Library Art

March 19th 2016
By the reference desk in the Central Library is a statue of an Ancient Greek boxer known to history as Damoxenos. However, for as long anyone can remember he's been known around Somerville as Clarence. And like all  Ancient Greek athletes depicted in sculpture, Clarence isn't wearing anything A few days ago a woman who was clearly in a hurry came into the main reading room with two small children. One of them, a boy who looked about five or six, pointed to Clarence and asked, "Why isn't he... Read Post
January 10th 2015
A small art installation by the Somerville Arts Council's 2014 Multi-disciplinary Artist Fellow Kris Hatch has found a permanent home in two of the Somerville Libraries.  Stationed appropriately between the Mystery and Reference sections at the West Branch, 'The Book of Knowledge' is a Victorian curio cabinet that invites the viewer to become a part of the mystery.  A second "cabinet" can be found near the Mythology section of the Central Library. This project is supported in part by the... Read Post
March 11th 2014
Visitors to the Central Library often comment on the frieze in the main reading room that runs along the perimeter of the room just below the ceiling. It's a partial reproduction of the friezes on the Parthenon, one of the finest surviving buildings of Classical Greece and a symbol of Western civilization.  Ever since this building opened a century ago, library staff have been telling anyone who asks that the frieze depicts the Panathenaic Procession, which concluded the annual festival of the... Read Post
December 16th 2011
That guy painting the switchbox in front of the Central Library is the wonderful Jef Czekaj. Jef is a cartoonist, children's book author and illustrator, and musician who lives and works right here in Somerville. His comic, Grampa and Julie: Shark Hunters, ran in Nickelodeon Magazine for more than 10 years. A collection of the first three years of the comic was published with the help of a Xeric Foundation Grant and distributed by Top Shelf. Jef has illustrated 3 books, and written and... Read Post
December 13th 2011
If you visit the Central Library then you know Thy Toeum as one of our friendly Circulation Desk crew. Thy also makes a mean 3D paper snowflake, and this past Saturday he led a fantastic workshop to teach people how he does it. In case you missed it, a few pictures are below. Thy also brought his workshop to the Concord Library recently. Here's an article about that session from the Boston Globe. We're so happy that Thy is here to share his many talents with everyone at the Library!
April 26th 2011


The kickoff for Somerville Reads is this Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the East Branch Library. There will be lots to see and do - a dance performance, henna art, music, yummy food - but one of the things we're most excited about is the communal art project we have planned.

We're going to work together to create a paper immigration "quilt" that will tell the stories of the people who make up our City. Everyone is invited to make a square - or more than one - to... Read Post
August 31st 2010
Many patrons ask about the frieze that runs along the interior wall of the main reading room.  It's a reproduction of one of the friezes that adorned the Parthenon, a temple built in Athens between 447 and 432 B.C.  The temple was dedicated to the worship of Athena (the city's patron deity) and the frieze is believed to depict the Panathenaic procession, which took place annually in the goddess's honor. But the fact that the frieze is colored gives some people pause. After all, most people... Read Post