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Art in the Library

For almost 150 years, the Topsfield Town Library has sought to be the cultural and informational resource for the community. One of the library’s largest benefactors, George L. Gould, believed that the Topsfield Town Library “should not only be a repository of the printed word but also a cultural center promoting the aesthetic in the lives of Topsfield residents.” The Library has breathtaking collection of paintings, sculpture, and other art. 

From its earliest days, the Topsfield Town Library has been dedicated to supporting the arts in many forms to enrich the cultural life of Topsfield. Plans for the 1935 library incorporated fine art as a permanent part of the building. The central square-shaped lobby with skylight became a viewing room surrounded by murals painted by the architect of the building, Mr. Harold Field Kellogg. The space was meant to represent a typical New England town common around which the rest of the settlement could be seen. The series of eleven murals depict the life of the town from the 1600s to the 1800s. In the first two murals, Topsfield’s roots are traced to its sister town of Toppesfield, England and the arrival by ship of the first settlers. The activities required to found the community occupy the next eight murals. In the last two murals, Topsfield is a well established town. Some of its sons are shown departing to join the battle of Lexington and Concord in 1776.

Temporary Outdoor Sculpture Program

Starting in December 2021, the Topsfield Town Library Trustees are pleased to launch the Temporary Outdoor Sculpture Program. This new program, sponsored by the Gould Trust, will feature sculptures which will be located on the library grounds for one year.

We are currently featuring sculptures by artists James Meyer, Jac Ouellette, and Shawn Farrell.

The Trustees envision changing sculptures yearly to promote conversation and interest in the library and the downtown. View our page highlighting the Temporary Outdoor Sculpture Program, and read the Town Common article on the sculptures.

 
Piston by James Meyer
Full Bloom by Jac Ouellette
Tre by Shawn Farrell

Art Exhibitions

Interested in displaying art in our library? The Activity Room in the library is available for monthly shows by local artists. Please review the library’s Exhibit Policy. Send a completed Exhibit Reservation Form and three samples of work (may be a website link or jpg/png images) to Dan Tremblay, Director of the Topsfield Town Library, at dtremblay@topsfieldlibrary.org.

Art Collection and Self-Guided Art Tour

In fulfilling our goal as a “cultural center promoting the aesthetic in the lives of Topsfield residents,” the Topsfield Town Library has amassed an impressive art collection which we proudly display in the library, including paintings, photography, and sculpture. We are pleased to offer a self-guided library art tour below (or, view our in-library brochure and artist biographies). Click on the number to see a photograph of the piece and other information, or browse our index.

First Floor and Lobby

1. West Coast Bone Game II (Amos) and Kwa-Gulth Thunderbird with Sun’s Face (Hunt)

West Coast Bone Game II, “La Hal” by Patrick Amos (1982, Limited Edition 133/150)
Kwa-Gulth Thunderbird with Sun’s Face by Richard Hunt (1984, Limited Edition 112/175)
Medium: Prints

Artist Biographies: Patrick Amos comes from the Hesquiat Band of the Nootka nation and was born in 1957 in Friendly Cove on Nootka Island, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. He attended Christie Residential School on Meares Island and studied at the Provincial Museum of British Columbia where he came into contact with other First Nation artists. He worked closely with Tim Paul, also of the Nootka tribe.
Richard Hunt, a Kwa-Gulth of the Kwakiutl people, was born in Alert Bay, although he has spent most of his formative years in Victoria. Here, he absorbed much of the traditional Kwakiutl culture through his family’s involvement in totem carving projects at the British Columbia Provincial Museum. These projects were directed by his grandfather, the late Mungo Martin. He began carving in his teens and has worked extensively with his brothers perfecting the technique. He has served as chief carver a the Provincial Museum. The dance of the thunderbird with sun mask is displayed during the secular ceremonies of the winter dances. The sun in Kwakiutl art is personified as a human figure with a hooked beaklike nose and a corona of decorative rays surrounding the face. It is a major crest of one of the Kwakiutl groups.

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2. Sculptures: Seal with Baby and Inuit Hunter

Seal with Baby

Inuit Hunter

Seal with Baby (artist unknown) and Inuit Hunter (David Kadrik, note spear missing) are a part of our library’s Native American Art exhibit. More items are on display in the Periodical Room (see #28).

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3. Topsfield Library by Milano

Topsfield Library
by Milano

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4. Photo of mural ‘Topsfield Reverie’

Photo of Mural ‘Topsfield Reverie’ (photograpgh by Eric Roth) by David Fitcher, full mural is located in the Children’s Room. Please see #11 for full discussion on author and work.

