Category history

Bottle Trees on Brattle Street Bring Histories to Light: “Forgotten Souls of Tory Row”

Several times this summer I have viewed and visited the bottle trees on the History Cambridge lawn. I hope to keep revisiting till they’re gone, April 2023. For now, I’ll share photos, quotes, and links that help me appreciate, understand, and reflect on an enlightening project, “Forgotten Souls of Tory Row: Remembering the Enslaved People of Brattle Street.”

Murals offer Many Ways to Celebrate a City: “Chelsea Resilient: Call and Response Through the Ages” and “City of Dreams”

In mid-May I visited two mighty murals barely two blocks apart: “Chelsea Resilient: Call and Response Through the Ages” by David Fichter and “City of Dreams” by Silvia López Chavez. With great enthusiasm, I now share photos, quotes, and links that should convey the rich history and possibilities of both murals.

Public Art in Somerville Highlights History of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln

Public art in Somerville has enlightened me in many ways in recent years. Here are two more examples, each enlivening my resources as a long-time volunteer guide at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln. Both focus on fascinating aspects of Somerville’s Union Glass Company, owned by Julian deCordova through the early years of the twentieth century. One is among the seven vibrant panels of the Union Square History Murals on the building where Webster Avenue (55-50) and Prospect Street (70) intersect. The other is a bright sturdy signpost, among more than fifty others in Conway Park on Somerville Avenue. Here are photos, quotes, and notes to elaborate their connections.

Bronze Sculptures by Cyrus Dallin in Arlington Combine History and Humanity

New important plantings around Cyrus Dallin’s long-standing sculpture (since 1912) on the lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston this summer made me realize how much I did not know about the sculptor. That led me to Arlington, where some of his significant works have braved all weather for over a century, and where the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum has developed valuable online resources about his works. A winter lull finally let me review my summer notes and photos for Dallin’s art in Arlington, where he lived in the first half of the twentieth century. Now I need to share some fascinating aspects of his art.

New Views Come in through Art for “Go Out Doors” in Minute Man National Historical Park

“Mission: “Go Out Doors” inspires discovery and exploration of outdoors spaces and trails, and the intersection of place, history, community, spirit, and nature. On View Through November 15, 2021” (quote from Umbrella Arts Go Out Doors @ Minute Man National Historical Park) This mission addresses my experience visiting the three doors!
Doors created by artists Yetti Frenkel, Cassandra Charles, and BARD at three separate sites within Minute Man National Historical Park

Art Raises Many Related Questions in Amazing Ways on the Boston Common: “What Do We Have in Common?” by Janet Zweig, now through October 24

Presented by NOW+THERE and Friends of the Public Garden, through wonderfully welcoming, attentive, versatile Guides.
I’ll post very quickly in case anyone who lives nearby can visit the Boston Common before this brief opportunity ends. I plan to return and post with more connections. Meanwhile here are a few photos from my first visit two days ago, with quotes from two informative rich resources: NOW+THERE and Friends of the Public Garden.

New Murals on Blue Hill Avenue by Ekua Holmes and London Parker-McWhorter Make Many Meaningful Connections

My visit to “Honoring the past, seeding the future,” the newest Grove Hall murals, extended my own range of travel after too long a time. Simply walking a few blocks around their location (on and near 345 Blue Hill Avenue) offered such an abundance of promising connections that I must now choose a few of many for focus in this post. Here are the chosen three.

“Arboreal Attire” and “Chairful Where You Sit” Extend History around Jason Russell House in Arlington

Sculpture by Leslie Wilcox, Poetry by Jessie Brown, Chairs Transformed by Many Artists: This post honors an inspiring event last Saturday (8/21/21) that reminded me, yet again, of how much public art keeps offering no matter how many challenges continue. Walking among at least thirty chairs and six tall trees with unique creative identities, I began to understand they all shared histories extended by artists’ careful appreciative attention. Also most chairs there were made with wood, so crafted originally from trees. Musical performances, poetry reading, artist talk, and many other happenings were free for anyone who visited the lawn of the historic Jason Russell House near Arlington Center.
That led me to this quick post ( with links, quotes, and key resources in red type) because the chairs are only up for bidding until September 5:

Artists Ekua Holmes and Elizabeth James-Perry Bring MFA Lawn to Life with “Garden for Boston”

Whether or not you go inside the Museum of Fine Arts, on the front lawn you will find rich offerings by artists and curators attentive to soil, sun, sea, community, and history. One morning in early August, I joined other visitors enthralled by plantings and perspective in the collaborative venture called “Garden for Boston.” Delighted by discoveries, I’ll share a few of my iPhone photos with quotes from enlightening resources on the MFA website and other specified links.

Temporary Art Leads to Ongoing Information from Harvard Museums of Science and Culture: PLAZA PAINT PROJECT

The person I saw painting attractive images on Science Center Plaza said she was not an artist, but she was creating interactive art to engage people with rich resources from the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture while the physical doors are still closed to visitors. She noted that the paintings on the plaza would be power-washed away in a few weeks. So once again I’ll post quickly to speed the news about temporary art  before it goes.