Once again on May 23, 2017, the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2015-2016 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 25 columns were submitted. They were written by Charlotte Canelli, Nancy Ling, April Cushing, Allison Palmgren, Kate Tigue, Liz Reed, Bonnie Wyler, Diane Phillips, Norma Logan, Jeff Hartman, Sam Simas, Nicole Guerra-Coon, and Meredith Ruhl

On May 4, 2015 the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2013-2014 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 24 columns from 2013 and 2014 were submitted. They were written by Marg Corjay, Shelby Warner, Nancy Ling, Diane Phillips, Brian Samek, Bonnie Wyler, Marie Lydon, Norma Logan, Allison Palmgren, April Cushing, Liz Reed, Kate Tigue, Jillian Goss, and Charlotte Canelli.

Library staff have written over 492 columns since 2009.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lobster Phone and Melting Clocks

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the July 6, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Imagine a Florida vacation: calm sandy beaches on the Gulf, fruity drinks, theme parks, exotic wildlife, and long evenings spent with friends might all come to mind. Many people don’t necessarily count museum visits among their top tropical vacation things-to-do, and far fewer would list lobster phones and melting clocks. On a recent trip to St. Petersburg Florida, though, I knew that one of the things I absolutely did not want to miss was the Salvador Dali Museum.

            I first became fascinated with Dali’s art completely by chance when I was studying abroad in London. While walking along the River Thames I stumbled upon a travelling exhibit, The Dali Universe. What else can you do when you see larger-than-life spindle-legged elephants and melting clock sculptures set against a backdrop of classic London attractions? You just have to explore! In the Dali Universe gallery I discovered some of Dali’s most iconic, and also less well known, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and fashion, including Cabinet Anthropomorphique and Space Elephant. I was completely unprepared for what I encountered, but I was hooked. I knew that if I ever had another chance to see Dali’s work firsthand, I’d take it.

            Cut to early summer 2017. The Salvador Dali Museum, known by locals as “The Dali,” stands on the waterfront in Old St. Petersburg. The museum’s collection is largely comprised of the extensive personal collection of Reynolds and Eleanor Morse. The Morses began collecting Dali’s work in the early 1940s, and even met and became good friends with Dali and his wife, Gala. Although The Dali’s collection includes works from all periods of Salvador Dali’s long and varied career, the collection is still weighted toward those bodies of work which the Morses most preferred: Dali’s early work which was heavily influenced by Impressionism and the pursuit of highly technical skill, certain surrealist subject matter, and his “nuclear mysticism,” which featured images of religious, historical, and scientific themes. Today, the museum houses the largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Europe.

The building itself embodies the spirit of Dali’s work by combining the rational with the fantastical. The original Dali Museum in St. Pete’s opened in 1982, and this new construction was completed in early 2011. The museum is a simple rectangle, out of which flows an eye-catching free-form geodesic bubble. This glass structure is known as the “enigma,” and though it looks fanciful, the enigma is actually made up of 1,062 pieces of triangular glass, each one cut to unique and specific dimensions; no two pieces are the same. The enigma isn’t the museum’s only mathematical marvel either. The middle of the airy building features a helical staircase reminiscent of the DNA spiral, something that appeared often in Dali’s work.

            So, who was this international man of mystery, Salvador Dali?  Dali was born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain. His talent was apparent at an early age, and he attended drawing school and studied art in university. He gained a high degree of technical skill, and as a young adult began to experiment with more modern and avant-garde forms of art, including Cubism and Dadaism. He is probably best known for his works as a Surrealist artist, however, with “The Persistence of Memory,” featuring the famous melting clocks, being his most well-known work. Later, Dali became fascinated with science, nature, and religion, incorporating elements of all three into his paintings. Several of the grandest of these works are housed at the Dali Museum and measure over 10 feet by 13 feet. Dali did not restrict himself to painting. He produced many works of art in sculpture, film, fashion, photography, and furniture.

            Dali the man was every bit as grandiose and bizarre as his artwork. He was expelled from the inner circle of surrealist artists for his narcissism and pursuit of prominence, and was famously quoted as saying, “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali.” His pointy, long, flamboyant mustache is famous the world over, and his personal eccentricities sometimes overshadowed his artwork.

            I’ve barely been able to scratch the surface of the Dali’s work and fascinating life. To learn more about the man and his art, check out these books from the Morrill Memorial Library: “The Secret Life of Salvador Dali” by Salvador Dali, “The Persistence of Memory: A biography of Dali” by Meredith Etherington-Smith, “The World of Salvador Dali” by Robert Descharnes, “Salvador Dali” by Jessica Hodge, and “This is Dali,” a partially graphic novel by Catherine Ingram and Andrew Rae. And if you’re ever in St. Pete’s, absolutely visit The Dali - you won’t be disappointed.

Contributors to the Morrill Memorial Library "From the Library" Column

Library Director, Charlotte Canelli began writing columns for the Peterborough Transcript in 2001 when she was the Youth Services Librarian at the Peterborough Town Library, 2001-2005. Soon after becoming the director of the Morrill Memorial Library, she began to write weekly columns for the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript. Since February 2009 other Morrill Memorial librarians have written many other columns. They include: April Cushing, Vicki Andrilenas and Liz Reed, Adult and Information Services Librarians; Jean Todesca, Kate Tigue, Nicole Guerra-Coon, Children's Librarians; Allison Palmgren, Technology Librarian; Sam Simas, Web Designer; Bonnie Warner, Literacy and Outreach Librarian; Diane Phillips, Technical Services Librarian; Norma Logan, Literacy Coordinator; Nancy Ling, Outreach Librarian; Cynthia Rudolph, Graphic Artist and Circulation Assistant; Jeff Hartman, Sr. Circulation Assistant; Margaret Corjay, Circulation and Outreach Assistant; Patricia Bailey, Circulation Assistant; retired librarians Hope Anderson, Marie Lydon, Shelby Warner, Margot Sullivan and Tina Blood; previous MML librarians, Beth Goldman, Kelly Unsworth, Brian Samek and Jenna Hecker; and library interns Kirstie David, Meredith Ruhl, Samantha Sherburne, Melissa Theroux and Khara Whitney-Marsh.