The Quadrangle

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For the region in Antarctica, see The Quadrangle (Antarctica).

The Quadrangle is a cluster of five museums in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Chestnut Street in Metro Center. Five museums and the Springfield City Library surround the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. On the corner of Chestnut and State Streets, Merrick Park is distinguished by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens "The Puritan," a statue depicting one of Springfield's settlers, Deacon Samuel Chapin. Also located near that edge of the Quadrangle is the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts' Christ Church Cathedral. The Roman Catholic St. Michael's Cathedral adjoins the neo-classical Springfield City Library at the southeast corner of the Quadrangle.

Springfield City Library[edit]

Springfield City Library

The Central Library, constructed in 1913, was paid for by Andrew Carnegie. It is the second library to be built at that location. The nonfiction department is based in Rice Hall, consisting of a main floor and mezzanine. Opposite Rice Hall is the Arts and Music Hall, where multimedia, periodicals, and the computer lab are based. The circulation desk lies in the rotunda between the two halls. Fiction, children's literature, and community rooms are in the basement. The Central Library also has a Teen Advisory Board — a grouping of teenagers who help make decisions and organize events at the library geared towards teenagers.

George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum[edit]

Smith Art Museum

The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is the oldest museum on the Quadrangle. The museum is named for the collection's original owner. Its exhibits express the taste of Smith and his wife, Belle, and they bequeathed their notable collection to begin the museum.

The Ancient Treasures Gallery displays objects from ancient Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. The gallery also presents Greek and Roman sculpture from the recently acquired Blake/Purnell Collection of antiquities, and ancient Chinese ceramics and bronzes from the Bidwell Collection. Greek pottery and glass from the George Walter Vincent Smith Collection complement the classical sculptures.[1]

The Japanese Arms and Armor Gallery, in addition to holding Smith's extensive collection of Oriental armor, is the site of an ornate Shinto wheel shrine carved during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.[2] Among other collections is a 150-piece holding of Chinese cloisonne work, one of the most extensive collections outside of China.[3]

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts[edit]

D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts
The new novel, 1877 by Winslow Homer

The Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts features mostly American and European works including those of Massachusetts native John Singleton Copley and lithographs of Currier & Ives. Works by Degas, Monet, and others can be found in the European collection. The Museum features many interactive exhibits as well.[4] It also has Late Medieval and Renaissance paintings by Spinello Aretino, Nicolas Frances, Domingo Valls, Pordenone, Danielle da Volterra ("Diana"), and Goswyn Vander Weyden. It also has Baroque and 18th Century paintings by Pierre Patel, Jacob Jordaens, Emanuel de Witte, Jan Goyen, Ferdinand Bol, Jean Claude Liotard, Canaletto, and Giovanni Paolo Pannini. There are also American paintings by Erastus Field, Frederic Church, George Bellows, and Georgia O'Keeffe. There are also contemporary works of art by Helen Frankenthaler, Joseph Grillo, and Lisa Hoke at this art museum.

Connecticut Valley Historical Museum[edit]

The Connecticut Valley Historical Museum offers exhibits detailing the history of the Pioneer Valley from 1636 up to the present. As of October, 2009, it is temporarily closed for renovations.[5]

Springfield Science Museum[edit]

Springfield Science Museum

The Springfield Science Museum displays elements of natural and physical science from the Eco-Center featuring live animals, to the African Hall, which gives visitors a ground-sky perspective of an ecosystem on the Savannah. Dinosaur Hall includes a lifesize Tyrannosaurus rex model and skeletons from other dinosaurs. The museum also features a planetarium – the first built in the United States, and one of the very few of the era not built by Zeiss – and earth science exhibits.[6] Additionally, the museum has its own observatory with a 20" telescope that is periodically open to the public.[7]

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden[edit]

The Quadrangle's perimeter was at one time open to vehicles, but was closed off in the 1990s, becoming a pedestrian-only park. Soon after that, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden was opened. Several statues depicting Dr. Seuss and many of his creations were sculpted and placed on the Quadrangle green.[8]

Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History[edit]

The newest museum at the Quadrangle is The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. It opened in the fall of 2009 on the former site of famed painter James MacNeill Whistler's childhood home.[9] It tells the story of Springfield, and in particular, highlights its role as The City of Progress and The City of Firsts. It features exhibits on the numerous inventions and pioneering manufacturing techniques innovated there, the city's role in American history, as well as examining Springfield in a broader context as a city during various eras, (e.g. different wars, several mass immigrations, and changing transportation technology.) Exhibits of antique cars and firearms, formerly housed at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, in addition to an impressive collection of classic Indian motorcycles, showcase the city's various industries.[10][11] The museum also has its own library filled with historical paper and documents, including genealogical records.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ancient Treasures — Exhibits » Gwv Smith Art » The Museums » Springfield Museums". Springfieldmuseums.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Japanese Arms & Armor — Exhibits » Gwv Smith Art » The Museums » Springfield Museums". Springfieldmuseums.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Chinese Cloisonné Collection — Exhibits » Gwv Smith Art » The Museums » Springfield Museums". Springfieldmuseums.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Fine Arts » The Museums » Springfield Museums". Springfieldmuseums.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ct Valley History » The Museums » Springfield Museums". Springfieldmuseums.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Science » The Museums » Springfield Museums". Springfieldmuseums.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  7. ^ The Springfield Stars Club. Reflector.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-21.
  8. ^ "Theodor Seuss Geisel - "Dr. Seuss" Biography". Catinthehat.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Verizon Grant — News. Springfield Museums (2006-12-12). Retrieved on 2013-08-21.
  10. ^ "Springfield History » The Museums » Springfield Museums". Springfieldmuseums.org. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Robert Smith (November–December 2010). "A Classic Indian Motorcycle Collection". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°6′13″N 72°35′7″W / 42.10361°N 72.58528°W / 42.10361; -72.58528