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5. Untitled by John T. Northey (Sailboats)

Untitled
John T. Northey
Medium: Painting, watercolor
Date: 1973
Provenance: Donated by the Northey Family

Artist Biography: John (1913-1995) was born in Salem, MA and studied at the Museum School (Boston), the Arts Students League (New York), Paris, and Rome. He held solo shows eight times at the Boston and New York Arts Festivals. He also showed his work at many galleries on the east coast.

Critics from the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Herald, and Arts News hailed John as a profoundly creative artist whose style was highly individual and sensitive.

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6. Benjamin by Beverly Benson Seaman

Benjamin
by Beverly Benson Seaman
Medium: Sculpture
Benjamin is a bronze hare, created and titled by Beverly Benson Seaman of Marblehead, and given to the Topsfield Town Library by the New Meadows Garden Club in memory of Ruth W. Thompson, past president and active member of the club. Mrs. Thompson was a National Council Accredited Flower Show Judge, Chairman of the Topsfield Fair Flower Show for many years, an anergetic worker in the Essex Agricultural Flower Show, and an active member of the Massachusetts Federation of Garden Clubs at the state level. Mrs. Thompson passed away during the 1972-1973 garden club year.
Artist Biography: Beverly (1928-2012) is a sculptor from Marblehead, MA. She is known for her bronze figures of animals, birds, and children. Her interest in art was encouraged by her grandfather, John P. Benson, a well-known marine painter. She began her education at Sweet Briar College and finished at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts where she studied under Peter Abate. Initially she worked in watercolor, but after studying with George Demetrios in Gloucester in the 1960s she turned to sculpture.

Her works are in the collections of Wellesley College, First National Bank of Boston, Beverly Hospital, American Cathedral in Paris, Museum of Science (Boston), the Peabody Essex Museum, and MIT in Cambridge. She has won many awards from the Copley Society, National Sculptor’s Association, and the Marblehead Arts Association.

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7. Yellow Sky by Nancy Babson

Yellow Sky
by Nancy Babson

Medium: Painting, Acrylic

Provenance: Library Purchase, Gould Fund for Art, 2007.

Artist Biography: “I grew up in an artistic family and always knew that art was what I wanted to pursue.”

In 1956, Nancy graduated from the Boston Museum School with highest honors. She also studied at De-Cordova and Montserrat. She has exhibited her acrylics with the Hamilton-Wenham Rotary Club, the Reading and Newburyport Art Associations, the Beebe Estate in Melrose, Melrose and Topsfield Libraries, Framemakers, and the North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church (Danvers). Her work is also in private collections in the United States, Canada, and England.

Her working career encompassed everything from technical illustration to graphic and product design, culminating in the development and invention of games for Parker Brothers.

Awards include: Newburyport Art Association Award for painting (2001)
Mary Alice Arekelian Award for Best in Show (NAA Members Annual Juried Show, 2004)
Institution for Savings Charitable foundation award (NAA Members Winter Juried Show II, 2005)

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8. Jammin’ by George O’Connell

Jammin’ by George O’Connell

Artist Biography: George (1926-2015) was born in Madison, WI. He draws from extensive education and experience to create his prints. He studied on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Rijksakademi Van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. He returned to complete his BA in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin and went on to complete his MA at the University of Wisconsin in Applied Arts. He was then appointed Professor of Art at the State University of New York.

He has also author five publications and is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. The Smithsonian holds many of his drawings in their collection.

A major theme in his work is jazz.

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9. Minton’s Place by George O’Connell

Minton’s Place
by George O’Connell
Artist Biography: George (1926-2015) was born in Madison, WI. He draws from extensive education and experience to create his prints. He studied on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Rijksakademi Van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. He returned to complete his BA in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin and went on to complete his MA at the University of Wisconsin in Applied Arts. He was then appointed Professor of Art at the State University of New York.

He has also author five publications and is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. The Smithsonian holds many of his drawings in their collection.

A major theme in his work is jazz.

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10. 2-4 On the Road by George O’Connell

2-4 On the Road
by George O’Connell
Artist Biography: George (1926-2015) was born in Madison, WI. He draws from extensive education and experience to create his prints. He studied on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Rijksakademi Van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. He returned to complete his BA in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin and went on to complete his MA at the University of Wisconsin in Applied Arts. He was then appointed Professor of Art at the State University of New York.

He has also author five publications and is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. The Smithsonian holds many of his drawings in their collection.

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11. Topsfield Reverie by David Fichter

Topsfield Reverie
by Thomas Fichter
Date: 1999
Medium: Acrylic on plaster wall
Dimensions: 32 feet by 5.5 feet
Provenance: Comissioned courtesy of the Gould Fund for Arts
Artist Biography: “Murals have always spoke to me as a way to push change in society without shoving it down people’s throats. What I like is that people can find their way in – they feel empowered when they participate in the process or see themselves or their stories represented in public.”

