Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:
Public one-hour tours of the Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Ave., which showcases the striking interior and exterior embellishments designed and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be offered at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 and noon on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Reservations are required as space is limited Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors.
To make a reservation, visit www.ayermansion.org or call 617-536-2586
The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St., will host a solo exhibition by artist Michelle Jung now to Oct. 27 in the President’s Gallery.
An artist talk and reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 and an artist’s demonstration will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Admission is free.
Visit www.guildofbostonartists.org or call 617-536-7660 for more details.
The Partnership of the Historic Bostons will present “The Puritan Legacy: Today and in American History” as part of the annual Boston Charter Day celebrations, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.
Although 17th century life was religiously focused, historian Stephen Kenney will explain the Massachusetts Puritans’ more complex legacy in this lecture. People are often surprised to learn of the positive outcomes of the Puritan period, but they are numerous: democratic elections, public education, scientific inquiry and business development are just a few.
The moralistic Puritans obsessed over questions of good and evil, and their concerns may have planted the seeds for a culture of continuous reform.
An RSVP for this free event is requested but not required, at www.eventbrite.com/e/the-puritan-legacy-today-and-in-american-history.
For more information, visit www.historicbostons.org
Boston’s hidden history
The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome author and history buff Dina Vargo for a discussion of her new book “Hidden History of Boston” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Boston is one of America’s most historic cities, but it has quite a bit of unseen past. Riotous mobs celebrated their hatred of the Pope in an annual celebration called Pope’s Night during the colonial era.
A centuries-long turf war played out on the streets of quiet Chinatown, ending in the massacre of five men in a back alley in 1991. And William Monroe Trotter published the Boston Guardian, an independent African American newspaper, and was a beacon of civil rights activism at the turn of the century. Vargo will shine a light into these stories and others in the cobwebbed corners of Boston’s hidden history.
Admission is free.
Call 617-536-5400 for further details.
Rescuing Notre Dame
The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., present “Rescuing Notre Dame: A Look at the Gothic Masterpiece Today” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
President Michel Picaud of the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris and Mathias Sieffert of Harvard University will enlighten the audience on Notre-Dame’s unique and romantic history and grave misfortunes, including its infamous 1845 renovation and perilous situation today.
The panel will be followed by a cocktail reception with light refreshments.
Tickets are $15 for members and $25 for non-members.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call 617-912-0400 or visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org
Americans in WWI
The documentary “The Devil Dogs” will be screened from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St.
Filmed in 2016 in France and the U.S., the documentary features the work of Giles Lagin, a World War I historian and tour guide who has dedicated his life to connecting with American descendants of soldiers who fought in World War I. Since childhood, he roamed the land in and around Belleau Wood where, in June 1918, the U.S. Marines stopped the German advance just a few miles from Paris. Those Marines earned the name of “Devil Dogs” and made victory possible for the Allies.
Carolyn Cole Kingston and Diana Cole, granddaughters of Major Edward B. Cole U.S.M.C., and Madeleine Johnson, grandniece of Captain Lothar R. Long, were together in France to be filmed for part of this engaging film. They will be on hand to answer questions about their unique experience.
Registration is suggested for this free program, online www.americanancestors.org or by calling 888-296-3447.
Conversation with Teddy Roosevelt
Actor and author Ted Zalewski will bring to life one of America’s greatest presidents in a free program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.
Combining history, drama and fun, this performance gives voice to many of Theodore Roosevelt’s own words, writings and beliefs. Cowboy, soldier, naturalist, historian, father, statesman and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Roosevelt lived a life that inspires us still.
Visit www.bpl.org or call 61-536-5400 for further details.
The French Cultural Center of Boston, 53 Marlborough St., with present “La Rentree Musicale” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct.11.
