Brockton Public Library has a strong tradition as a cornerstone of art in the City of Brockton. In 1903, Leander A. Churbuck suggested that if a library was to be built, it should contain an art gallery. He communicated with Francis Davis Millet, then Secretary of The American Federation of Arts at Washington, D.C., to request additional funds from the Carnegie Foundation to include an art gallery in the new library. Mr. Millet assured him he would do all he could to acquire the increased appropriation. Horace Richmond, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Library, Mr. Churbuck, and Frank Whitmore personally met with members of the Carnegie Foundation and consequently secured an additional $35,000.
During the intervening years, Brockton Public Library sponsored a very active program and acquired a museum-worthy art collection, starting with the Walter Copeland Bryant bequest. The library owns works by Thomas Dewing, John Twatchman, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, William Rimmer, Louis Kronberg, J.J. Enneking, Arthur Godwin, William Merrit Chase, and Jan David de Heem to name a few.
In 2020, the Library Board of Trustees established a fund to purchase contemporary art from regional artists. Since 2020, the library has purchased five paintings and has commissioned three paintings and two mosaic sculptures. Additionally, the library hosts two Brockton Public Schools student exhibits and one Brockton Public Schools Art faculty exhibit annually.
The Brockton Public Library also partners with Brockton Arts Inc., a Brockton-based organization of artists, designers, and curators whose mission is to promote art and culture in the Brockton area. Brockton Arts curates various meeting rooms and wall space in the Thomas P Kennedy Main Branch of the Brockton Public Library.
Here we have brought you a digital representation of Brockton Public Library's Collection, ever growing, ever changing; classical and contemporary art side by side. Enjoy on-line or in person.