FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Security Director Anthony Amore chat with readers on Sunday, March 9, at 2 p.m. at the Groton Public Library, a highlight of a series of programs that celebrates the 2014 Groton READS book pick, The Art Forger, by Barbara Shapiro. Shapiro’s best-seller is a mystery-thriller set in Boston and sparked by the 1990 art heist at the museum, the largest unsolved art theft in history.
The speakers will discuss the ongoing investigation and allow time for a question-and-answer period. In addition, Amore, the museum security chief, will be selling and signing copies of his book, “Stealing Rembrandts.”
During the 1990 heist, 13 works of art, including paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer, considered among the most important and valuable works in the world, were stolen. In Shapiro’s novel, an aspiring young Boston artist finds herself at the center of an intrigue involving forgery and theft of a famous painting by Degas.
The Art Forger has garnered a number of awards since its publication in 2012, including the 2013 New England Book Award for Fiction, the 2013 “Must Read” for Massachusetts, and The Boston Globe’s Top Mysteries of 2012.
“A Journey Inside Rembrandt’s Paint” will be held on Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m. by local visual artist Donald Shambroom, whose work hangs in the MFA and the MMOA in New York. Shambroom will use one of the Gardner’s stolen paintings, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” by Rembrandt, to show how Rembrandt captured movement, light, and drama in paint. He will also discuss the painting techniques as described in The Art Forger.
Wonderful art isn’t just in museums — it is everywhere, as evidenced by the many talented artists in and around Groton. We celebrate these local artists by turning the Library’s top floor into a “Pop Up” Local Artists’ Fair on Sunday, March 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. Drop by to view the art, meet the artists, sample food from local bakeries, and listen to live music. As a preview for this fair, we have a current exhibit of works from participating artists in the Library’s Art Gallery for you to enjoy through the end of March.
Wish to discuss the book before meeting the author? Please join our GPL Book Discussion Group as they discuss The Art Forger on Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. All are welcome. We hope other local book groups will also read and discuss this year’s Groton READS book. The Library has several copies and can borrow many more from other libraries. The book is available in hardcover, paperback, large print, audio CD, on library e-readers, and as downloadable e-books and eaudiobooks from OverDrive and Freading (available through the Library).
There are Groton READS events for younger audiences, too. There will be an Art Scavenger Hunt Family Activity at the Library on Saturday, March 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. Do you like solving puzzles? Come to the Library for some after-hours fun and adventure! We will have activities for teenagers, children and families throughout the building: figure out clues, hunt for objects, and play games to collect pieces to solve the ultimate puzzle!
There are also corresponding Groton READS book selections for 4th through 8th graders. Middle-schoolers will read Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne, a mystery involving the Gardner Art Heist, and author Erin Dionne herself will attend the “Hot Books, Hot Chocolate” Book Discussion on Thursday, March 6, 7-8 pm. “Book Worms”, our monthly book discussion group for 4th and 5th graders, will be reading Masterpiece by Elise Broach, about recovering a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for their meeting on Tuesday, March 4, 4-4:30 p.m.
For teens grades 6 and up, Author Erin Dionne will present “Boston’s History and Mystery” on Thursday, March 6, 6-6:45 p.m. The city of Boston is known for its historical sites, but did you know it’s full of real-life mysteries? From the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist to pirate treasure on the Boston Harbor Islands, we’ll uncover some of Boston’s secrets. The author will explain what drew her to these real-life puzzles and how she created the book Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking.
All events will be held at the Groton Public Library. Groton READS and all events are made possible by the GPL Endowment Trust. For more information about programs or to sign up, please visit gpl.org or call the library at 978-448-8000.