The Fall River Public Library is home to a large collection of artwork, including many outstanding paintings from the 19th and early 20th century. Fall River was once home to the Fall River Evening Drawing School, founded in 1870 by artist Robert Spear Dunning. Dunning was known for his still life painting and 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 is also home to work by contemporary Fall River artists, including the murals outside the Children's Room, painted by our own Supervisor of Children's Services, David Mello.
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 pieces found in the library's art collection, please ask at the reference desk.
Take a guided tour of the library with David Mello, Children's Services Supervisor, who has worked in the library for many years and knows all its history. Learn about the art and architecture of this remarkable historical building, originally opened to the public in 1899.