David is a local artist living and working in Cambridge, MA. He is a well-known muralist creating public art for over 30 years both nationally and internationally. He has created over 200 permanent murals including an award winning environmental science mural about the Mystic River in Somerville, MA; Further the Dream: The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, a mural with students at the King and King Open Elementary Schools in Cambridge, MA; Lamitye: the Hatitian/American Friendship Mural, a ceramic relief mural at the Graham and Parks Elementary School.

During his undergraduate time at Harvard, he visited the Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco’s mural Epic of American Civilization at Dartmouth College’s Baker Library. He then went on to travel throughout Latin America which as a strong tradition of murals as social commentary. At the time there was no place to study mural painting formally, but he knew a Chilean muralist, Victor Canifru, which lead to his first commission and he has been a muralist ever sense.

His projects usually works with neighborhoods and public officials to determine the design of the work overall. They usually take about a year to complete. He begins with a scaled drawing on paper and overlays it with a numbered grid that he uses to blow up the size of the work.

Mural Preperation: In preparation for the project, David made several visits to Topsfield. He consulted with the Library Trustees and interested parties about their ideas, toured the town, visited the Audobon Sanctuary, canoed down the Ipswich River, visited the Historical Society to view their collections, attended the Topsfield Fair, and talked with children and parents whenever possible.

David captures his subjects in photographs, then plans the sequence of images he thinks is most worthwhile. He presented his sketches to the Library Trustees. The mural is then sketched on a transparency. Next, it is projected on the wall for direct copy to the surface. Then, the painting begins at last.

The Mural: The beginning of the mural over the doorway shows a part of the river with the Japanese footbridge located behind the Coolidge property. A Great Blue Heron accompanied David all the way down river and so is shown emerging from the pages of a book. Scenes from the Topsfield Fair show a young man reading to a pig, who is (of course) Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White.

Above, the carousel carries young riders while mirrors of the carousel show reflections of the 1893 Town Hall and the Topsfield band of the early 1900s. Also shown are the typical sack races, the Ferris wheel, and the collection of pumpkins ready for the judging of the “Great Pumpkin” contest.

Further along in the mural, the historical Parson Capen House appears above the girl reading on a quilt. We see the intriguing rockery caves of the Audobon Sanctuary and the tree that invites you to sit. Scenes along the river depict wildlife native to the area.

This is followed by scenes from Hood’s Pond, where many Topsfield children cool off in the summer. A grandfather reads to his grandchildren as they imagine a ship sailing across the pond. The mural would not be complete without the inclusion of Topsfield’s favorite sledding place, Wheatland’s Hill.

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12. River Road by Meg Black

River Road
by Meg Black
Medium: Painting, four panels
Provenance: Courtesy of the Gould Fund for Arts
Artist Biography: Meg has been an artist working with handmade paper for over 22 years, becoming something of a pioneer. She focuses on nature and the environment creating beautiful landscapes, seascapes, and garden views. Her paintings are acclaimed for their freshness and luminosity.

She received her PhD in educational studies from Lesley University (Boston), her MA in studio art from the Massachusetts College of Art, and her BA in fine arts from the State University of New York at Oswego. She has had extensive teaching experience at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including a term as a visiting instructor of artist books at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy.

Meg has had several solo exhibitions in New York and New England. Her work is in many private and public collections including Fidelity Investments, General Foods, Smith Barney Investments, and Meditech Corporation. In particular her artist books can be found in many prestigious special collection libraries in New England: Houghton Library (Harvard), Rhode Island School of Design Print Library, Boston Public Library, and Smith College Library.

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13. Direct Approach by Paul Garland

Direct Approach
by Paul Garland
Medium: Painting, watercolor

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14. George Lambert Gould by Cameron Bennett

George Lambert Gould
by Cameron Bennett
Medium: Painting, oil on canvas
Date: 1998 Provenance: Commissioned courtesy of the Gould Fun for Arts
Artist Biography: “I am inspired by the great artists of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, especially the portrait-painters. My goal is to improve myself as a painter and artist to a degree comparative to my heroes in art, so that I can better represent the people, places, and situations around me. I spend as much time as possible working on figurative drawing and painting, and building my portfolio of portraiture. I enjoy posing my friends and family members for my pictures, and I try to work from life as much as possible whenever painting. I believe that what makes representational art exciting is knowing that what is represented in the painting or drawing was captured from a primary visual source. “

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1971, Cameron got his MFA from Lesley University (Boston), BFA in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art (Boston) and now lives in Sussex, England. He has done illustrations for many well-known publications including Boston Scientific, NH Magazine, the Hippo Press, and the Salem Observer.

In 1998 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of George Gould for the library. He worked from a small photograph from the New England Historical and genealogical Society.

Information about library benefactor George L. Gould can be found on the library’s History page.

