Boston Public Library

Paintings and Fine Arts Collection at the Boston Public Library

Library of Babel
Detail from: Library of Babel
The founding collection of painting and sculpture at Boston Public Library is representative of the collecting and exhibiting habits of the mid- to late-19th century: oil portraits, copies of antique statues, a variety of decorative arts, and portrait busts (all almost exclusively Neoclassical in style). Benefactors donated the majority of the artwork.

Now, the collection has been actively expanded to include work by renowned artists as well as collaborative, community-based projects. Fine Arts selects new collections and works that connect to and support the dynamic needs of our users, document the history of our time, and demonstrate the relevance and value of artistic practice in society.

Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.

Locations in this Collection: