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Read/Eat/Chat Book Club

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Read/Eat/Chat Book Club


Our art-themed book club is open to anyone and everyone interested in joining us.  Come to one meeting or attend them all! We read books on art, artists, museums, curators, architects, Newport and more. See below for a full schedule of upcoming books and meetings.

Read/Eat/Chat normally meets the third Thursday of the month, unless otherwise noted. 

 

Read / Eat / Chat

"Genius of Place: The Life Of Frederick Law Olmsted" by Justin Martin

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "Genius of Place: The Life Of Frederick Law Olmsted" by Justin Martin, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

Book Descriptions:

Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central Park to Boston's Emerald Necklace to Stanford University's campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career was shadowed by a tragic personal life, also fully portrayed here.

Most of all, he was a social reformer. He didn't simply create places that were beautiful in the abstract. An awesome and timeless intent stands behind Olmsted's designs, allowing his work to survive to the present day. With our urgent need to revitalize cities and a widespread yearning for green space, his work is more relevant now than it was during his lifetime. Justin Martin restores Olmsted to his rightful place in the pantheon of great Americans.

Read / Eat / Chat

"Calvert Vaux and Touro Park: Did Calvert Vaux design the 1855 landscaping plan and the 1871 Music Stand?" by James Alan Egan

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "Calvert Vaux and Touro Park: Did Calvert Vaux design the 1855 landscaping plan and the 1871 Music Stand?" by James Alan Egan, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

Book Description:

Carefully analyzing photos, maps, and newspapers from the 1800’s, research historian Jim Egan has concluded that Calvert Vaux created the 1855 landscape design for Touro Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Egan feels Calvert Vaux also designed the 1871 Music Stand, which stood near the middle of the park until the 1930’s. Who was Calvert Vaux? He was a noted building architect who designed mansions like Beaulieu and Beechwood along Bellevue Avenue. But Vaux was even more famous as a landscape architect. Along with Frederick Law Olmstead, he designed Central Park in Manhattan, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and numerous parks across the Northeast. A breezy writing style and copious graphics (over 500 photos and illustrations) make this a fun read. Along the way, you’ll learn a thing or two about astronomy, the history of riddling, and architectural philosophy (the great rivalry between naturalists and monumentalists). Egan’s book reads like a detective novel, yet all of his conclusions are based on well-documented historical research. Around 1900, fill was hauled in to Touro Park. New walkways were made in the straight X-shaped pattern we see today. But the original serpentine walkways still exist, about a foot under the grass. Egan feels it would be exciting to bring back the original walkway design and make an exact reproduction of the original Music Stand!