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15. Three Muses: Art, Literature, Science by Harold Field Kellogg

Three Muses: Art, Literature, Science
by Harold Field Kellogg
Medium: Bas relief with gold leaf

This work was planned and executed by Harold Field Kellogg, also responsible for the design of the 1935 building, and the Mural of Topsfield in the old library lobby. Information about Harold Field Kellogg can be found on the library’s History page. It is believed from the artist’s son that Kellogg’s wife was the model used to create this piece of art. It was originally in the lobby, and relocated during the library’s 1999 renovation.

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16. Topsfield Town Library 1997-1999 Gift Donation

This plaque commemorates donors that helped to fund the library’s newest addition, which was opened in 1999.

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17. Rotating Monthly Exhibits

Our library’s Activity Room features a monthly exhibit by local artists. Please contact the library’s director, Dan Tremblay, about displaying items in the library’s Activity Room. See more information at the top of this page.

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18. Topsfield Mural by Harold Field Kellogg

Mural of Topsfield
by Harold Field Kellogg
Trustee’s Statement: “In the above mural painted in 1934, artist Harold Field Kellogg depicted a scene with a Native American based on the attitudes from his era. That this depiction was broadly acceptable in 1934 gives us today the opportunity to consider the bias against Native American people from that time. We hope viewers will reflect on this legacy.
A series of eleven murals executed by the architect of the library building, depicting life in Topsfield from the 1600s to the 1800s. Depicted in this painting, from left to right: Town Hall, the Congregational Church on 9 East Common St, the Parson Capen House on 1 Howlett St. These murals were cleaned and restored during the library expansion and renovation project of 1997-1999.

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19. Daydreamin’ by Charles Hahn

Daydreamin’
by Charles Hahn
Medium:Sculpture
Date: 1998
Provenance: Courtesy of the Gould Fund, Marble top compliments of Universal Marble and Granite, Ipswich.
Artist Biography: “It is exciting to take clay, which comes from the earth, and make it into an image of something living, figures with a presence, and then bring it to bronze which will last for generations. My goal as an artist is to create highly representational depictions of pleasurable sights and sensations. I try to find things that interest me. It may be a person or it may be an activity. They are usually commonplace things such as my wife sitting quietly or a neighbor trying to ice skate, those intimate, informal or private moments rather than the standard ceremonial poses.”

Charles started sculpting in the mid-1970s teaching at the Johnson Atelier and Tech School of Sculpture (New Jersey), and working at studios and foundries across the country, including the New England Sculpture Service in Everett, MA. His works have received many awards regionally.

He strives to create works that capture a moment in time, depicting moments in time that are casual and lifelike.

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20. Chicago Mercantile Exchange by Thomas Seawell

Chicago Merantile Exchange
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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21. New York Stock Exchange by Thomas Seawell

New York Stock Exchange
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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22. NY Commodities Exchange by Thomas Seawell

NY Commodities Exchange
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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23. Test of Time LIFFE by Thomas Seawell

Test of Time LIFFE
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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24. Chicago Board of Options by Thomas Seawell

Chicago Board of Options
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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25. Tokyo Stock Exchange by Thomas Seawell

Tokyo Stock Exchange
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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26. Paris Bourse by Thomas Seawell

Paris Bourse
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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27. Chicago Board of Trade by Thomas Seawell

Chicago Board of Trade
by Thomas Seawell
Medium: Screen Print, Artist Proof
Artist Biography: Thomas was born in Baltimore, MD in 1936. He is known nationally and internationally for his prints. He has been in over 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world and won numerous prizes in that time. Today his works are in numerous museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and the Library of Congress.

The series of eight prints in the library’s collection depict different country’s financial exchanges. They were originally commissioned by the Chicago firm Geldermann securities to give as gifts. 

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28. Native American Art Collection

Native American Art Collection
Provenance: Donated by Hazel and William Pizzano

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29. Untitled by Carol White (on loan)

Untitled
by Carol White
Medium: Painting, oil on canvas
Date: 1979

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30. Plants on Shelf by Carol White (on loan)

Plants on Shelf
by Carol White
Medium:Painting, oil on canvas

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31. Untitled by John T. Northey

Untitled
John T. Northey
Medium: Painting, watercolor with pen and ink
Provenance: Gift of a friend, Pia Miller Sawyer

Artist Biography: John (1913-1995) was born in Salem, MA and studied at the Museum School (Boston), the Arts Students League (New York), Paris, and Rome. He held solo shows eight times at the Boston and New York Arts Festivals. He also showed his work at many galleries on the east coast.

Critics from the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Herald, and Arts News hailed John as a profoundly creative artist whose style was highly individual and sensitive.

