A rich variety of paintings, many by local artists from the Fall River School of still life painting, are on display throughout the main library. The library's art collection includes many outstanding paintings from the 19th and early 20th century, including the work pictured here, Still Life With Peaches by Robert Spear Dunning (1829-1905). Dunning, a leader of the Fall River School, also painted the large portrait of George Washington that hangs in the Fell Room. It is modeled after the original Washington portrait by Gilbert Stuart.
Other Fall River artists, including Bryant Chapin (1859-1927), Franklin Harrison Miller (1843-1911) and Mary Lizzie Macomber (1861-1916), are also represented in the library's art collection. While many of the paintings date from the 19th century, the library recently added a large canvas by a contemporary Fall River artist, Tiago Finato, entitled "Human Emotion at a Moment in Time," to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001.
In addition to paintings, the library's art collection includes a stunning series of murals in the entrance rotunda by Italian artist Ludovico Cremonini and several notable works of sculpture, including a marble bust of poet Robert Burns by sculptor Fidardo Landi, donated to the library by the Fall River Caledonian Society. For a detailed list of major pieces found in the library's art collection, please ask at the reference desk.
You can now visit the library and listen to audio commentary on artwork through your mobile phone. Simply walk through the library and listen to the descriptions by calling 774-207-5197, then choosing the item number and pound (#) key. Paintings are numbered, and there is a handout with all artworks and locations at the reference desk.
In 2016, the Friends of the Fall River Public Library, with support from the Fall River Cultural Council, sponsored an Art Competition for Commissioned Work. A group of 20 finalists were selected and asked to exhibit their work at the library. The winning artist chosen was Frank C. Grace for "A Fall River Sunset," a digital photograph printed on metal. The winning artwork will be added to the library's permanent art collection.
The 2016 Art Competition is now closed; if the library decides to sponsor future competitions, they will be announced here and on social media.
Page updated: June 13, 2016