July 2013 Newsletter
Magician Tom Joyce helped kick off our summer reading program
Magic at the Athenaeum!

Magic was in the air at the Athenaeum on Wednesday, June 26th! We kicked off our "Dig Into Reading" Summer Reading Program with Magician Tom Joyce and over 50 kids, parents, grandparents, and caregivers. We had a group of kids act as a clothesline (complete with fingers as clothespins) to help Tom with his laundry, and another kid fanned the audience to keep them cool. Kids covered their shirts and skin with stickers and grabbed bookmarks for all the books they'll read this summer. (P.S. We have special Summer Reading stickers in the Children's Library sticker box!) If you just couldn't get enough of Tom's magic tricks, be sure to attend our other Summer Reading events!


Don't miss out on Summer Reading! If you haven't already, sign your kids up to participate. This is for all youth, ages 0-18, and every time they read a book (or a book is read to them), they get to fill out a "reading card" and turn it into the raffle box on the Librarian's Desk in the Children's Library. Also, every time they attend an event, they get to fill out an "event card" and also turn it into the raffle box. Starting in July, we'll have raffle drawings for each of the three age groups: 0-6, 7-11, and 12-18. There will be multiple prize options for everyone who wins the drawing!


For more information, contact MacKenzie at mross@stjathenaeum.org or (802) 748-8291, extension 303.


MacKenzie Ross

Youth Services Librarian  

In This Issue
Events Upcoming Events for Adults
Readings in the Gallery: Poet Jerry Johnson with Musician Jon Gailmore 
Wednesday, July 10 at 7pm 

From July through November, we're celebrating the twentieth year of our Readings in the Gallery series with a six-part program featuring authors of poetry and literature. On Wednesday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m., the Athenaeum Art Gallery will come alive with readings and music by poet Jerry Johnson and musician Jon Gailmore. This program is free and open to the public. Click here to see Jerry's website


Art and Culture Series: The Bartram's - Americas First Great Botanists with Walter Mattson

Wednesday, July 17 at 7pm

Walter Mattson will lead a discussion of William and John Bartram. Father and son, the former founded the American Philosophical Society and the latter has been called the most significant American nature writer before Thoreau and a nature artist who rivals Audubon.

Readings in the Gallery: Poet Ralph Culver

Wednesday, July 31 at 7pm


Our Readings in the Gallery series continues with poet Ralph Culver. Ralph is the winner of the Anabiosis Press Chapbook Contest for 2012 and he shares his new collection of poems from his highly praised book, Both Distances. This is the second of a six-part series that will continue through November. It is free and open to the public.
Don't forget that you can watch some of our previous events by visiting our YouTube page.

teenroom Upcoming Events for Teens

Teen Advisory Board Meeting

Monday, July 30 at 2 pm in the Teen Room


There will be a snack and a fun activity at the meeting.   

ChEvents Upcoming Events for Kids
Every Friday and every 1st and 3rd Saturday, 10:30am


The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum will be having storytime in the Children's Library every Friday (a change from Tuesday) at 10:30am, and every 1st and 3rd Saturday at 10:30am. There events are part of the Athenaeum's Acorn Club.


Giggles with Gigi - storytime with Gigi Weisman

Saturday, July 13 at 10:30am in the Children's Library


Gigi Weisman offers youth age 0-6 and their families to play music, be a party of "the band," and even enjoy a story. Located in the Children's Library.  


Sally's Music Circle with Rob Zollman

Wednesday, July 24 at 11 am on the 2nd floor


Rob Zollman brings musical instruments for infants through age 5 with their parents and caregivers, so get ready to move and make some noise! Located on the 2nd floor. 