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32. Blue and White by Patricia B. Wright

Blue and White
by Patricia B. Wright
Medium: Painting
Artist Biography: Patricia is from Keene, NH. She studied art history at Wellesley College and painting at the Sharon Arts Center. She paints still lifes most often and her preferred medium is oil on canvas.

She has also been recognized by the Copley Society of Boston as a Copley Master. This distinction is achieved by those who have won three major awards in juried exhibitions. The Copley Society is the oldest art association in America, having evolved from the Boston Art Students Association formed in 1879.

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33. On stairs: ‘Living Log’, ‘Haida Sea Monster’, ‘Haida Blockfish’, ‘Images: Past and Present’ and ‘Inva Mask’

Living Log by Tom Price
Date: Circa 1880

Haida Sea Monster by Argillite Plate
Date: Circa 1880

Haida Blockfish by Tom Price
Date: Circa 1880

Images: Past and Present by Marianne Wieland

 

Inva Mask by Chura

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Second Floor

1. Untitled (Landscape Girl and Dog) by Laura Elkins Stover

Untitled (Landscape Girl and Dog)
by Laura Elkins Stover

Medium: Painting, Oil on canvas

Artist Biography:Laura brings a wonderful enthusiasm to her art. She is a founding member of the Saltbox Gallery here in Topsfield and is an artist member of the North Shore Arts Association, Newburyport and Lynnfield Associations, and the Miniature Society of Florida. She is also listed in Who’s Who Among American Women.

She has contributed art work and text for three revised editions of Helen Fan Wyk’s art books entitled Painting Flowers, Favorite Color Recipe’s 2 and Portraits in Oil, all distributed by North Light Books. Her art work has been chosen by Dana Farber to be included in their Holiday Card Program for 1999, 2001, and 2002.

Her gallery associations also include Gerlach Gallery (Upper Darby, PA) and the Nadejda Gallery (Newport, RI). She also does many painting demonstrations and workshops at local art associations.

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2. Sketches by Richard ‘Dick’ Wyman

Two sketches
by Richard (Dick) Wyman

The first sketch is of the Topsfield Town Library, dated by Mr. Wyman to 1974 (celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Topsfield Town Library). The second sketch is of the French-Andrews House, an saltbox home from the 17th century located in Topsfield, Massachusetts. This second sketch dates to 1965.

Artist Biography: Dick was born and raised in Swampscott, MA. His interest in art and the pursuit of professional studies brought him to Vesper George School of Art.

While living in Topsfield, Dick became very well known for his beautiful work painting images of homes and public buildings in the area. He loved Topsfield, even joining the Topsfield Volunteer Fire Department. Dick and his wife Virginia “Ginny” lived in a house on Perkins Row.

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3. Untitled by L. Wyman-Heron

Untitled
by L. Wyman-Heron

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4. Harvest Still Life by Laura Elkins Stover

Harvest Still Life
by Laura Elkins Stover

Medium: Painting, Oil on canvas

Date: 2002

Artist Biography:

Laura brings a wonderful enthusiasm to her art. She is a founding member of the Saltbox Gallery here in Topsfield and is an artist member of the North Shore Arts Association, Newburyport and Lynnfield Associations, and the Miniature Society of Florida. She is also listed in Who’s Who Among American Women.

She has contributed art work and text for three revised editions of Helen Fan Wyk’s art books entitled Painting Flowers, Favorite Color Recipe’s 2 and Portraits in Oil, all distributed by North Light Books. Her art work has been chosen by Dana Farber to be included in their Holiday Card Program for 1999, 2001, and 2002.

Her gallery associations also include Gerlach Gallery (Upper Darby, PA) and the Nadejda Gallery (Newport, RI). She also does many painting demonstrations and workshops at local art associations.

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5. Untitled by Meg Black

Untitled
by Meg Black

Medium: Painting

Artist Biography: Meg has been an artist working with handmade paper for over 22 years, becoming something of a pioneer. She focuses on nature and the environment creating beautiful landscapes, seascapes, and garden views. Her paintings are acclaimed for their freshness and luminosity.

She received her PhD in educational studies from Lesley University (Boston), her MA in studio art from the Massachusetts College of Art, and her BA in fine arts from the State University of New York at Oswego. She has had extensive teaching experience at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including a term as a visiting instructor of artist books at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy.

Meg has had several solo exhibitions in New York and New England. Her work is in many private and public collections including Fidelity Investments, General Foods, Smith Barney Investments, and Meditech Corporation. In particular her artist books can be found in many prestigious special collection libraries in New England: Houghton Library (Harvard), Rhode Island School of Design Print Library, Boston Public Library, and Smith College Library.

