East Coast Day 3: Boston Public Library

After another excellent breakfast at the hotel we packed up and left our bags with the bellman.

We walked across the street to the Boston Public Library.  It is an amazingly beautiful building.   Hard to imagine a time where money like this was spent on public buildings.


On the top floor of the main staircase is a room filled with vivid wall murals by John Singer Sargent.


The murals show many scenes from the Bible at both ends, and on the sides shows scenes from Christianity on one side and Judaism on the other.  It is epic in both subject and scale, much more so than anything else I’ve seen in America.  The scale, along with the style reminds me of the Slav Epic by Mucha. I’m not sure it is the most ‘beautiful’ of art, it may be a big gaudy and melodramatic, but it is vivid and detailed, and fun to follow along with the stories they represent.


Simon taking it all in.

Then, just a floor down, another room contained an epic rendition of the story of the Holy Grail.  The planners of the building sure liked their epic tales.


I would love to spend a day or two just sitting at a table in beautiful surroundings, working on projects uninterrupted.  Magical!


3 responses to “East Coast Day 3: Boston Public Library

  1. John Singer-Sargent is one of my favourite artists, his portraits are fabulous. I bought a full-size copy of “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose from the Tate Gallery when I was 19 and it’s been with me ever since. Hangs in my bedroom now.

    Boston Library is on my top list of places to go. A John Singer-Sargeant painting “Gassed” hangs in the entrance hall of Engalnds ‘Imperial War museum”. It leaves you speechless – He was comissioned to paint it by England and USA to demonstrate cooperation during WW1. He didn’t see much cooperation. He painted a row of soldiers blinded by mustard gas walking through the rubble, and the bodies of wounded, dying and dead. It’s huge and very moving.

    He was a friends of one of the ‘founding fathers’ of modern psychology – William James (brother of the author Herny James) whose work reads like poetry – one of the few mayor psychology books I have kept because in it is such a fabulous work of art aswell as representing an intelllectual leap

  2. http://www.bpl.org/central/tca_weddingmenu_0610.pdf

    In case you want to rent it for project work….

  3. I really like John Singer-Sargent and now I know what not to miss in Boston!I’m sure Ed and I will head that way eventually with his interest in US history.

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