Provincetown, he was invited to teach summer classes at the Thurn School of Art in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1933 and 1934. Thurn was a former Hofmann student. Ray Eames studied painting with Hofmann in Gloucester and was a student of his for years.  Decades later (during an interview with Ruth Bowman, who was wonderful, and owned a fabulous Gloucester Hopper) Eames mentioned 1940, a later date, for when she first learned about Hofmann. On an architecture timeline-  Charles and Ray Eames were born in 1907 and 1912 respectively, and Monell in 1917. They were married about a decade before Monell & Swift and west coast rather than east. Yet they were contemporaries. Art & Architecture case study homes began in 1945 (Eames house, 1949) Eames lounge chairs were manufactured in 1956 (after years of prototypes). Gropius House in Lincoln , Mass., landmark Bauhaus residence now museum was built in 1938, same year as MoMa Bauhaus exhibition. The Graduate school at Harvard designed by Gropius was a TAC (The Architects Collaborative) build in 1950. TAC was founded in 1945 with the clout addition of Gropius who continued with the firm until his death in 1969. Original 7 founders were Norman FletcherLouis McMillenRobert McMillan, Ben Thompson,  Jean FletcherSarah Harkness and John Harkness. Twenty years later, Monell’s Plum Cove elementary school design in 1967 was leveraged by partnering with The Architects Collaborative. Gloucester’s Plum Cove school is a TAC build. Wikipedia lists several commissions. The school could be added. 

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The Monells were friends with many artists and Gloucester residents. They were best friends with Sarah Fraser Robbins which is another rich “green” connection for Sawyer  library. The Monells were married at her house and living there when their first son came home! Eventually they built their dream home in Gloucester designed to maximize its stunning  natural setting, all granite and ocean views. Their family and business grew. Lila’s art and home are inspired by wild nature, especially birds and insects, often the subject of her prints and photographs, and even wardrobe embellishments.  (More than one person recalled a striking faux brooch or embroidery like adornment that was actually a coiled live centipede.) Domestic animals and wild birds were part of the family. There were always pet crows and birds. “Our mother raised geese and guinea fowl,”  Alex continued, “Mainly the birds we had were ones she brought to rescue from oil slicks and other calamaties. She was well known as someone to bring an injured bird to.” Lila wrote an article in the Mass Audubon newsletter about two cormorants which she had a permit to raise.  “Sarah (Fraser Robbins) had an old lobster boat, never used as one.” Alex recalled. “They used it for fishing. Our families were quite close. We’d head to Norman’s Woe and bring back seagulls. You know, rescue babies, and help teach them to fly.” He said he got them comfortable being tossed like a glider. “They’d come back again and again ready to launch!” It was easy to imagine some glimpse of his childhood in this idyllic setting. His delight brought to mind My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and Driftwood Captain by Paul Kenyon. Sea and stone. What a playground!

Monell residence Gloucester Ma
courtesy photo:  Don and Lila Monell family residence (ocean side), Gloucester, MA [Architect Donald F. Monell]

Donald F. Monell Architecture

Monell completed many commissions in Gloucester and elsewhere on the North Shore, New Hampshire and New York. Any renovation and remodel at Sawyer Free is an incredible chance to celebrate his work and honor his legacy. After considering examples of Monell’s architecture it is easy to find his personal design in the work he did at Sawyer Free Library. He was trained as a landscape architect as well which helps to imbue his projects with great sensitivity and gentle passages. Many of his commissions are heavenly sites where buildings serve the surroundings,  whether built or natural. His designs are better because of this reverence for context.

(Note on images- double click to enlarge)

Monell architecture – Residences

Monell designed numerous private residences and additions [e.g. Dotty & Lawrence Brown (1957), Laight (1958), Despard (1959), Boyce (1961), Foster, Nydegger, Marietta Lynch, Judy Winslow, Bob and Libby French (1967), Featherstones, John Hays Hammond Jr, and Phil Weld (many)] in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York. Several clients were repeat customers. The Brown home is one example. Alex writes that “the residence was altered by my father in the late 70s to accommodate a library when they moved there year round.”  Much of the big collection of books were cookbooks. “Dotty was a great cook and good friends with Julia Child.”

2015 realtor images
photo: ocean side_Donald F. Monell architect, Gloucester, Mass. 1957 commision; and below photo comparison of back same residence ca. 2015/2019 ( seawall, cladding modified since Monell)

Gloucester Mass home_Architect Donald F Monell commission_later interior library addition_ views 2015 vs 2017

 

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then/now photo: Residence (stilt house) designed by Donald F. Monell, Gloucester, Mass. (modified since Monell)

Within a few short years of moving to Gloucester, Robert and Elizabeth ‘Libby’ French expanded their art collection, he was elected Mayor, and they commissioned Monell to design their home and property in 1967.  caption: video shows interior/exterior and was published in 2016. I don’t know when it was filmed. Small lovely moments – note the interior staircase railing, and exterior deck and bridge to glacial boulders. Clearly some modifications since it was designed in 1967 and perhaps since this video.