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6. Untitled by Ann Ducheck Lang

Untitled
by Ann Ducheck Lang

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7. Cogswell Grant by Julia W. Clark

Cogswell Grant
by Julia W. Clark

Medium: Painting, Watercolor

Artist Biography: Julia (1915-2002) was born in Yonkers, NY, but lived most of her life in Newton, MA. She attended Vesper George School of Art (1933-36) and later on Montserrat College of Art to learn monoprinting. After graduating from Vesper she worked at her father’s advertising agency and various Boston-area stores as a commercial artist. In 1950 she moved with her husband to Topsfield and was a longtime volunteer at the library. She pursued her passion for art throughout her life creating a body of work of more than 400 works of art in various materials. In the 1940s she worked predominantly in oils and watercolors, moving into pastels and mono-prints in the 1950s, although watercolor remained as her primary medium throughout. Her art education continued beyond the classroom, studying under various artists including Margaret Laurie-Abramo (Gloucester) and Laura Stover (Topsfield). Julia was a long-standing member of the Guild of Beverly Artists and was also a member of the Monotype Guild of New England. She participated in art shows through eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire winning many prizes for her work including a Best of Show in 1996 for her work Kline-Motif. She also regularly exhibited at the Topsfield Fair, GBA shows at Lynch Park (Beverly), Essex County Greenbelt Association’s Art in the Barn, Yankee Homecoming in Newburyport, and the annual art show at the Magnolia Library Center.

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8. Mile Brook, Fall

Mile Brook, Fall
by Larry Webster
Medium: Painting, Watercolor

Artist Biography: Larry is a nationally known artist who lives in Topsfield. He was born in Arlington, MA in 1930 and is the former Vice President and Art Director for Thomas Todd Co. in Boston. He received his BA in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art in 1952 and his MA in Communication Arts at Boston University the following year. He is a watercolorist, printmaker, and freelance graphic designer.

His work has received wide acclaim throughout the art world. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. In addition, his work is recognized in several published books. Among them are The Artist and the Built Environment, Watercolor Your Way, Creative Landscape Painting, Acrylic Watercolor Painting, Complete Guide to Acrylic Painting, 40 Watercolorists and How They Work, Prize-Winning Art Book 6, and Prize Winning Watercolors.

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9. Untitled by Anthony Gangi

Untitled
by Anthony Gangi
Medium: Sculpture

Provenance: Donated by the Gangi Family

Artist Biography: Anthony was born in Topsfield in 1917 after his parents emigrated here from Italy. He graduated from Topsfield Academy in 1934 and started a small grocery on Main Street in town. He served in World War II as a Seabee stationed in the Aleutian and Gilbert Islands. During this time in the military he began sculpting, as a hobby. After the war he married Victoria (Toya) Bilzi and continued working as a butcher in his small grocery. He went on to expand the grocery into the Topsfield Village Shopping Centre in 1959. He and his wife also started a weekly shoppers guide newspaper that later became the Tri Town Transcript.

Throughout this time he continued sculpting, transitioning from wood to marble in the 1970s. In his later years, as his health declined, he experimented with plastic resin as it was lighter and easier to handle. Despite his lack of formal artistic training, Anthony produced very sophisticated pieces with strong contemporary cultural influences to his work.

The library is proud to have one of his abstract head sculptures as part of the library collection. This beautiful sculpture was donated by the Gangi family because they felt it fitting for the library to have one of his pieces on public display considering his strong associated with the town.

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10. Winter Beach Plum Island by Larry Webster

Winter Beach Plum Island
by Larry Webster
Medium: Painting, Watercolor
Provenance: Donated by Harrison and Barbra Holman

Artist Biography: Larry is a nationally known artist who lives in Topsfield. He was born in Arlington, MA in 1930 and is the former Vice President and Art Director for Thomas Todd Co. in Boston. He received his BA in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art in 1952 and his MA in Communication Arts at Boston University the following year. He is a watercolorist, printmaker, and freelance graphic designer.

His work has received wide acclaim throughout the art world. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. In addition, his work is recognized in several published books. Among them are The Artist and the Built Environment, Watercolor Your Way, Creative Landscape Painting, Acrylic Watercolor Painting, Complete Guide to Acrylic Painting, 40 Watercolorists and How They Work, Prize-Winning Art Book 6, and Prize Winning Watercolors.

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11. Last Rays Winter Afternoon by Larry Webster

Last Rays Winter Afternoon
by Larry Webster
Provenance:: Artist Proof

Artist Biography: Larry is a nationally known artist who lives in Topsfield. He was born in Arlington, MA in 1930 and is the former Vice President and Art Director for Thomas Todd Co. in Boston. He received his BA in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art in 1952 and his MA in Communication Arts at Boston University the following year. He is a watercolorist, printmaker, and freelance graphic designer.