Connect Connect with us
Facebook Did you know that we're on Facebook? We post unique content almost every day, including book reviews, library events, links to our YouTube videos, and much more.
City Book Review: The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro

Three years ago, Claire Roth was dating her art professor. The relationship ends with her cast as a social pariah in the art world and she takes a job creating reproductions of well-known paintings for collectors who can't afford the real thing. A powerful curator asks her to forge a painting famously stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in exchange for a one-woman show at his gallery. Claire, almost literally a starving artist, agrees, but soon comes to doubt the stolen painting's authenticity. To answer her questions, Claire plays the part of detective, even as she becomes a criminal.


Click the book's cover to be taken to its page in our library catalog! Also available as an audio book



Alex Lent


Curator From the Curator
Found in the Athenaeum Archives this Neapolitan School, 19th Century gouache painting is one of three in the collection depicting Mt. Vesuvius or Pompeii. Luigi Bazzani's Pompeian Interior depicts a courtyard scene before the eruption, and George Loring Brown's Bay of Naples is described by Mark Mitchell as depicting an early phase of the cataclysmic eruption.

Mt. Vesuvius, 1859, Gouache on paper, Unsigned

This painting, looking like a black light poster from the 70s (the 1970's, that is), is in fact a somewhat common depiction of Vesuvius in this medium from this time period. This opaque, rather than transparent, water color medium allows for denser color and a matte or chalky finish which hides the paper substrate.


Professor Eugene Dwyer describes the infatuation with Mt. Vesuvius in the 19th Century:


"Since Pompeii's fate as preview of the end of the world (and decadent humanity's responsibility for God's vengeance) is the chief reason for the city's popularity in the 19th century, it stood to reason that some virtuous persons, namely Christians (some awaiting execution in the amphitheatre) would escape the volcano's fury. As in Bulwer-Lytton's novel, where the regenerate young Athenians escape destruction, leaving the decadent Romans to perish, many of the Christians who appeared in these novels escape the volcano. There is most definitely a theme here."


Bob Joly
Games Art in the Gallery 

We've always displayed art in our gallery,
but now we're creating it there too!

The Athenaeum is running an exciting new program this summer. Kamp Iwannahavfun, a collaboration with Catamount Film & Arts, brings forty campers, a group of 1st and 2nd graders and a group of 3rd and 4th graders, to the Athenaeum every Tuesday and Thursday morning, where our Curator, Bob Joly, leads them in artistic activities.

See more photos of Kamp Iwannahavfun, courtesy of Paul Seaton, here.
trusteenews News from the Board of Trustees

Mary Ellen Reis Joins the Athenaeum Board of Trustees


We are very pleased and fortunate that Mary Ellen (Mel) Reis has joined the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum's board of trustees. Mel has most recently worked at the Athenaeum as our Development and Outreach Coordinator; therefore, she has been the architect of our fundraising and marketing plans. Her most recent success was a well attended and beautifully organized Gala entitled "Hidden Treasures".


Early in May, Mel accepted a position at Lyndon Institute as Assistant Head for External Affairs that plays to her strengths, expertise and professional goals:


Mel has had a long and successful career as a marketing, communications, and branding professional. Prior to her position as Development and Outreach Coordinator at the Athenaeum, Mel served as Director of Admissions and New Business Development at the King George School in Sutton, VT and served as St. Johnsbury Academy's Director of Marketing and Communication.


Beyond the world of non-profits, Mel created her own business known as Packnology and worked for five years with Snapple Beverage Group as Vice President, Marketing-Packaging.


It is evident that Mel is and will be a significant contributor to the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum as she serves as one of our trustees. Her work on the Development Committee will be essential.

Bruce Palmer Returns from a Leave of Absence


I am pleased to announce that Bruce Palmer has returned to the Board from a leave of absence. Bruce is an attorney at Downs, Rachlin and Martin where he has practiced law since 1988 and is a Director and Deputy General Counsel to the firm.


Prior to his leave of absence, Bruce served on the Collections and Library Committees and was instrumental in updating the Athenaeum's by-laws. Since his return, he is now serving on the Collections Committee and the Committee on Trustees.


