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Stairwell Gallery |  Meditation Group |  Wicked Litchfield County |  Lilac Girls Author |  Early Connecticut Gravestones |  Women's Right to Vote |  Benefits of Chiropractic Care |  Festival of Trees |  Book Basement |  e-Readers at the Gunn |  Museum Passes |  Search the Museum's Catalog |  Connecticut Room |  Junior Library Programs

View Our Event Calendar!


Melody Asbury's "Fur and Feathers"

Renown animal artist Melody Asbury helps kick off the holiday season with a new collection of work in the Stairwell Gallery. The show will be on display from November 5 through December 20 including an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, November 5 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Growing up with an artist Mother, art was an important part of Melody's Life. She started studying painting at the Ridgewood Art Institute while still in her teens. A fascination with people and their character prompted her to specialize in portraits.

Of late her art has dealt with an agricultural theme prompted by her and her son's involvement with agricultural education at the Ellis Clark Regional Agri-Science and Technology program in Woodbury CT. Melody says "The opportunity to study the animals up close, in fields and pens has been invaluable towards understanding anatomy and characteristics." She has expanded to painting birds of prey and other wildlife. And, currently she has been accepted as a signature member of the prestigious international Society of Animal Artists.

Her paintings have won numerous awards through the years and are included in private collections throughout the United States and abroad.

Currently she paints from a studio in her home; she also gives workshops, demos, and teaches painting classes at her studio, and various other locations.

For more information, please contact Sharon Morrissey at 860-868-7586 or gunnstaff@biblio.org

Meditation Group Returns

The Reverend Cheryl P. Anderson will lead another six-week meditation practice group. These gatherings will take place Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. on October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1 and 8 in the Wykeham Room.

Silent meditation is a holistic approach to living in balance with greater equanimity and more fulfilling interpersonal relationships. Participants will be introduced to several different forms of meditation - simple techniques to quiet the mind and calm the heart. Each week, members will have the opportunity discuss their individual practice and spend time together in silent meditation. Come for just one or all of the sessions.

The Reverend Cheryl P. Anderson has been Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Washington for 19 years. She has practiced meditation for 44 years. She is certified to lead Contemplative Prayer groups and retreats and regularly leads spiritual practice groups at the church. She has had training in Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana or Mindfulness Meditation, as well as Centering or Contemplative Prayer. Her own practice utilizes what she has learned from all of them to maintain her equanimity and expand her capacity to love.

For more information about this program, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.


Wicked Litchfield County

On Tuesday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m. local history teacher and author Peter Vermilyea will present a program of devilish tales based on his recently-released book, "Wicked Litchfield County" in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Memorial Library. These will include Barnett Davenport, the nation's first mass murderer; the vast counterfeiting empire of Owen Sullivan and William Stuart, and stories of other thieves, rumrunners and rapscallions from Litchfield County's seedier past.

For more information, see the publisher's web page or contact the Museum at 860-868-7756 or email curator@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org

Lilac Girls Author

Martha Hall Kelly, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Lilac Girls will offer a discussion and signing of this recently released historical novel. The event is Sunday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m. in the Wykeham Room.

There are stories that need to be told. This is one of them.

Extensively researched, Lilac Girls was inspired by the true story of New York socialite and philanthropist Caroline Ferriday. Using her home in Bethlehem, Connecticut and her social position she helped the women (rabbits) who were tortured and experimented on at Hitler's only all-female concentration camp, Ravensbrück, during World War II.

Between 1939 and 1945, it is estimated that 130,000 female prisoners from every country in German-occupied Europe passed through the Ravensbrück camp system. Few survived.

Caroline Ferriday was among the first to awaken the American public to the horrors of Ravensbrück. In 1959, during the Cold War, 14 years after World War II, Ferriday managed to achieve the unthinkable: she got a group of 35 Polish women from behind the Iron Curtain to travel to the US. She made it her mission to bring them to the states for medical treatment, a road trip across America, Christmas at her CT holiday house, and a dinner with senators in Washington, DC. The most remarkable change in the group as a whole was in their emotional and psychological regeneration.

Lilac Girls is told from the perspective of three women whose paths eventually cross: Caroline Ferriday, a German Nazi doctor, Herta Oberhauser, and the fictional Kasia Kuzmerick, a young Polish girl whose character is based on one of the Rabbits, Nina Ivanska.

Their stories cross continents — from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland — as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten. Martha Hall Kelly has crafted a remarkable novel in Lilac Girls of unsung women and their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. It is a story that will keep readers bonded with the characters, searching for the truth, until the final pages. The Hickory Stick Bookstore will provide books for purchase and signing.

