Category Archives: From the Library – A Weekly Column

Vermeer: Master of Light

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the September 18, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Johannes Vermeer died at the age of 43 in 1675. He left his wife and family of ten children in debt and certainly could not have been considered a financial success. Although it is believed that Vermeer may have produced as many as 60 works of art, only 35 known paintings remain known to the world. 21 are housed around the globe and the majority are housed by museums in Europe. Another 14 of them are owned by institutions or private collections in the United States. One of those is, of course, missing. The Concert was stolen from the Isabella Gardner Museum in a notorious theft on March 18, 1990.

The net worth of Vermeer’s paintings would certainly astound his poor wife today. The Concert, the painting stolen from Boston’s museum, is estimated to be worth $200 million. The Saint Praxedis, a painting attributed to Vermeer, was auctioned at Christie’s this past summer and sold for over $10 million dollars. It stands to reason, then, that Vermeer’s complete works total over a billion dollars.

Vermeer has mystified and delighted us for about 1-1/2 century. The funny thing is he had actually been forgotten until the mid-nineteenth century before a French art critic began singing his praises. Over the years since, Vermeer paintings have become major works of art. In fact, the real sign of a worthy artist might be the amount of forgeries made of his art. Many Vermeer forgeries were bought and sold beginning in the1920s when wealthy Americans came into large discretionary incomes and had enormous amounts of money to invest in art. (more…)

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Boys Will Be Boys – by Norma Logan

Norma Logan is the Literacy Coordinator at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Norma’s column in the September 11, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

The day my grandson was born, 6 years ago in September, I knew that the pink frilly clothes, dolls and tea sets from my three daughters would have to continue to stay retired in the closet.

I would have to start all over with collecting cars, trucks, and boy things since I had not had any sons. The first toy/book that my husband and I bought for our new grandson was a board book in the shape of a tractor, wheels and all. More books and toys followed. That was the easy part.
As time went on, and I watched his development, it became clear he did not respond or act in any way that resembled my three girls. As he is now approaching his 6th year, it is more apparent.

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California’s Trembling Hills – by Charlotte Canelli

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the September 4, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

In 1984, an earthquake hit Northern California on April 24. The Morgan Hill quake was situated on a less famous fault than the San Andreas, the Calaveras Fault, which runs along the San Jose area (south of San Francisco and a bit to the west). It registered 6.2 on the Richter scale and resulted in damages in several communities, San Jose among them.

At that time, my daughters and I lived further north in the East Bay area of San Francisco, near the American Canyon. We might have felt a jolt, but it wasn’t particularly memorable. (more…)

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Step Into Reading Literacy – by Kate Tigue

Read Kate Tigue’s column in the August 28, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Kate is a Children’s Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

The weather is getting cooler and less humid. The back-to-school sales are on. The summer reading program is winding down. It’s almost fall! Hurray! Autumn is New England’s season to shine with breathtaking foliage, crisp high weather, and amazing food. Librarians are usually happy to see September every year as summer is often the busiest season on the library calendar, especially in for the Children’s Department. Most libraries in Massachusetts provide an intensive summer reading program for school aged children during the summer months. This year, over 500 children participated in the Morrill Memorial Library’s Fizz Boom Read! Summer Reading Program by reading nearly 5,000 books! The library hosted a total of 36 programs that brought in a combined total of 800 people in a 10 week period. The Children’s Room staff has answered nearly 1,100 questions in July and August alone. That means we’ve had the best summer possible: every day was packed with helping patrons, running programs, marshalling volunteers, and generally keeping everyone busy.

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