February 2, 2017

Washington Portrait at the Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library Central Branch is known for having a lot of beautiful architecture. Among the serious researchers in the library are tourists checking out the main marble staircase in the entrance hall and the various paintings in the Abbey room.

In the second floor of the McKim Building is the Washington Room. A few months ago this is where people would sit and do research on the computers - it was part of Tech Central. The computers might be gone, but the beauty of the room still exist.

The centerpiece of the room is the large picture of George Washington hanging over the desk in the room.

Washington Hall

Washington at Dorchester Heights

by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

A sign near the desk reads...

Known for his portraits and history paintings, German artist Emanuel Leutze selected a dramatic scene from the Revolutionary War for this enormous work, depicting General George Washington commanding his troops to occupy the hills of Dorchester Heights on the south side of Boston. This action by Washington and the Continental Army in 1776 proved instrumental in driving British forces out of the city, ending the nearly year-long siege of Boston.

The painting was purchased by the City of Boston with gifts from School Children and citizens from Vose Gallery in 1955.

About Vose Gallery

If you really like the art at the Boston Public Library, you should check out more contemporary pieces at the nearby Vose Gallery - which many tourists may not know about. Vose Galleries specializes in 18th, 19th, and early 20th-century American paintings. America's oldest family-owned art gallery, Vose has founded 160 years ago.

Family-owned gallery features American Impressionist art along with contemporary pieces by realists.

They are located at 238 Newbury Street. Getting there from the library is easy, simply walk out the main library doors by Boylston Street and cross Boylston Street. Take a right on Exeter Street, and then a left on Newbury Street. The Vose Gallery will be on the left side about 1/2 block down, it's right next to CVS. Just before Fairfield Street.

Free Library Tours

The Boston Public Library offers daily tours highlighting the architecture of its famed Central Library buildings by Charles Follen McKim and Philip Johnson as well as the art treasures within, including works by Daniel Chester French and John Singer Sargent.

The tours start near the McKim Entrance, stop by the one of the borrower services desks for information on the next tour.

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