Art at the Library

The restored "Venezia" by Lowell artist David Neal hanging on the ground floor landing of the grand staircase.

The restored “Venezia” by Lowell artist David Neal hanging on the ground floor landing of the grand staircase.

The public library ain’t just for books anymore.

“Our beloved public library has also become our beloved public art gallery,” remarked Pollard Memorial Library Foundation member Rosemary Noon at a reception Wednesday evening celebrating the restoration of some art in the library’s impressive collection.

“Venezia” a 34” by 42” oil painting of the Rialto, the oldest bridge spanning Venice’s Grand Canal, was painted by Lowell native David Neal. He toured Italy in the 1860’s following four years of studying at the Royal Academy in Munich.

Pollard Memorial Library Director Victoria Woodley

Pollard Memorial Library Director Victoria Woodley

Pollard Memorial Library Director Victoria Woodley said when the painting was taken out of a closet in the library in 2009 it “looked like potato chips had been glued to it.” The paint had lifted and scalloped.

After a two-year extensive restoration, it now looks like new and is displayed at the Ground Floor landing of the Grand Staircase.

More than 50 people attended the reception and subsequent art tour, viewing not only “Venezia,” but also two portraits of Daniel Webster by Thomas Bayley Lawson, a Samuel Howes portrait of Abraham Lincoln, a restored portrait of Frederick Stickney – the library’s architect – by Ernest L. Ipsen and several other pieces of art on display.

So, the next time you stop into the Pollard to grab a book or use a computer, be sure to browse a little longer and enjoy the art.

Front row left to right: Jr. Data Analyst Stephanie Oleksyk, Municipal Hearing Officer Eda Matchak and Assistant City Solicitor Elliott Veloso.

Front row left to right: Jr. Data Analyst Stephanie Oleksyk, Municipal Hearing Officer Eda Matchak and Assistant City Solicitor Elliott Veloso.

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Community Planning Librarian Sean Thibodeau and artist/fine art consultant Peter Kostoulakos soaking the art in.

Community Planning Librarian Sean Thibodeau and artist/fine art consultant Peter Kostoulakos soaking the art in.

Portrait of Frederick Stickney, architect of the Pollard Memorial Library. Artist: Ernest L. Ipsen.

Portrait of Frederick Stickney, architect of the Pollard Memorial Library. Artist: Ernest L. Ipsen.

"Venezia" before the restoration

“Venezia” before the restoration

"Venezia" restored.

“Venezia” restored.

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