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Main Library Art Gallery

“No picture could be more lovely”: Ada Shepard with the Hawthornes in Florence, 1858

April 6 - June 28, 2018

The exhibition features the sketchbooks and letters of Ada Shepard, a well-educated, perceptive young woman who served as governess to the children of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne while they were in Europe between 1857 and 1859, with the focus on the family's sojourn in Florence in 1858. Ada’s letters, in particular, provide a window into a young American woman’s experiences in mid-century Europe.

The grand opening was held on Friday, April 6, 2018, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Concord Free Public Library Rotunda. A lecture was given by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Megan Marshall, biographer of The Peabody sisters, Margaret Fuller, and Elizabeth Bishop. It was followed by elegant refreshments and an opportunity to view the exhibition. The opening was open to the public. [Watch the Lecture]

Lecture Series:

The lecture series continues on May 5 with a talk by Dr. Phyllis Blum Cole, Ada Shepard, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and the Feminist Fifties. On June 2, Rev. Jenny Rankin will speak on The Hawthorne's Italian Journey. Lectures begin at 5:00 p.m. in the Library Rotunda. All are welcome.

Gallery Tour:

Join Curator Leslie Perrin Wilson for a tour of the exhibit on April 12 at 10:00 a.m. Meet in the Art Gallery.



Special Collections Display Cases 

Mid-Century Modern: Carl Koch’s Conantum

The exhibit looks at Concord’s Conantum community and Carl Koch, the innovative architect who designed it. Every Concordian knows something about the Conantum story, but discovering the foundational ideas that launched it, and understanding the history of mid-twentieth century domestic architecture that inspired it, expand the story.

























Fowler Branch Meeting Room Exhibit

Art Work by Newbury Court Retirement Center Residents


Fowler Branch Display Case

Concord High School, Class of 1924

A collection of senior portraits, discovered in a storage area at Concord’s Council on Aging at the Harvey Wheeler Center, evoke the ethos of their era.


















Art Jury: How to Exhibit Your Work at the Art Gallery