George Turner’s Scrimshaw Thimble

If you read the Enterprise Library Happenings column, you may have noticed mention of a question we received about a scrimshaw thimble. It turned out that the question was so fun and the thimble so adorable that it was worth turning into a blog post! 

We received an email from a staff member at the Montreal West Public Library who was working on cataloging a collection of thimbles donated to their location. (Check out Thimble Thursdays on their Facebook Page!) They knew that the maker of this thimble was George Turner of Falmouth MA, but had no other information about the artist, and wondered if we could help them. First we checked the Reference books we have on scrimshaw artists (helpfully titled Scrimshaw Artists and More Scrimshaw Artists) but they did not list a George Turner.

I then turned to the digitized historic Falmouth Enterprise to see if I could learn anything about a George Turner, and quickly found a detailed obituary of a prominent citizen, George Henry Turner, who lived from 1858 to 1939. And as a young man he’d spent time at sea on a whaler! He seemed like a very likely candidate for the creator of this thimble, and as a bonus I got to learn more about Falmouth History reading about his life. He was accidentally born in Cotuit, raised on a farm in Hatchville, went to sea young, came back to take over the family farm after his father died, ran multiple businesses including a fish market and a grocery store, and in his retirement years was known for driving around town in a venerable Model T. An all-encompassing Falmouth life!

If you know more about George Henry Turner you’d like to share with us, and especially if you know anything about this thimble, which was added to the collection by purchase in 1989, please be in touch! We can also put you in touch with the librarians at Montreal West who are caring for this little seagull now.

(Click on these newspaper clippings to enlarge them.)

Looking for America: Sculptor Hiram Powers’ Falmouth Legacy

In the Katharine Lee Bates entryway of the Main Library sits an elegant sculpture hidden in plain sight. Executed by world-renowned American-born Hiram Powers (1805-1873), the piece delights the viewer who happens to look up and notice. 

On Tuesday September 26th, at 4pm in the Hermann Meeting Room. Falmouth Museums on the Green’s Executive Director Rachel Lovett shares her research on Powers, his notable works, and how this historic piece came into the collection of the Falmouth Public Library.

This program is free to the public courtesy of a member of the Falmouth Historical Society Board of Trustees. All are welcome. Please register as space is limited.

August Art: Inspired by Shakespeare

We called, and you answered! Community responses to the 2023 Falmouth Reads Art Challenge are now available for viewing in the Adult Room at the library on the Art Walk.

Members of the public (and some library staff!) chose a famous phrase by Shakespeare to interpret in two-dimensional artwork; media include fabric, pen and ink, collage, and paint!

If you’re belatedly inspired by gazing on these works of art, create your own and drop it off in the Administrative Office! The art will remain on display through August.

Falmouth Reads: Graphic Novel Events

Our 2023 Falmouth Reads book, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, is named for the graphic novel that is created by one character, and much loved and carried around by another. Did reading the book get you wondering more about graphic novels, where the medium came from, and maybe even how you make one yourself? Our day of graphic novel exploration is for you! Join a visiting graphic novelist and educator for a lecture and a hands-on workshop.

Visual Literacy & the Graphic Novel, Wednesday August 16, 10:30am in the Hermann Room.

From the Bayeux Tapestry to Maus, Hokusai to airplane safety cards, sequential visuals have long been used to entertain and inform. Unlike verbal literacy, visual literacy is not generally taught, yet an understanding of it is employed for comprehension and analysis on a daily basis. Via a brief history of comics and an overview of the rise of the graphic novel, we’ll explore the significance of visual literacy and how it features in literary culture today. If your interest in graphic novels was piqued by reading 2023’s Falmouth Reads Together title, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, this lecture will help you learn more about the medium’s history and current status. Please register.

Hands-on Graphic Novel Creation Workshop, Wednesday August 16, 2:00pm in the Hermann Room.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to create your own graphic novel? Join us for a hands-on workshop with experienced author-illustrator Marika McCoola that will get you brainstorming, storytelling, writing, and drawing – even if you’re a complete novice! If reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, the 2023 Falmouth Reads Together title, got you inspired to explore your creativity in this format, join us for the Graphic Novel Workshop on Wednesday August 16 from 2-3:30 in the Hermann Room. This workshop is suitable for teen and adults, and we ask you to register as space is limited.

Marika McCoola is an illustrator, educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of Baba Yaga’s Assistant. She holds a MFA in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College.

July Art Exhibit: Cape Cod Beach Scenes

During the month of July, the Falmouth Public Library will feature photographers from the Upper Cape Camera Club in a special juried print exhibition of 32 photographs of scenes from many of Cape Cod’s beaches.

Earlier this year the club had a print competition which focused on photographs of Cape Cod beaches. This show includes photographs from that competition and other beach scenes from around the cape.  Club members whose photographs are included in this summer’s exhibition are Greg Anderson, Phillip Beach, William Brydon, George Dalin, Frank Fernino, Barbara Hecker, Molly Johnston, Jen Kano, Michael Klehm, Carol Knox, Jeannine Lavoie, Kevin Ledwell, Charles Mazzone, Peter Partridge, Jay Phyfer, Laura Puopolo, Claudine Reilly, Phil Richardson, and Milt Williamson.

The Juror for this exhibit is Laura M. Reckford.  Laura is the executive director of the Falmouth Art Center. She was a longtime reporter and editor at the Enterprise newspapers, in addition to working as a writer and editor in magazines and radio. Laura says about the show: “These Cape Cod beach images, by Upper Cape Camera Club members, are a reflection of the skill of the members in capturing creative and compelling images. Since they also show our beaches in various seasons and times of day, with crowds of people or just a lone beachgoer, they are a wonderful reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.”

