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Stairwell Gallery |  Talk on Mowbray Mural |  Chair Yoga for Everyone |  Journalism During the Cold War & Today |  Stained Glass Window Presentation |  Conversational Spanish for All |  Author Amy Julia Becker |  Sing Out! CT Concert |  World War I Exhibit at the Museum |  Book Basement |  e-Readers at the Gunn |  Museum Passes |  Search the Museum's Catalog |  Connecticut Room |  Junior Library Programs

View Our Event Calendar!

Stairwell Gallery: "Hagakure/Behind the Leaves — Photographic Sketches of My Backyard" by Mio Akashi

October 4 to November 15 with an opening reception October 4th from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Shepaug River - Foggy Afternoon; 21" x 84"; 2013

To refer to the work of Mio Akashi as nature photography seems an understatement. It is far too mystical. The smoky, misty layers of atmosphere in her color photography compel you to look further as if there is more to be revealed. Shepaug River - Foggy Afternoon (2013) is roughly two feet by seven feet. It was taken at a "Y" in the river and it evokes thoughtful contemplation. Many of her color photographs are so subtle and her black and white photos of trees devoid of their leaves such as Night Ash I (2012) are riveting in their simplicity.

Born and raised in Japan, Mio graduated from Kwansei Gakuin Univery in Hyogo, Japan with a BA in English Literature. She lived in Tokyo where she worked in publishing as an editor and translator before moving to New York City in 1986, where she studied interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, graduating with a BFA in Interior Design and Fine Arts in 1991.

After a career as an Interior Designer, she developed an interest in photography. She studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in 2000. In 2003, when Mio began spending weekends in Litchfield County, her interest in landscape design and photography merged. She shares of one of her backyard revelations, "One afternoon during the long stay at my country cottage I saw nature’s form obscured behind the veil of summer leaves. The weather battered old trees with twisted trunks, thick rambling brush and tangled branches of abundant apple orchards – I could see them as natural art forms.... I had traveled over a half around the world exploring several mediums and careers. My search ended on that afternoon. I found art hiding behind the leaves in my backyard.

This exhibit may be viewed during library hours. For further information please call (860) 868-7586 or email chartman@biblio.org.

Ceres and Proserpine in Connecticut: H. Siddons Mowbray's Mural for Gunn Memorial Library

See mural details
On Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 p.m. we welcome Dr. Sally Webster when she will deliver an engaging, and at times touching, illustrated presentation on the renowned New York muralist and painter, H. Siddons Mowbray, and his creation of Gunn Memorial Library's crowning treasure, the Mowbray Ceiling Mural.

Unveiled with much festivity and fanfare 100 years ago on July 4, 1914, this grand mural was donated by Mr. Mowbray, who owned a home in Washington, CT, in memory of his late wife. An architectural masterpiece, the Gunn's vaulted ceiling is divided into in four panels that depict the Greek myth of Proserpine, daughter of Ceres, being abducted by Pluto. The four seasons are represented along with end-panel quotations from Emerson.

Mowbray's work also graces the Morgan Library, the University Club Library, and the Appellate Court House in New York City. More of Mowbray's work can be found in St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, CT, nearby Gunn Memorial Library.

Dr. Sally Webster is Professor Emerita of American Art at Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. An authority on historic murals and monuments, her most current book is Eve's Daughter/Modern Woman: A Mural by Mary Cassatt. More recently her essay "Fables of abundance: The Huntington murals are installed in the newly renovated Yale University Art Gallery," appeared in The Magazine Antiques. This year her book-length study, The Nation's First Monument and the Origins of the American Memorial Tradition, will be published by Ashgate. Professor Webster is a writer in residence in the New York Public Library's Wertheim Study.

For more information please contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or gunnprograms@biblio.org.

Chair Yoga for Everyone

Join us on Monday, October 27 at 1:00 p.m. as we welcome Beth Aleksinas, owner of Bramasole Wellness Center in Morris, CT for a demonstration of Chair Yoga.

This session is for anyone who has ever hesitated to try yoga. Chair Yoga is a gentle, non-traditional form of Yoga that reduces strain on limbs and joints. It is a gentle and fun, yet therapeutic form of exercise providing all the benefits of yoga including improved strength, flexibility and overall mobility. Just about any pose that can be done standing, sitting, or lying on a mat can be adapted to sitting on a chair. This class will include breathing exercises, meditation, stretching, strengthening and a lot of fun — all while sitting on a chair. Participants should wear comfortable street clothing.

Beth Aleksinas is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Yoga Instructor and has been teaching since 1981. She is trained in Chair Yoga, Yoga, Fitness Training, Reiki, Reflexology and most recently certified to teach Tai Chi for Better Balance and Fall Prevention (recognized and endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation.) Ms. Aleksinas, a native of Morris, CT has been working with others to help them to achieve optimal health and wellness for over 30 years. She is passionate about what she does and never tires of going to work each day.

