Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
This monument in the Back Bay is a tribute to the city's fallen firefighters.

Works of Alvin Eisenman

Graphic designer Douglass Scott will give the 44th annual Dwiggins lecture on the work and teaching of Alvin Eisenman at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

Eisenman was a book designer, typographer and the creator of the first graduate program in graphic design in the United States and its head for 40 years.

Admission is free. Call 617-536-5400 for more details.

Art of the revolution

The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., will display “Art of the Revolution: Protest Posters from May ’68” from April 3 to May 1.

The opening will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3 with graphic art historian and author Michel Wlassikoff leading a discussion on his book, “Mai ’68: l’Affiche en Héritage.”

In 1968, student protesters relied on a centuries-old communications medium to broadcast their message: protest posters pasted on walls throughout Paris. Created by art students, the posters are remarkable works that combine satire, irony and verbal and visual punning to create humorous yet powerful political statements. The exhibit includes 10 original posters, along with smaller reproductions, that illustrate major themes and rhetorical techniques.

The reception and exhibition are free, but reservations are required. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information and to make a reservation, call 617-912-0400 or visit

Native Americans and anti-slavery

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present a free talk, “Native Americans and the Anti-Slavery Movement” at noon on Wednesday, April 4.

Natalie Joy of Northern Illinois University will explore Native American participation in the American antislavery movement from the 1830s to the 1860s.

In addition to attending meetings, Indians signed petitions, donated money, organized fundraising fairs, held positions in antislavery societies and assisted fugitive slaves. Most significantly, they influenced abolitionist thought on a number of issues.

Further information is available by calling 617-646-0578 or online at

Introduction to genealogy

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will host a New Visitors Day at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4.

This free orientation and tour will introduce resources available at the NEHGS research facility, home to more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs and records to help research family histories. Tour attendees are welcome to use the resources following the tour. Registration is not required.

Further information can be found at or by calling 888-296-3447.

After the Marathon bombing

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome co-authors Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes in a free talk from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.

Kensky and Downes, a married couple injured during the Boston Marathon bombing, will share their book “Rescue and Jessica: A Life Changing Friendship.” Joining them will be illustrator Scott Magoon and the star of the book and ASPCA Dog of the Year, Rescue.

For more details, visit or call 617-536-5400.

Poetry festival

The 18th annual Boston National Poetry Month Festival will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 and from 1:15 to 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 8 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

Friday’s program will feature keynote poets, including winners of the Massachusetts Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Music and poetry will be presented by the acclaimed group Melopoeia.

On Saturday and Sunday, 50 major and emerging poets, including Poet Laureate Danielle Legros George, Sam Cornish and more will talk about the poetic process.

Book signings, workshops, open mics, live music and more will be held during the weekend.

Admission is free.

For more details and a complete schedule, visit or call the library at 617-536-5400.

Colonial Massachusetts

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will present “The World of Credit in Colonial Massachusetts” with James E. Wadsworth at noon on Friday, April 6.

James Richards’s daybook, a 325-year-old ledger that had been passed down through generations of a New England family, was given to the historian James E. Wadsworth. For nearly twenty years, Richards, a prosperous and typical colonial farmer, tracked nearly 5,000 transactions, involving more than 600 individuals, stretching from Charlestown to Barnstable. He and his neighbors were bound together in a heterogeneous economy, relying on networks of credit, barter and sometimes cash. The daybook also reveals significant social details about Richards and his household. Wadsworth will share this record of economic life and explore how it reinforces and challenges our understanding of colonial America

Admission is free. Call 617-226-1226 or visit for more information and to register.

Poetry, music and dance

As part of Boston National Poetry Month Festival, the fifth annual evening of poetry, music and dance will be held from 7:30 to 9:15 p.m. on Friday, April 6 at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St.

The program will feature writers and performers in an eclectic mix of genres, with artists from Berklee College of Music and Sharon Crumrine, Julian Dinwoddie, Carla Schwartz and Ginger Ibex.

Admission is free.

Visit for further information.

Viola recital

The Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., will present the Chameleon Arts up close concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 8.

Scott Woolweaver and Mark Holloway, violas, accompanied by pianist Vivian Choi, will perform Frank Bridge’s “There is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook,” Paul Hindemith’s “Sonata for viola and piano, Op. 25, No. 4,” George Benjamin’s “Viola, Viola,” Arnold Bax’s “Sonata, GP 251” and Johannes Brahms’ “Sonata in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1.”

Tickets are $25 to $47.

Visit or call 617-536-1970 for further information and to purchase tickets.

Bach cantatas

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 20.

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

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

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

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.