Martha Hall Kelly discovered the long forgotten story when visiting the gardens at Caroline Ferriday's Connecticut house turned into a museum, the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Gardens. After 10 years of research, her bestselling novel Lilac Girls was published. Ms. Kelly is a native New Englander now living in Atlanta, Georgia, where she's writing her next book. For more about Martha visit her website at marthahallkelly.com.

For more information about this program, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.


America's First Sculpture: Looking at Connecticut Gravestones

On Tuesday, October 25 at 6:00 p.m. well-known Connecticut historian and author William Hosley will talk about how Connecticut's natural wealth of rocks, minerals and clays led to gravestones becoming Connecticut's earliest domestic art and export industry. This program will explore and illustrate the diverse stylistic traditions in dozens of small shops that produced gravestones from the mid-17th century to the advent of the industrial age. Mr. Hosley will also discuss prospects and possibilities in conservation.

The program will be held in the Wykeham Room. For more information, contact the Museum at 860-868-7756 or email curator@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org

Women's Right to Vote Presentation

Patricia Donovan, immediate past president of the League of Women Voters of Litchfield County and current Membership Director of the Connecticut League, presents Through the Decades: Suffrage and the League of Women Voters. This special event is Thursday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the historic Wykeham Room.

At the same time that a high profile female candidate is seeking the presidency of the United States, this presentation shines a light on a time when women weren't even welcome in the voting booth.

This election year marks the 96th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment that extended the right to vote to women in the United States. Ms. Donovan will share the story of the effort to pass the 19th Amendment, approved in 1920, and the story of the organization that pushed for that change — The National American Women's Suffrage Association, which became the League of Women Voters in 1920.

The presentation will explore the larger suffrage movement, nationally and more specifically in Connecticut, both the pro and anti-suffrage organizations, activities of groups and leaders, plus the continuing advocacy of the League of Women Voters.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization of men and women encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

To learn more about the LWV of Litchfield County visit www.litchfieldlwv.org. For more information about this program, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Dr. Myles Altorelli of Altorelli Chiropractic Wellness and Medicine in New Preston presents "New Age of Chiropractic Care" on Thursday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m.. The doctor will detail the benefits of chiropractic care for drug-free pain relief and enhanced whole body health. He works with patients who have sustained injuries, who are struggling with chronic pain, or those who are simply looking to live a healthier life.

Chiropractic care can help patients live healthier and more active lives. A branch of the healing arts, Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the body's structure, mainly the spine, and its functioning. Dr. Myles practices a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that is supplemented by therapeutic, rehabilitative, nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. The common goal is to help the individual with alignment problems, alleviation of pain, improvement of body function, and facilitation of the body's natural ability to heal.

Each year more than 18 million Americans receive Chiropractic care. Although many of those seek chiropractic care for low back and neck pain, Dr. Myles often treats many other kinds of neuromusculoskeletal issues. These include but are not limited to sprains, strains, extremity pain, tendonitis, headaches, carpal tunnel, and a variety of other musculoskeletal imbalances.

Dr. Myles Altorelli was born and raised in Connecticut. He received his bachelor's degree of the sciences from Fordam University and his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from the University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic. He is an active member of the Connecticut Chiropractic Association (CCA) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). As of December 2014, he is a registered Certified Medical Examiner (CME) for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Through his passion for sports, Dr. Altorelli continues to compliment his traditional chiropractic practice with functional muscle treatments, myofascial therapies, and stretching/strengthening exercises. For more information visit altorellichiro.com

For more information about this program, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Festival of Trees

Join us this holiday season for this joyous community event. Gunn Memorial's annual Festival of Trees cocktail party will take place in the historic Wykeham Room on Friday, December 2 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event features creatively-decorated holiday trees, wreaths and stockings to benefit the Gunn Memorial Library. Peruse the festive hall while sampling wine and hors d'oeuvres provided by local restaurants.

The Library's tree will be decked with Treasure Pouches, each containing a slip of paper bestowing a mystery gift. Attendees may purchase a pouch and claim an item or service that has been donated by a local business including gift baskets, theater tickets, edibles, gift certificates and more.

The suggested donation for the evening cocktail party on Friday is $20 per person. The tree display will be open for viewing at no charge on Saturday, December 3, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Items not sold at the cocktail party on Friday evening will be available for purchase on Saturday.

For further information call 860-868-7586 or email Sharon Morrissey at gunnstaff@biblio.org. Tickets are available in advance at the circulation desk, or guests may pay at the door the night of the event.

Book Basement

Open weekdays 10:00 to 4:00, Saturdays 10:00 to 2:00
Consider Bringing Your Own Bag. Thanks!

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.There are thousands of 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.

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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