- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
Many of us come to the library to borrow the latest movie or newest bestseller, but did you know we also have items that are over 100 years old? The California Room is the home to three sculptures by 19th century African-American and Chippewa-Indian artist, Edmonia Lewis. To learn more about these sculptures, come to the California Room’s spring open house where local expert Mary Parks Washington will discuss the artist and her work.
Along with the sculpture presentation, we’ll be featuring some of our unique local history collections including: Frontier Village photos and memorabilia, items from the 1906 earthquake, local yearbooks dating back to the early 20th century and many other items you can’t find anywhere else! The open house will be this Wednesday, February 15th from 6-7:30pm.
If you are unable to make it to our open house, feel free to stop by during our open hours OR check out the many items available to you 24/7 in our digital collection.
Did you know that the California Room has three marble sculptures created by the 19th century artist, Edmonia Lewis? Edmonia Lewis was African-American and Chippewa Indian, and was a free spirit who lived for a time in San José. These sculptures were created in Rome and brought to the Bay Area, where they were purchased on behalf of the new San José Library Association (a fee-based library that predates the public library by a few years) in 1873. These beautiful marble sculptures have been owned by the library for more than 125 years! Here is more information about Edmonia Lewis and her sculptures. Two of the pieces are a pair, representing children "Awake" and "Asleep." The third is one of Abraham Lincoln. They are available to view in the California Room Tuesday-Saturday, 1-6.