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55#12 the Boston Athenaeum, Hermes Belvedere overlooking the newspapers
Provided by the artist - Thomas Kellner
In 2003 Richard Wendorf, the present director of The Boston Athenaeum, found my work at a London gallery in Museum Street, close to the British Museum. Soon after we started a conversation I visited the Athenaeum in spring 2004. From then on we planed a commission for the bicentienal in 2007. In 2006 The Boston Athenaeum invited me for a commission to photograph my first real series of interiors at this beautiful old library, which becomes an exhibition and publication early 2008.
The Boston Athenaeum, is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States and was founded in 1807 by members of the Anthology Society.
Today its collections comprise over half a million volumes, with particular strengths in Boston history, New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine and decorative arts.
The first three floors of the present Beacon Street building, designed by Edward Clarke Cabot, were constructed between 1847 and 1849. The first floor was originally a sculpture gallery, the second housed the library's growing collection of books, and the third, with skylights, served as a painting gallery. The building was completely renovated in 1913-1914, at which time the fourth and fifth floors were added and the entire structure fireproofed. Architect Henry Forbes Bigelow designed these improvements.
The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.