Francesca McNeeley and Eva Aronian will perform works by Maurice Ravel; Giovanna Confalone and Velleda Miragias will present Mélanie (Mel) Bonis’ “Sonata in F Major, opus 67 for cello and piano;” and Clemens Teufel and Nathan Rodriguez will close the evening with an opera recital, featuring pieces from Bizet.
Light refreshments will be served during the intermission. Admission is $12 for members and $24 for non-members.
Further information can be found at www.frenchculturalcenter.org or by calling 617-912-0400.
The 10th annual Boston Book Festival will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 and 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 in Copley Square at the Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St.; the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St; the Old South Church sanctuary, 645 Boylston St.; the Church of the Covenant, 93 Newbury St.; John Hancock Hall, the French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., and at outdoor areas.
Events will include presentations, panels, author talks, family and children’s programs, writing workshops, competitions, antique books and live performances.
More than 45 authors will be participating, including Justine Bateman, Kendra Taira Field, poet laureate Danielle Legros Georges, Regie Gibson, Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ben Bradlee Jr., Christopher Lydon and former Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Entertainment by Tyson Jackson, Autumn Jones, the Shakespeare Time-Traveling Speakeasy, Paddington Bear, Rainbow Fish and more will take place at the Festival Stage at Copley Square from 11a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information and a complete listing of events, visit www.bostonbookfest.org.
Boston by Foot will once again showcase the Back Bay’s literary history during the annual Boston Book Festival, which takes place in Copley Square on Saturday, Oct. 13.
BBF guides will lead free literary tours throughout the festival, including “Aesop’s Fables,” a 20-minute children’s tour around Copley Square featuring public art related to Aesop’s Fables starting at 10:30 a.m.; and a literary “mini-tour” featuring authors and writers in the Back Bay at noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. This 45-minute stroll through Boston's charming Back Bay includes information about authors Edgar Allen Poe, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Kahlil Gibran.
Please visit bostonbookfest.org for more information about the festival and the free tours.
The annual John Winthrop School street fair will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 on Marlborough Street between Berkeley and Clarendon streets.
Festivities will include moon bounces, live music, face painting, photo booth, a trackless train ride, animal visitors, dance party, pony rides, trucks and much more. Food from local businesses and restaurants and a bake sale with homemade goodies will be available.
This is a scholarship fundraiser with the proceeds directly benefiting families in need of tuition assistance.
For more information, call 617-267-7159 or visit www.johnwinthropschool.org.
Art inspired by Walt Kuhn
A new exhibition, “Le Masque and Kuhn’s Metaphors,” an original exhibition and experiment in perception from local artist Alastair Dacey, is being displayed now through Nov. 10 at the French Cultural Center of Boston, 53 Marlborough St.
Inspired by Walt Kuhn’s response to European Modernism in the early 19th century, Dacey spent two years exploring Kuhn’s unique vision and style, seeking to interpret select portraits and use them as guides and catalysts to create wholly new works of art. Recreating the look and feel of each piece posed questions of design, color and form as well as the overarching question of exactness and how literal to be in the details—right down to the feathered caps and embroidery.
The exhibit is free, but reservations are recommended.
Visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org or call 617-912-0400 for more information and to RSVP.
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 12.
The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.
For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit www.emmanuelmusic.org.
Victorian Back Bay
Boston by Foot is offering 90-minute guided, walking tours of the Back Bay at 2:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays, now through October. Walkers will meet the guide on the steps of Trinity Church at Copley Square.
Visitors will discover how the Back Bay, once a body of water, was filled in and how the neighborhood was developed in the mid-19th century to become one of the nation’s richest collections of art and architecture. The treasures of the Back Bay tour include Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, Old South Church and the grand Back Bay townhouses.
Tickets are $13 for adults, $8 for children from ages 6 to 12 and free for members if purchased in advance or an additional $2 if purchased from the guide.
For more information, visit www.bostonbyfoot.org or call 617-237-2345.
Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.
Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.
Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at www.bpl.org/central/tours.htm.
For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.