Ms. Reckford selected one Best in Show, awarded to Jen Kano for her photograph “Corridor to the Beach”.  She also selected four honorable mentions which were awarded to Phillip Beach for “Digging the Last Rays of Sunshine at Old Silver”, to Charles Mazzone for “Rock Harbor Breakwater – Cape Cod”, to Claudine Reilly for “Chappy in Black and White” and to Milt Williamson for “Beach Fence”.

Additionally, as they have done in previous years, the library staff and the library trustees chose their favorite photograph for an award; this year the award went to Frank Fernino for “Chapoquoit Beach – Feb. 2015”. 

The show will be on view during library hours for the month of July in the library’s “Art Walk”, located on the main floor beyond the stacks.

Falmouth Reads Art Project!

All’s Well That Ends Well

In A Pickle

Heart Of Gold

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Break The Ice

Love Is Blind

The World Is My Oyster

There are countless phrases that we use today that originated with William Shakespeare.

With a nod to this year’s book pick “Station Eleven,” which draws some of its inspiration from Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” The Falmouth Reads Together Committee invites artists and dabblers of all ages and abilities to interpret their favorite Shakespeare phrase or idiom into a work of two-dimensional art for an exhibit this summer at the library.

Artworks should be suitable for hanging and will be displayed in the library’s Art Walk for the month of August. 

Submissions should be brought to the library by the end of the day on July 15 and will be available for pick up after August 31.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Station Eleven, drop by the Main Library or request a copy through the online catalog! Watch this space for announcements or more events and activities about Station Eleven.

March Art: Paths of Discovery

It’s March and the Falmouth Public Library has a new abstract art exhibit!  Stop by the Adult Collection room between Wednesday, March 1st and Friday, March 31st to view Paths of Discovery: A Show of Paintings by Ron Zweig.
“As someone who has spent most of his life traveling the earth, I have found that the same sense of discovery can be found in the practice of art as well. When initiating any form of visual abstraction, the inspiration for what follows often flows from the first image and then moves on to the next, intertwining at times, in a dance of self-generating ideas.” 

February Art Show: Zaria The Artistt

Zaria Cain-Williams, also know as Zaria The Artistt, will be showcasing her very first art show here at the Falmouth Public Library!
Stop by the Adult Collections room between Wednesday, February 1st and Saturday, February 28th to check out her 30+ pieces of art during Black History Month!  Please bring your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, students and anyone else you might know to come with you to enjoy this event together.
Zaria The Artistt is a 21 year old Multi-Media Artist from Cape Cod.  She began creating art in the form of poems/raps, comic books, filmmaking and more at a young age.  Her artwork in all of its forms manages to be timeless in its ability to bridge the gap between faith, culture, and authenticity.

Art Exhibit: Paintings by Gary Boehk

The Falmouth Public Library invites you to visit a new exhibit of paintings in the Adult room of the library. The paintings are on display now and will continue to be on view through the month of November.

Gary Boehk is primarily a plein air and representational painter with decades of experience painting landscapes on site in Cape Cod, Florida, and France. However, during his career Gary’s abstract painting has been an important tool for exploration into different approaches to painting. The progression into abstract can be seen in Gary’s representational works, especially plein air in Provence, France where shapes are perceived as less defined. (see

Abstract painting is a focus on color, shape and the interaction on the canvas. It enlivens creativity and it brings playful feelings and directions into the paint. The process is guided by a more subtle playful voice that resides deeper in the awareness, a voice not constrained by the conventions of representational paintings. Gary would characterize his abstract painting style as Gestural or Action where the painting is an expression of motion and it works best when the paint on the canvas stays open or wet so that the interaction can be fluid until the painting is finished and dry. 

Gary is delighted to be showing these paintings at the Library; it is the first time many of them have ever been seen.

An Illustrated Tour of Falmouth Cemeteries

Join the Falmouth Public Library, Oak Grove Cemetery Association of Falmouth, and Falmouth Genealogical Society for a ‘Welcome to the Graveyard: An Illustrated Tour of Falmouth’s Cemeteries’ presentation by The Gravestone Girls on Wednesday, October 19th from 6pm-8pm in the library’s Hermann meeting room! (Photo Credit: “Oak Grove in Winter” by Carol Knox)

‘Welcome to the Graveyard: An Illustrated Tour of Falmouth’s Cemeteries’ is a 90 minute illustrated ‘virtual tour’ chronicling cemetery art, history and symbolism. From the colonial New England burial grounds of the 1600s and 1700s, through the nation-wide rural cemetery movement of the 19th century and into 21st century locations, this program examines why we have cemeteries and gravestones, why they look like they do and how styles and art have evolved over almost 400 years. Prior to the show date, The Gravestone Girls will hit the road and go through the cemeteries in Falmouth, taking pictures for use in building the presentation with as much local content as possible.  Q&A to follow.

The Gravestone Girls “create decorative artwork using the beautiful and primitive images carved on olde New England gravestones; give lectures and tours on cemetery art, history and symbolism as well as teach gravestone rubbing classes! Their work aims to entertain and educate on the historical perspective of old cemeteries by documenting and preserving the beautiful art they contain.”

Registration is required.  To register, click here or call the library at 508-457-2555 extension 7.

This program is co-sponsored by the Trustees of the Falmouth Public Library, the Oak Grove Cemetery Association of Falmouth, and the Falmouth Genealogical Society.