His work has received wide acclaim throughout the art world. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. In addition, his work is recognized in several published books. Among them are The Artist and the Built Environment, Watercolor Your Way, Creative Landscape Painting, Acrylic Watercolor Painting, Complete Guide to Acrylic Painting, 40 Watercolorists and How They Work, Prize-Winning Art Book 6, and Prize Winning Watercolors.

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12. Grooming Great Blue Herons by Nancy Begin

Grooming Great Blue Herons
by Nancy Begin
Medium: Etching

Artist Biography: Nancy is the 3rd generation of sportsmen in her family. She grew up following her dad as he hunted and fished in Essex County. She graduated from the Art Institute of Boston and is influenced by the works of master etchers Frank Benson and Roland Clark. Today she is a well-known wildlife artist combining a passion for observing flyways (bird migration patterns) with a talent to capture birds in flight.

She is a printmaker created etchings that she then hand-colors with watercolor. Her knowledge and great love of migratory birds shows in her depictions of the graceful flight of water fowl over the marshes and the subtle beauty of New England landscapes.

Her work has been on view at Abercrombie & Fitch (New York) and galleries throughout New England, including many one-woman shows in Boston, Cape Cod, and New Hampshire. Locally, she is a contributing member of the Saltbox Gallery here in Topsfield. She has also participated in group shows national and internationally. In addition to her shows, she has been appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts as the first woman member of the State Fisheries and Wildlife Board.

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13. Night Friends by Nancy Begin

Night Friends
by Nancy Begin

Medium: Etching

Artist Biography:Nancy is the 3rd generation of sportsmen in her family. She grew up following her dad as he hunted and fished in Essex County. She graduated from the Art Institute of Boston and is influenced by the works of master etchers Frank Benson and Roland Clark. Today she is a well-known wildlife artist combining a passion for observing flyways (bird migration patterns) with a talent to capture birds in flight.

She is a printmaker created etchings that she then hand-colors with watercolor. Her knowledge and great love of migratory birds shows in her depictions of the graceful flight of water fowl over the marshes and the subtle beauty of New England landscapes.

Her work has been on view at Abercrombie & Fitch (New York) and galleries throughout New England, including many one-woman shows in Boston, Cape Cod, and New Hampshire. Locally, she is a contributing member of the Saltbox Gallery here in Topsfield. She has also participated in group shows national and internationally. In addition to her shows, she has been appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts as the first woman member of the State Fisheries and Wildlife Board.

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14. Standing Indian by Cyrus E. Dallin

Standing Indian
by Cyrus E. Dallin
Date: 1920
Restoration funded by the Gould Fund

Artist Biography: Cyrus (1861-1944) was born in Springville, UT. He began his art training in 1880 in Boston with sculptor Truman Bartlett, while also working in a terra cotta factory. In 1889 he studied with Henri Chapu in Paris. While in Paris he attended Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and created many sketches of the costumes and accessories of the Native American participants. These sketches would later serve as studies for statues. Today he is best known for his depictions of Native American men.

In his lifetime he crated more than 260 works. His best known are both in Boston; Appeal to the Great Spirit (1909) outside of the Museum of Fine Arts and Paul Revere (1899) in the North End.

While working in Boston, he became a colleague of Augustus Saint Gaudens and a close friend to John Singer Sargent. From 1899 to 1941 he taught at Massachusetts Normal Art School (today the Massachusetts College of Art and Design).

His papers are at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

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15. Old Topsfield by Richard (Dick) Wyman

Old Topsfield
by Richard (Dick) Wyman

Artist Biography: Dick was born and raised in Swampscott, MA. His interest in art and the pursuit of professional studies brought him to Vesper George School of Art.

While living in Topsfield, Dick became very well known for his beautiful work painting images of homes and public buildings in the area. He loved Topsfield, even joining the Topsfield Volunteer Fire Department. Dick and his wife Virginia “Ginny” lived in a house on Perkins Row.

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16. Memorial Day

Memorial Day
Medium: Photograph

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17. Topsfield 250th Anniversary 1900

Topsfield 250th Anniversary 1900
Medium: Photograph

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18. ‘Play Ball’ on the Common

‘Play Ball’ on the Common
Medium: Photograph

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19. Teacher’s Challenge

Teacher’s Challenge
Medium: Photograph

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20. The Music Makers

The Music Makers
Medium: Photograph

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21. Untitled by Harold Field Kellogg

Untitled
by Harold Field Kellogg
Medium: Painting

Artist Biography: An biography of Harold Field Kellogg, who is also the architect of our 1935 building, can be found on the library’s History page.

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22. Anywhere Else by Paul Gardland

Anywhere Else
by Paul Garland
Medium: Painting, watercolor

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23. Locomotive at Original Topsfield Depot

Locomotive at Original Topsfield Depot
by Richard W. Symmes
1854

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24. The Parson Capen House

The Parson Capen House
by Isabella Groblewski

Medium: Screen print

Provenance: Commissioned by the Arts Council of Topsfield.