Bill Marshall

Chair of the Board of Trustees  

Miseducation Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbauch 

Every flower has a meaning. A yellow rose can mean friendship, but it can also mean jealousy, apology or a broken heart. Weaving through past and present, The Language of Flowers is the story of an unforgettable young woman, whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others, even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria Jones is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. At 18, she is free, but alone with nowhere to go.  She eventually finds work at a florist's shop where she learns to trust, and to love, and to feel worthy of love, always expressing her deepest emotions through the floral arrangements she creates and the meanings she learned long ago. At times, tender and tough, this book is everything any mother, daughter or lover of flowers would enjoy.


Click the book's cover to be taken to its page in our library catalog! Also available in large print and as an audio book


Donna Stinehour

Associate Librarian

Building Building and Grounds
A Cleaner, Greener Athenaeum


The Athenaeum is poised to be cleaner and greener with plans to convert our furnace to use cleaner burning propane fuel. This investment will lower our energy costs and earn us back our initial investment in two to three years.


As we have moved into the 21st Century, we have had to explore options the Fairbanks Family never would have dreamed of as energy was so much more affordable in their time. Installing the Skylight, adding insulation, and redoing our windows all have helped.


In August, you will see excavation at the rear of the building as we prepare for Fred's Propane to install underground propane tanks. We plan for the conversion to be in place in time for the next heating season. We are also having our chimney lined to meet current building and safety codes.


We are working hard to keep our patrons safe and warm!

Lorraine Impey
Trustee and Chair of the Building Committee
YSL Book Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Jeanette Walls grew up moving from town to town across the Southwest before she and her family finally settled in West Virginia. To put it kindly, her parents were eccentric, but their eccentricities and financial instability meant that the family suffered from extreme poverty during and beyond Walls' entire childhood. Due to Rex and Rose Mary Walls' inability to effectively care for their children, Jeanette and her three siblings had to take care of themselves and each other. This memoir is on the St. Johnsbury Academy's summer reading list this year, and there's a reason for it. The Glass Castle gives an open and honest view of one person's experience of living in poverty, and it's something we should all be aware of. The story is gritty and absolutely devastating, but the new perspective gained is well worth the read.


Click the book's cover to be taken to its page in the library catalog! Click here to see the Academy's full summer reading list

MacKenzie Ross
Youth Services Librarian
Support Support the Athenaeum Today!
The Athenaeum needs your support in order to continue to offer great services and events. Please consider becoming a supporting patron. To make a donation online, visit our home page.

The Athenaeum is also looking for donations of DVDs, musical CDs, and board games in excellent condition.
Friends Friends of the Athenaeum


Our book sale during the Pet Parade on June 22nd gave us the opportunity to get books out into the community. Our box of free children's books was well received by many young people.  


We are in the middle of our membership drive. If you are not a member, please join us now! Click here to download a membership form. If you are a current member, you can use this form to renew your membership. All renewing and new members will receive a coupon for one free book at Secondhand Prose (maximum value $5.00).


Upcoming events include a $1.00 per scoop ice cream social fundraiser on August 19th. All proceeds go towards a new rug in the Children's Library, and our Annual Book and Pie Sale in September (date TBA). If you have donated pies in the past, we'll be calling in the near future to enlist your help. If you know of someone who loves to bake pies and would be willing to donate one or more for this sale, email us.


We now have a periodic email newsletter to keep folks up-to-date on all our events and volunteer opportunities. Click here to sign up.


Second Hand Prose
Secondhand Prose, our bookstore selling quality used books at bargain prices year round is located at 1222 Main Street. We're open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday from 11AM to 3PM; Wednesdays from 1PM to 5PM; and Friday 11AM to 5PM. During July all books on politics and biographies are 25% off. In August all books on pets and animals are 25% off.
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The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
A National Historic Landmark Library and Art Gallery
Established 1871 

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