For more information visit www.bramasolewellness.com

Journalism During the Cold War & Today

We are pleased to welcome journalist and author George Krimsky, of Washington CT, for a fascinating PowerPoint presentation entitled "Journalism During the Cold War & Today." This program will take place on Thursday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the library's Wykeham Room.

Mr. Krimsky will speak about international journalism during the Cold War, when the world arena was largely seen as a competitive game between superpowers and when the print press still ruled the media roost. As background he will describe the major differences in geopolitics and media from then to now. George Krimsky will talk about his experiences in Moscow in the 1970s when he was a reporter for the Associated Press and was expelled by his Soviet hosts on what he calls a false charge of spying.

"Being a foreign correspondent in those days may seem as staid as an armchair chess game, compared to the high-tech gunfight at the OK Corral today, but it was not without its excitement," he says.

George A. Krimsky, who lives with his wife, Paula, in Washington, CT is a journalist and author who spent much of his career working abroad. He covered the Soviet Union during the Cold War and the Middle East in the late 1970s before managing the World News Department for the Associated Press. He later co-founded a media training center in Washington D.C and capped his career in community journalism here in Connecticut.

After the discussion and visual presentation, Mr. Krimsky will be pleased to take questions and comments. For more information please contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or gunnprograms@biblio.org.

A Gunn Gem: J&R Lamb Studios Stained Glass Window Presentation

We welcome Markis Tomascak, owner of Dragonfly Studios, on Sunday, November 2 at 1:00 p.m. for a presentation on his expert restoration of the library's intricately designed J&R Lamb Studios stained glass window. Designed by Frederick Stymetz Lamb, this stunning creation was donated in 1908 to the newly built library by Richard Storrs Barnes - in memory of his late adolescent son, Goodrich Barnes. This glass gem was completely restored by Mr. Tomascak in 2010.

The picturesque scene shows two women of ancient Greek, or perhaps Roman, dress and style. Engaged in artistry and literature these women are clearly representations defining the practicality and importance of education and culture. How appropriate that for the last century they have been featured in the stained glass window at the centerpiece of Washington's cultural center, the Gunn Memorial Library.

The women are shadowed by flourishing fruit trees. The woman on the right stands against the blossoming tree absorbed in a tablet she's studying. On the left, the other woman sits leaning against identical vegetation, gently sketching while hidden from the soft, goldenrod skies around her. The partition between them is a picture of a window adorned with ivy and other such growth.

Founded in 1857, J&R Lamb Studios is the oldest continuously operating facility in the United States and has been at the forefront of Stained Glass art, creating (and restoring) works for major religions, public entities and private facilities throughout the United States and the world.

Markis Tomascak is the owner/artist of Dragonfly Studios in New Milford, CT, where he resides. The studio restores stained glass, designs original stained glass, antique lighting as well as mirror restoration and creates etched glass, gilding, blown glass, graphic design and signage (site signs, vehicle graphics, four color vehicle wraps, banners, interior and exterior signage - large and small). In addition, the studio also offers tee shirts, airbrushing, photography, promotional items and classes. Some of Mr. Tomascak's clients include Harvard University; Yale University; Pottery Barn; Astor Chocolate; Budweiser; Cadillac; Royal Carribean Cruise Lines; Delancy Street Foundation; St. Gregory's Church, Danbury, CT; United Methodist Church, New Milford, CT; St. John's Episcopal Church, New Milford, CT; St. Paul's Church, Brookfield, CT; Mariani Gardens, Armonk, NY; White Horse Pub, Marbledale, CT; and Colony IV Diner, Bethel, CT — among many others. For more information on Dragonfly Studios please visit their Facebook Page. Mr. Tomascak can also be reached at 203-788-5005 or dragonflyglasssign@yahoo.com

Conversational Spanish for All

We are pleased to welcome Washington resident Ruth Jaffe as she leads a program entitled "Conversational Spanish for All." This will be conducted on Mondays at 11:00 a.m. on November 3, November 10, December 1 and December 8.

This is the ideal opportunity for those who wish to learn basic conversational Spanish, as well as for those who wish to strengthen their verbal skills in the language. All ages, stages and levels of proficiency in Spanish are welcome. The gatherings will take place in the casual, relaxed setting in the Reading Room of the library, inviting spontaneity of interaction. Structured guidance and individual, as well as group, feedback will be focal elements of each meeting. Be prepared to conquer your linguistic reticence and take a leap into ESPAÑOL!

Participants are welcome to join one or more of the discussions and also invited to brown-bag their own late breakfast or early lunch.

