Boston Public Library, founded in 1848, was the country's first public lending library. It has been in its present Copley Square location since 1895.
Photos below are from the Abbey Room of the McKim Building (original building). We stopped at the library for an hour or so while waiting for the campers to get back from their prep school tour. I thought this room was particularly beautiful and, having enjoyed reading "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White to both boys when they were younger, was especially delighted once I found out the paintings illustrated scenes from the legend of King Arthur. It was lovely to sit there and read for awhile:
|The Abbey Room, paintings by Edwin Austin Abbey|
Descriptions from Boston Public Library's website:
The Abbey Room
"Murals titled the "Quest of the Holy Grail," by American artist, Edwin Austin Abbey, grace the walls of the Abbey Room on the second floor of the McKim building. The murals are composed of a series of 15 panels featuring 150 life-sized figures illustrating the Arthurian legend. The room also features a beautiful fireplace of French rouge antique marble, dark oak wainscoting, and a beamed ceiling modeled after one in the library of the Doge's Palace in Venice."
The Abbey Room
"Of particular interest to many visitors is the sumptuous Abbey Room, which may be entered from the south end of the Chavannes Gallery. The room’s dominating feature is the series of splendid and richly colored mural paintings The Quest of the Holy Grail by the American artist, Edwin Austin Abbey. The room, 64 feet long by 33 feet wide, is of luxurious beauty. The ceiling is remarkable for its heavy ornamental rafters.The heavy marble doorways leading into Bates Hall and from the Chavannes Gallery are of rouge antique and Levanto marble. The mantle of the great fireplace in the east wall - wholly of rouge antique - is exceedingly rich and elaborate. The walls are wainscoted in dark-colored oak to the level of the murals, and the floors are of Istrian and red Verona marble."
|Paintings #1-3 -- details below|
|No. 2. This ordeal of the vigil terminates in his departure. Clothed in red, he is girt for going forth, while the nuns bring to him Sir Lancelot, who fastens on one of his spurs, and Sir Bors, who attaches the other.|
|No. 12. Sir Galahad, borne upon a white charger and followed by the blessings of the people, is seen passing from the land, where peace and plenty once more reign.|
p.s. Note: If you plan to visit Boston Public Library and rely on your GPS to help you with directions, you should indicate the Copley Square location or better yet the specific address at 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, otherwise you might end up at a public library in Boston somewhere else -- we did! The GPS was not always very good in Boston -- consider the old GIGO adage!