21 September 2010

Spilling the "Boston Baked" beans.

Well folks, Brian from Way station one guessed our destination correctly. The lion lives in Boston Mass.
This old Antebellum house is still pretty warm and summer just doesn't seem to want to let go.
Since autumn is so slow coming to Kat's Corner, we decided to go looking for it, Boston is a great place to start.
The building that was featured in the last few posts is not a museum! It is the Boston Public Library. It is one of the oldest public libraries in this country. The history page on their website, BPL history states that this current building was completed in 1895. The architect, Charles Follen McKim, referred to it as a "Palace for the People", and it really is. When I walked into this reading room, it felt like hallowed ground. What great minds studied here? (It even has wi-fi.)  This is one glimpse of the season, seeing all these people hard at their studies makes me think of fall and "back to school".
This medallion is inlaid into the floor of the entrance hall. Patrons have been walking over it with their arms full of books for over 100 years now, it still looks pretty good. The building is full of touches like this. Marble everywhere. We did not know how fantastic this library would be. Initially we planned on popping in, having a look at the lions (the lions on our front steps are supposed to look like them, not quite), and see the Sargent murals. In and out under10 minutes. Nope, we spent hours, it was one of the highlights of the trip.
This gentleman is brother to the fine fellow featured in the last two posts. They are not exactly alike or even mirror images, they are in slightly different poses. The base is taller than me. These guys are larger than life. They are surrounded by marble and are placed at the base of a double staircase. I did not get a photo of them together, couldn't figure out how to fit it all in. There are murals painted on the walls above them.
These are by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. You can follow the links from the BPL history page to see more of his work. This stairway and hall alone are worth a visit to Boston, but wait, there's more...
In the Abbey Room there are murals depicting the "Quest for the Holy Grail". I am still in awe of this painter! My little camera did a great job capturing these, especially since they are up quite high in a dim room. They were an unexpected bonus.

Another view. I took a lot of pictures, these are some of the best.
I know it is hard to look away from the murals, but if you visit, you have to look down. This cute little fellow is holding up the base of a lamp. The place is full of details. But wait, there is more......
This is a scene from the John Singer Sargent murals. I thought I was familiar with his work, I have seen several portraits by him. He is better than just good, but portraits are portraits, nice but I'm not going to chase all over town looking for them, or at least that's how I felt before this trip. We saw several examples of his work in Boston and Salem. I have a new appreciation of his work.
Here is another portion of the murals. My camera is great, but if you really want to appreciate these murals, go to Sargent murals The Boston Museum of Fine Arts also has some works by Sargent, but I will save that for another post.
On a completely different note,
as of today, I am back in school. I am going for a Masters in Nursing Education. So, I have homework to do. Wish me luck.


  1. I absolutely love Libraries!! This is spectacular!
    We are in full blown Fall here in NE PA. The trees are turning & last night some of the valley's had frost.....

  2. what a cool place..lots to see and explore...that turtle is cool...wanna know how i figured it out...one of my boys comic books...belive it or not...lol.

  3. It sure is a beautiful place! Hey, good luck studying, you'll do great!

  4. What a fantastic library!! It's a beautiful library - absolutely stunning and so rich in art and architecture! What a fab end to the pictorial teasers!! Excellent!!!

    Thank you for sharing these pics and links here - the Sargent murals are wonderful and I could spend all night just looking through them in the link you provided.

    I'm so glad you had a thoroughly great time visiting!!! I could definitely see why you spent hours inside.

    GOOD LUCK with your homework!

    take care

  5. Well, well , well! I have been to Boston but not to the library! That is awesome! What a beautiful library!!!! I think it would really encourage one to study....well...or maybe to dream!

  6. Wish I could go there tomorrow!!! I'd love to see Boston--all the history! Congrats on school--

  7. Wow, beautiful! I have never been to Boston, but i sure will look this up if I ever go.;)
    I knew Brian was right.;)

  8. Very, very nice - you've given me another place to go when next I'm up in Boston!

    By the way, did you actually catch any fall weather while you were up this way? It was over 85 again today so fall is kind of slow coming here, too!


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