Library Receives Historic Painting

The Meadville Public Library has received the gift of a painting representing the portrait of the world-famous author, Jonathan Swift. The painting was given to the Library by Diane Shafer Domnick. Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745) was an English-Irish author world renowned for writing the early English novel, Gulliver Travels and the satire “A Modest Proposal”.

The painting may be one of fourteen similar paintings by Irish portrait artist Francis Binden. The portrait dates back to the early 1700s. A larger full body version of this portrait is on display at the British Museum. Ms. Domnick acquired the painting from a dealer in New York State.  It was in need of cleaning and repair when purchased.

Ms. Shafer-Domnick had the painting cleaned and expertly repaired. “The painting in its current condition looks wonderful,” said John J. Brice,  Executive Director. When asked about the significance of the painting, Mr. Brice commented that “this portrait was created before there was a Meadville. The subject, Jonathan Swift, is one of the most important authors in English literature, writing one of the first English novels, Gulliver's Travels. To have him represented here on the Fiction floor at the Meadville Public Library is very appropriate.”

The painting will be permanently displayed in the Meadville Public Library’s Conference Room and will be available for public viewing when the Conference Room is not being used.  It has been donated in memory of Ms. Shafer-Domnick's parents, Governor and Mrs. Raymond P. Shafer.

140th Celebration!

The Meadville Public Library will be conducting an Ice Cream Social in honor of the Library’s Birthday on Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM in the Library’s Literary Garden.  In addition, the Library will reveal a major new art acquisition at 6:00 PM. The public is invited to attend.

In order to prepare for the party, the Library will be closed at 4:00 PM.  

When asked why the Library choose to have an Ice Cream Social, John Brice, Library Director, responded “we were trying to create a celebration of the past and Ice Cream Socials were very much a thing in May 1879 when the library was formed.  In addition to the refreshments, the music selection will be of songs from the end of the nineteenth century.”

The Library will be revealing a new and significant piece of artwork which will be permanently displayed in the Library. “It is a large piece of art that dates back to the early 1700s and though it is not Meadville related, it is very appropriate to have it displayed at the Library”, Brice commented.

Digitize Your Memories

Stop by our media lab to digitize photos, tapes and home videos.

We have:

a large format scanner for photographs
a VHS converter
a cassette tape converter
a slide converter

Use of this equipment is free for everyone with a Library Card.

Learn more on the mediaLAB page, or sign up to use the Lab today!