Ruth Jaffe is a psychoanalyst/psychotherapist in private practice in Washington, CT, and Manhattan. Her academic background, particularly in her native Argentina, includes the teaching of languages from elementary through college levels. As a teenager, she attended the renowned Instituto Nacional del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas, from which she graduated with a teaching degree prior to her acceptance at the School of Medicine of Buenos Aires University. She later came to the U.S. on a scholarship to study Psychology — and the rest "es historia."

For more information please contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or gunnprograms@biblio.org.

Washington Author Amy Julia Becker

On Thursday, November 13 at 6:30 p.m. we welcome local author Amy Julia Becker for a discussion and signing of her newly released book Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most.

Almost every day, one of Amy Julia's children says something or asks something that prompts her to think more carefully. Small Talk is a delightful narrative based on these daily occurrences. It tells stories based upon the questions and statements her children have made about the things that make life good (such as love, kindness, beauty, laughter, and friendship), the things that make life hard (such as death, failure, and tragedy), and what we believe (such as prayer, God, and miracles).

Amy Julia moves in rough chronological order through the basic questions her kids asked when they were very young to the more intellectual and spiritual questions of later childhood. Small Talk invites other parents into these same conversations, with their children, with God, and with themselves. Moving from humorous exchanges to profound questions to heart-wrenching moments, Amy Julia encourages parents to ask themselves — and to talk with their children about — what matters most.

Amy Julia Becker was selected as one of the 50 most influential people in Litchfield County by Litchfield Magazine in 2014. She writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by Publisher's Weekly. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Parents.com, First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hartford Courant, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, and Books and Culture.

Visit Amy Julia's website at amyjuliabecker.com. For more information about this program, please contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or gunnprograms@biblio.org.

SingOut! CT performs a Winter Extravaganza

Join us on Sunday, November 16 at 2:00 p.m. when SingOut! CT will present a Winter Extravaganza to welcome the beauty of the season. Please note: This free performance will take place at the First Congregational Church in Washington - just across the street from the library.

Connecticut's favorite new glee group will perform sacred melodies, beautiful folk songs selections from The American Songbook, Classical surprises, and Broadway favorites. Their performance is sure to brighten your day and keep you humming for weeks to come.

Comprised of singers aged 8-18, this premiere vocal ensemble is devoted to guiding young singers to develop their fullest potential as choral artists and soloists.

Director Alecia Adams Evans, named one of the 50 Most Influential people of Litchfield County in 2014 by Litchfield Magazine, has worked as a conductor and vocal coach for children for over 25 years. She is a known theatrical performer and holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory and North Carolina School of the Arts. For more information visit www.singoutct.org.

Book Basement

After cleaning out old merchandise and restocking the shelves with "new" used books, the Book Basement resumes regular hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 to 2.

Come in and browse the newly added fiction, non-fiction, biography, history and children’s books. The history has been organized into major wars as well as American and European categories and more. There is an entire wall of new fiction. The new stock includes "specials" — frequently collectible and highly sought after titles priced far less than what can be found on internet book sites. A large collection of books about antiques will be featured, among which the series, American Furniture by Luke Beckerdite, is covering 1993 to 2010. A selection of Irish literature includes many signed books of poetry. There is a section of local authors and many are autographed.

If you haven’t been to the Book Basement before, now is the time! There are over 8,000 books on varied topics and for every age. Since the Book Basement is constantly restocking, if you don't find something one day, come in another to find additional titles that have been added. It is a bibliophile’s cornucopia!

Call the library for further information at 860-868-7586 or email chartman@biblio.org.

e-Readers at the Gunn!

Six Nook e-book reading devices have been added to our junior library collection, featuring titles for children and independent readers. Three are black and white models, with illuminated screens yet no glare in sunlight, and three are full-color tablets, perfect for younger picture book readers as well as movie-watchers with a Netflix account.

Four Amazon Kindle e-book reading devices continue to circulate from our adult circulation desk. Residents 18 years or older with a current library card may borrow an e-reader, and a Borrower's Term of Agreement must be signed. The e-reader program is made possible by a generous donation from the Shea family.

Museum Passes

Looking for a fun day trip? Museum passes are free to check out for for a three-day loan to Gunn patrons.

New Britain Museum of American Art — Free admssion for four people. (One adult must accompany children under 16). Pass is valid for general admission only. Additional fees may apply to special exhibitions, events and programs. Library pass cannot be used for Docent-led tours.

Wadsworth Atheneum — the ARTpass offers free general admission for up to two adults and two children (ages 6-17).

The Junior Library has more passes.

Explore the Connecticut Room

Looking for your ancestors? Want to learn more about your house? Is there something here in Washington that you've always wondered about? To explore the resources available in both the Connecticut Room and the Museum, please call 868-7756 for an appointment.

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