Monell architecture  – Public Buildings

Besides the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library commission, Monell government and public buildings include the Beverly Newspaper factory and offices, Eastern Point Retreat, Plum Cove School, and the Cape Ann Historical Society. Elements of his signature architecture resonate strongly with the work he did at the library.

Eastern Point Retreat House, Dorm & Dining Halls 1960

For the Gonzaga project, Monell joined two buildings and built a cafeteria and dormitories. Recently his original work at the entrance, connector and dormitories was razed. The historic photos BEFORE illustrate his artistry and display a strong connection with the design Monell established at the front of the library on the stacks building between Saunders and the expansion.

Hall to dorm sadly gone
(courtesy photo) BEFORE: Detail showing Monell’s work at the Gonzaga retreat former connector and gateway heading on the left to the cafeteria (still standing) and to the right to the dormitories (remaining though greatly altered). The compelling double bells and arches, poetry pause in architecture, were subsumed by the most recent build out.

 

BEFORE eastern point retreat double bell double arch Monell connector so poetic
(before- subsumed with remodel ca.2017)

 

New construction circa 2017 subsumes some of Donald J Monell architecture_Eastern Point Retreat_Gloucester Massachusetts_20190521_© c ryan (1)
AFTER: renovation/expansion circa 2017 (Monell additions subsumed and/or altered)

 

 

BEFORE / AFTER – dorm, far left (ocean side)

new dormitory construction circa 2017 altered Donald J Monell addition_Eastern Point Retreat_Gloucester Massachusetts_20190521_© c ryan.jpg

 

BEFORE / AFTER – dorm (parking side)

Microphone were set up to amplify sounds of the ocean (white noise) within the dormitory

 

BEFORE /AFTER – cafeteria low glass ceiling (ocean side) remains

New construction circa 2017 subsumes some of Donald J Monell architecture_Eastern Point Retreat_Gloucester Massachusetts_20190521_© c ryan (7)

 

Plum Cove Elementary School 1966

Monell subcontracted/collaborated with TAC for build

DON MONELL ARCHITECT_ Plum Cove school and landscape design_built in 1966_ Gloucester MA_20190523_©c ryan _073333

 

 

Beverly Newspaper Offices and Factory (now Salem News)

public entrance_gentle poetry_DONALD F MONELL_architect _Beverly Times Newspaper Plant and Offices_1969_ now Salem News_20190524_©catherine ryan (8).jpg

 

 

PANO_studied grace_public entrance_DONALD F MONELL_architect _Beverly Times Newspaper Plant and Offices_1969_ now Salem News_20190524_©catherine ryan (8).jpg

wild friend wild respite.jpg
A local resident swooped from nesting (near the roof?). Monell’s design nearly a wildlife refuge. What a beautiful spot! He designed the Gloucester Daily Times (1956) and the Newburyport Daily News, too

Gloucester Daily Times (1956)

side_Gloucester Daily Times newspaper offices built 1956_architect Donald F. Monell_photograph © c ryan May 2019 (5)

Cape Ann Museum (formerly Cape Ann Historical Society) 1968

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Circa 1967 plans for property by Grant Circle

Monell Cape Ann Historical Museum proposal predates eventual Pleasant Street addition Gloucester MA long before 2019 Grant Circle work
courtesy photo: Cape Ann Museum work by Grant Circle is underway, but consideration of that space began decades back. Here’s Don Monell’s illustration related to a  proposed campus for Cape Ann Historical Center by Grant Circle. At the same time he was asked for concepts related to the Pleasant Street addition which is ultimately the direction the museum went at that time (1968).

Cape Ann Savings Bank

Monell’s work at Cape Ann Savings Bank has been altered at least 2x since his commission. Here are a couple of placeholder “before” snapshots until I obtain better examples. Before (courtesy photos)/After example – Note changes like the Monell staircase design vs replacement and office additions vs open floor plan. The arch window motif remains.

architect Don Monell expansion for Cape Ann Savings Bank Gloucester Mass_ altered at least 2x since commission_20190524_© c ryan (2)

 

Signature elements – arches, contrast in materials, rectangles, winding paths

Monell was concerned with getting it right. You don’t have to know about Monell, his body of work or the history of architecture to be moved or respond. His slow designs are considerate of  their surroundings,  integrating connections with the natural and built environment. Thanks to his gentle, contemplative approach, it feels as though there’s more than enough space even when there isn’t much space to be had.

 

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library

When reviewing Monell’s body of work, it’s clear to see that Gloucester’s landscape, history, art and architecture inform his designs. The library’s connector and entrance are signature Monell motifs and beautiful. It’s no accident that the symmetry of the windows at the back of the building echo the five bays of the firestation,

or that they were inspired and reference City Hall, 1867.

Gloucester mass evolution of City Hall_Office of Mayor (2)

 

No matter which approach one takes to the library, Monell’s consideration of the building and its surroundings is intentional and graceful.

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