|Location||St. Johnsbury, Vermont|
St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
The Athenaeum in 1906
|Location||St. Johnsbury, Vermont|
|Architect||John Davis Hatch III|
|Architectural style||Second Empire|
|NRHP reference No.||96000970|
|Added to NRHP||July 18, 1996|
|Designated NHL||July 18, 1996|
The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, is a combined library and art gallery. The building in which it is housed is architecturally and historically significant because of its construction. The Athenaeum is also noted for the American landscape paintings and books in its collection and its having been funded by Horace Fairbanks, manufacturer of the world's first platform scale. The art collection contains a number of Hudson River School paintings. This building retains a strong Victorian (French Second Empire) flavor of the 19th century.
When the library opened, the collection consisted of 9,000 books selected by bibliographer William F. Poole.
In 1873, Fairbanks added a small art gallery. This is now one of the few art galleries in the United States that features late 19th century Victorian-style design which highlights intricate paint/stencil schemes, detailed moldings, creative natural lighting, and unique painting installations.[ citation needed ]
The walls and floor are black walnut. The art gallery is lighted naturally from an arched skylight in the ceiling. Cases on two sides of the room contain art books in tooled leather bindings. Gilt-framed paintings are displayed.
One hundred works of art are on display. Besides originals by American artists, there are also copies of European masterpieces.The major part of the collection is by American and European artists from the late eighteenth century to the middle nineteenth century. Hudson River School painters include Asher B. Durand, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sanford Gifford, a Luminist painter, James and William Hart pastoral landscapes with cattle. Western scenes are portrayed by Samuel Colman and Worthington Whittredge. Dominating the room is a canvas, ten by fifteen feet, of the Domes of Yosemite, by Albert Bierstadt.
European painters represented by original works of art include: Bouguereau ("Raspberry Girl"), Félix Ziem ("Venice"), Charles Euphrasie Kuwasseg, and Louis Pinel de Grandchamp.
The Athenaeum's library shares a unified catalog and circulation system with over 50 other Vermont libraries through the Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries.
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The St. Johnsbury Historic District encompasses much of the historic civic and commercial center of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Representing a significant expansion of the Railroad Street Historic District and the St. Johnsbury Main Street Historic District, it captures the historical tension and competition between Main Street and Railroad Street for primacy as the town's most important civic and commercial areas. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The St. Johnsbury Main Street Historic District encompasses the historic civic and cultural center of the town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Organized along the town's Main Street, it includes high-quality architecture spanning the 19th and early 20th centuries, and includes the National Historic Landmark St. Johnsbury Atheneum. Many of the district's buildings were designed by Lambert Packard, a prominent local architect. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and was enlarged slightly in 1976. It was subsumed into the larger St. Johnsbury Historic District in 1980.
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