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A Perpetual Invitation: 150 Years of Art at the Concord Free Public Library
March 24 at 8:00 AM – September 4 at 5:00 PM
In honor of the Concord Free Public Library’s 150th Anniversary, the Concord Museum, the Concord Free Public Library, and the Concord Free Public Library Corporation’s William Munroe Special Collections have collaborated on a special exhibition featuring the Library’s art collection. Featured objects include paintings by Washington Allston, N.C. Wyeth, May Alcott Nieriker, Charles Hovey Pepper, Alicia Keyes, and Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts, among other artists, as well as sculptures depicting noted Concord authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott.
When establishing the Library in 1873, founder William Munroe envisioned a combined library and art gallery, with the goal of creating a public space where Concord residents could experience art and culture. Munroe aimed to offer artists, donors, and visitors a “perpetual invitation” to explore and expand the Library’s art collection. The original architectural plans for the Main Library included an art museum annex but the space was never built. This exhibition is a unique opportunity for the public to view the Library’s collection in a single gallery space.
The exhibition also highlights Concord’s artist communities, local art collectors, the history of institutions promoting public access to works of art, and the stories of specific artists who have lived and worked in Concord.
A variety of public programs exploring Concord’s art and history will be presented at both the Museum and the Concord Free Public Library. See the Calendar for program information.
Join us for Gallery Talks with the Curators from the Concord Free Public Library Corporation’s William Munroe Special Collections on Friday, June 16, at 12 p.m., Friday, July 14, at 12 p.m., and Friday, August 18, at 12 p.m.
A Perpetual Invitation: 150 Years of Art at the Concord Free Public Library will be on view at the Concord Museum through September 4, 2023.
Image: Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts, Church at Annisquam. Courtesy William Munroe Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library Corporation. Photographic image © 2020 James E. Coutré.
Thank you to the following Corporate Sponsors for their exhibition support: