The Quadrangle is the common name for a cluster of museums and cultural institutions in Metro Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, on Chestnut Street between State and Edwards Streets.
|Location||Metro Center, Springfield, Massachusetts|
|Type||Cluster of museums and cultural institutions|
The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, in the center of the Quadrangle, is surrounded by a park, a library, five museums, and a cathedral. A second cathedral is just on the Quadrangle's periphery.
On the corner of Chestnut and State Streets, Merrick Park is distinguished by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens The Puritan, a statue depicting one of Springfield's settlers, Deacon Samuel Chapin. Springfield Central Library and Christ Church Cathedral are adjacent to the park.
Springfield City LibraryEdit
The Central Library, constructed in 1913, was paid for by Andrew Carnegie. It is the second library to be built at that location. The nonfiction department is based in Rice Hall (named for William Rice), consisting of a main floor and mezzanine. Opposite Rice Hall is the Arts and Music Hall, where multimedia, periodicals, and the computer lab are based. The circulation desk lies in the rotunda between the two halls. Fiction, children's literature, and community rooms are in the basement. The Central Library also has a Teen Advisory Board — a grouping of teenagers who help make decisions and organize events at the library geared towards teenagers.
The Roman Catholic St. Michael's Cathedral adjoins the neo-classical Springfield City Library at the southeast corner of the Quadrangle.
Also located near that edge of the Quadrangle is the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts' Christ Church Cathedral.
Springfield Museums Corporation operates the Dr. Seuss Memorial and five museums on the Quadrangle. In 2013, the Springfield Museum consortium achieved national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, a distinction awarded to only 6% of national museums in the US. In September 2016, Springfield Museums was named as a Smithsonian affiliate, opening up new opportunities for cultural and historical exhibits, as well as educational programs.
George Walter Vincent Smith Art MuseumEdit
The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is the oldest museum on the Quadrangle. The museum is named for the collection's original owner. Its exhibits express the taste of Smith and his wife, Belle, and they bequeathed their notable collection to begin the museum. The building dates from 1895 and was designed by Renwick, Aspinwall and Russell and Walter T. Owen.
The Ancient Treasures Gallery displays objects from ancient Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. The gallery also presents Greek and Roman sculpture from the recently acquired Blake/Purnell Collection of antiquities, and ancient Chinese ceramics and bronzes from the Bidwell Collection. Greek pottery and glass from the George Walter Vincent Smith Collection complement the classical sculptures.
The Japanese Arms and Armor Gallery, in addition to holding Smith's extensive collection of Oriental armor, is the site of an ornate Shinto wheel shrine carved during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Among other collections is a 150-piece holding of Chinese cloisonne work, one of the most extensive collections outside of China.
Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine ArtsEdit
The Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts features mostly American and European works including those of Massachusetts native John Singleton Copley and lithographs of Currier and Ives. Works by Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and others can be found in the European collection. The Museum features many interactive exhibits as well. It also has Late Medieval and Renaissance paintings by Spinello Aretino, Nicolás Francés, Domingo Valls, Pordenone, Daniele da Volterra (Diana), and Goswin van der Weyden. It also has Baroque and 18th Century paintings by Pierre Patel, Jacob Jordaens, Emanuel de Witte, Jan van Goyen, Ferdinand Bol, Jean-Étienne Liotard, Canaletto, and Giovanni Paolo Panini. There are also American paintings by Erastus Salisbury Field, Frederic Edwin Church, George Bellows, and Georgia O'Keeffe. There are also contemporary works of art by Helen Frankenthaler, Joseph Grillo, and Lisa Hoke.
Springfield Science MuseumEdit
The Springfield Science Museum displays elements of natural and physical science from the Eco-Center featuring live animals, to the African Hall, which gives visitors a ground-sky perspective of an ecosystem on the Savannah. Dinosaur Hall includes a lifesize Tyrannosaurus rex model and skeletons from other dinosaurs, including a cast of Stegosaurus and both a legbone of Alamosaurus and fragment of a tyrannosaurid believed to represent a new species, both collected in a 1920s Amherst College expedition led by one Fred Brewster Loomis. The museum also features a planetarium – the first built in the United States, and one of the very few of the era not built by Zeiss – and earth science exhibits. Additionally, the museum has its own observatory with a 20-inch (51 cm) telescope that is periodically open to the public.
Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture GardenEdit
The Quadrangle's perimeter was at one time open to vehicles, but was closed off in the 1990s, becoming a pedestrian-only park. Soon after that, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden was opened. Several statues depicting Springfield native Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and many of his creations were sculpted and placed on the Quadrangle green.
Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield HistoryEdit
The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History opened in the fall of 2009 on the former site of famed painter James McNeill Whistler's childhood home. It tells the story of Springfield, and in particular, highlights its role as "The City of Progress" and "The City of Firsts". The collection features exhibits on the numerous inventions and pioneering manufacturing techniques innovated there, the city's role in American history, as well as examining Springfield in a broader context as a city during various eras, (e.g. different wars, several mass immigrations, and changing transportation technology). Exhibits of antique cars and firearms, formerly housed at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, showcase the city's various industries. Also included is a large number of items from the former Indian Motorcycle Museum.
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss MuseumEdit
The newest museum on the Quadrangle, opened in 2017, The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum blends artifacts and information about the life and work of Dr. Seuss with interactive exhibits aimed at children. The museum is housed in the William Pynchon Memorial Building, formerly home of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, which closed in 2009.
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