Artist Biography:
Isabella has taught art and administeres art departments in several independent schools in Massachusetts and South Carolina. She lives in Topsfield where she maintains her studio. She is former and founding member of the Arts Council of Topsfield. Isabella is well-known on the North Shore for her pottery and printmaking. She has participated in numerous solo and group shows and her work is presented in many private art collections. She is married and has four children and nine grandchildren.

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25. Topsfield Images by Larry Webster

Topsfield Images
by Larry Webster

Artist Biography: Larry is a nationally known artist who lives in Topsfield. He was born in Arlington, MA in 1930 and is the former Vice President and Art Director for Thomas Todd Co. in Boston. He received his BA in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art in 1952 and his MA in Communication Arts at Boston University the following year. He is a watercolorist, printmaker, and freelance graphic designer.

His work has received wide acclaim throughout the art world. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. In addition, his work is recognized in several published books. Among them are The Artist and the Built Environment, Watercolor Your Way, Creative Landscape Painting, Acrylic Watercolor Painting, Complete Guide to Acrylic Painting, 40 Watercolorists and How They Work, Prize-Winning Art Book 6, and Prize Winning Watercolors.

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26. Fair Topsfield Quilt

Fair Topsfield: Celebration Quilt
Designed: Isabella Groblewski and Terri Meinelt
Constructed: Patricia Gandt, Patricia Lucey, Carolyn Herron, Judith lais, Ildiko Tary, and Kathleen Dainton

1997-2000

Cotton

Provenance: Supported by a donation from Massachusetts cultural council

History:As the quilters gathered on a cold day in February 1997, it quickly became clear that here were people who felt blessed to live in this beautiful town. The art department of Masconomet High School, the Topsfield Historical Society, the 350th Committee, and resident quilt makers were all present. Ideas flowed for the design of a quilt to celebrate the 350 years of Topsfield’s existence and each participant had something to contribute. But a hush fell over the group as John Nutter read the poem by Nehemiah Cleveland which epitomized the feelings of everyone in the room.

Very early in the planning stages of the quilt it was decided to incorporate the words of the poem into the quilt. Design options were tried and discarded until the basic outline for the quilt that exists today was settled on. Isabella Groblewski started the design process in her living room and Terry Meinelt and the art department at Masconomet High School also helped. Financial support was provided by a grant awarded by the Topsfield Cultural Council.

A master pattern was created, and as the quilt progressed, so did the group’s enthusiasm for the project. Quilt construction was slow and tedious because each piece of fabric had its own pattern piece and putting them all together required careful color selection and precise sewing techniques. It was quilted, pieced, and appliqued by hand and machine. It took about 3 years to complete.

The quilt is not a picture of the town but a representation of its character. The pictures in the borders are of historic Topsfield residents and the only identifiable person is Wally Kneeland as an infant in the arms of his mother. The hills, which are so prominent in Nehmiah’s poem, are the main focus of the design. The winding roads, houses, fields, the church, trees, and the Fair also play a part in the flavor and feeling of Topsfield.

The inspiration of the quilt is the poem “Fair Topsfield,” written by Nehemiah Cleaveland (1760-1837).

Still are the hills of Topsfield fair,
Her valleys rich in beauty rare
As when my childish feet first trod
Her varied ways and knew each sod!

Since then the world I’ve journeyed ‘round
And joyously my pulses bound
As glistening spire and peaceful farms
Smile from the hills’ encircling arms

And though before my yearning eyes
Regretfully the bright day dies
Yet as the glow fades from the hills
A calmer light the valley fills,

So sweet in memory shall abide
The comfort of the eventide
O early home forever dear
Blessed the fate that brought me here!

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27. Black and White by Brad Story

Black and White
by Brad Story

Date: 2009

Medium: Sculpture; wood, epoxy, fiberglass, wire, and acrylic paint

Artist Biography: “I’m trying, of course, to give a sense of objects moving through and being supported by or buffeted by, the wind or water positioning themselves in response to those forces.”

Brad is a native of Essex, MA and a seventh-generation boat builder. In addition he has had a long-time interest in manned flight and in all winged creatures. He learned to sculpt at Kenyon College in the late 1960s. Today he combines his interest into unique works he calls “Aerodreams.”

Although steeped in traditional woodworking methods, he uses modern materials and techniques. Structural adhesives and molded fiberglass lend a lightness to his works. Additionally, his works are meant to be hung from aloft to capture the freedom of birds and planes in flight.

He has created public art commissions for SeaTac Airport (Seattle) and the Cape Ann Museum (Gloucester, MA). He has shown his works at major institutions including the Smithsonian Craft Show, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

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