Ten Exhibitions on View Across the Boston Public Library System
Wide range of artists and artifacts on display, free to all
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For Immediate Release
December 13, 2011
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BPL Communications Office

The Boston Public Library is currently showing ten unique exhibitions at its locations across the city. The exhibitions range from a display of twentieth-century American prints from the Boston Public Library’s special collections to new works by talented local artists. The list of exhibitions includes:

  • Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scouting displays historic uniforms and other memorabilia to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts. The exhibition was created by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Open at the West End Branch through Friday, December 30, 151 Cambridge Street, 617-523-3957.
  • Mission Hill Artists Fall 2011 Exhibition. Presented by the Mission Hill Artists Collective, Friends of the Parker Hill Branch Library, and the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at MassArt. Open at the Parker Hill Branch in Roxbury through Friday, December 30, 1497 Tremont Street, 617-427-3820.
  • Two from North Allston. During the month of December, Will Whelan and his godmother Carol Dussault show their paintings and prints. Open at the Honan-Allston Branch through Friday, December 30, 300 North Harvard Street, 617-787-6313.
  • Unconventional Maps: Exploring the Stories of Cartographic Curiosities. This exhibition of 25 maps and atlases highlights a variety of unconventional maps spanning the history of the printed map. The earliest maps, dated from the mid-1500s portray an upside-down Africa and a world divided into three continents, reflecting medieval geographical concepts. Also represented are elaborately decorated world maps from the 17th and 18th centuries, classic 19th century bird’s eye views, as well as more contemporary educational, cartoon, propaganda, pictorial and journalistic maps. Open in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Central Library in Copley Square through Monday, March 12, 2012, 617-536-5400.
  • Treasures: 1482 to the Digital Age features objects from the Leventhal Map Center’s cartographic collections, which is made up of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases dating from the 1480s to the present. The exhibition is enriched by many individual treasures including the 1482 atlas, Geographia by Ptolemy, which is displayed next to a monitor that shows every digitized page of the book. World maps, atlases, and globes from the 15th – 17th centuries, as well as a wide range of historic maps of Boston and New England are on view. Open in the Leventhal Map Center at the Central Library in Copley Square through Monday, March 12, 2012, 617-536-5400.
  • From Pen to Print: the Handwriting Behind the Book features handwritten letters, notes, postcards, and other manuscripts that reveal personal, private, and otherwise veiled aspects of the production of books. Putting authors’ manuscript materials on display alongside their print books, the exhibition reveals the passions, obsessions, lofty dreams, and gritty realizations triggered by the writing and publishing process. These materials capture the relationships between19th- and 20th-century American authors, editors, and readers, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Alice Cary, Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Frost, and more. Open in the Rare Books Lobby at the Central Library in Copley Square through Friday, March 30, 2012, 617-536-5400. Special hours: M, T, W, F: 9am-5pm; Th: 11am-7pm
  • American Master Prints 1900-1960 includes John Sloan’s etchings depicting scenes of daily life and the contrasts he observed between the wealthy and the working class, and George Bellows’ images of the campaigns of the evangelist Billy Sunday, and the rise of boxing. The period between 1900 and 1960 was a time when a number of women artists gained prominence as printmakers, and works by Isabel Bishop, Kyra Markham, and Mabel Dwight illustrate the American experience as they saw it. The current exhibition represents only a fraction of the Library’s rich holdings in the area of American master prints of the first half of the 20th century. This exhibition is open in the Wiggin Gallery at the Central Library in Copley Square through Saturday, January 14, 2012, 617-536-5400. Special hours: M, W, F: 9-5; Tuesday: 9-7; Thursday: 11-7; Saturday: 9-5; Sunday: 1-5

The Boston Public Library also hosts three Civil War-themed exhibitions through December as part of its system-wide commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War:

  • Torn in Two: The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center showcases 50 historic maps interwoven with 40 photographs, paintings, prints, diaries, political cartoons, music and press of the period, all from the Boston Public Library's special collections. Open in the Changing Exhibits Room at the Central Library in Copley Square through Saturday, December 31, 617-536-5400.
  • Home Front: Boston and the Civil War provides a personal look at this extraordinary period in American history and the war's impact on the city of Boston and its citizens. The exhibition focuses on ten of the city's most notable residents and highlights original manuscripts, prints, artifacts, and other material from the Boston Public Library's special collections to tell each individual's unique story and perspective on life in Boston during the Civil War Era. Open in the Johnson Lobby at the Central Library in Copley Square through Saturday, December 31, 617-536-5400.
  • Civil War Exhibition features paintings, U.S. stamps, replicas of Civil War era newspapers, and a selection of books about the great conflict. Open at the Brighton Branch, 40 Academy Hill Road through Friday, December 30, 617-782-6032.

For more than 160 years, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library 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. Today, the Boston Public Library has twenty-seven neighborhood locations, including the Central Library in Copley Square. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs, answers more than one million reference questions, and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit www.bpl.org.

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