The Pember Observes ‘First Friday’

The Pember Observes ‘First Friday’

The Pember Observes ‘First Friday’


Vermont artist Robert Birbeck brings his unique project combining art and literature to The Pember’s First Friday event.

The Pember Library and Museum hosts Vermont artist Robert Birbeck for its February First Friday and month-long exhibit. Opening on Friday, February 5, at 7 p.m., the solo show will display pencil portraits of all 75 authors on the Modern Library’s list of 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century, along with their corresponding works. (Several writers have more than one book on the list.) All 75 sketches will be on display First Friday, then the display will rotate 24 portraits a week for the rest of February. Circulating copies of the novels will be available to check out.

Known primarily as a painter and sculptor, Birbeck has exhibited at major shows and has received numerous awards. The author drawing series came to him as the result of a dry spell in which he struggled for new sculpting designs. “I felt I was repeating myself,” said Birbeck, “and decided to take a break. I had come across Modern Library’s list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century, and decided to start reading from (it). After finishing several of the books, I began doing pencil sketches of the authors. What began as a rest period from creating new sculpture, became a wonderful, new experience in itself.”

Birbeck will be present at First Friday to answer any questions. Musician Stephen Havel will be performing his unique repertoire, and food and refreshments will be available. The Pember Library and Museum is located at 33 West Main Street in Granville, N.Y. For details, call 518-642-1515 or visit


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