New Hope’s tradition as an artistic community is celebrated through artwork in our library.
Paintings, prints, furniture, sculpture, and literary works from some of the community’s more famous residents as well as more contemporary pieces add to the ambiance of this special place. Our philosophy is that the library should be reflective of the community it serves. Please visit and enjoy!
Portrait of Marie Ralston by William Lathrop
Marie Ralston was one of the early librarians of the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury as well as a neighbor of William Lathrop, founder of the art colony of New Hope, Pennsylvania. Lathrop, best known for his landscapes, painted this portrait in 1910. Marie’s sisters-in-law, Edith Morely Smith and Juliet Marshall Smith, were among the original trustees who incorporated the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury in 1918. The portrait currently resides in the director’s office.
Nakashima Tables and Rockers
The Free Library of New Hope and Solebury is honored to be a home to tables and chairs crafted by George Nakashima. Though they are museum quality, Nakashima meant for the furniture to be used, believing that only through use does the spirit of the tree live on. The rocking chairs were made by his daughter, Mira.
Jack Rosen Photographs
Acclaimed primarily for his photos of New Hope and Bucks County, PA, Jack Rosen also was an outstanding photographer of celebrities, and his humorous yet telling editorial photos reveal his sense of justice, while appealing to our higher sense of ourselves. His body of work is a record of our lives, dreams, and aspirations for the period from the late 1950s to the early 2000s, and includes extensive documentation of New Hope and the town’s development during this period.
Carol Collette Etching
From 1970 to 1971, artist Carol Collette created a series of drypoint etchings of street scenes in New Hope, PA. They are printed on Rives BFK with black ink and were never colored. The borders are small (ranging from .75 to 1.5″ ) on all of the prints in this series. The library owns the etching of itself, prior to its move to Ferry Street in 1984.
Community Tile Mural
On January 16, 2016, the Library hosted a community tiling day and invited the children and people of New Hope and Solebury to create a tile that would eventually be part of a mural decorating the children’s entrance in its renovated library. The result, as configured by Terri Herring of Bucks County Artists in Residence, was astounding and branded the library as truly being a community center. Additional tiles were used to decorate the new children’s garden.
The Free Library of New Hope and Solebury hosts a new installation by artist Michael Cooper as the latest feature of the PNC Arts Alive Outdoor Sculpture Project.
The PNC Arts Alive Outdoor Sculpture Project is a free and accessible public art display creating an artistic gateway into the Borough of New Hope. Administered by New Hope Arts since 2003, this walk-able family friendly public art display expanded its outdoor sculpture exhibition as a recipient of a sponsorship grant provided through PNC Arts Alive in June 2015. [ Learn More ]
Libraries provide lifelong learning opportunites for all ages—and learning doesn’t always come from a book on a shelf. The Free Library of New Hope and Solebury is pleased to unveil its new Children’s Garden, providing an enchanting place for our young patrons and their families to explore, read and grow.
Through the combined talents of Hugh Marshall, Bowman’s Wildflower Preserve, local artist Jen Cole, Terri Herring from Bucks County Artist-in-Residence and Girl Scout Troop 2024, the back yard of the library has been transformed into a magical space. Benches, native plantings, interactive elements and beautiful murals are ready to welcome families—just in time for the warm weather. Come and visit—and enjoy!
The circulation desk was crafted by local woodwork artist Birdie Miller as part of the Library’s 2016 renovation. The desk was created using repurposed wood from a Bucks County barn, with the wood of a felled Bucks County tree. Butterfly joints pay homage to the library’s Nakashima furniture.
Olson on Main by Susan Roseman
Susan Roseman of Rose Moon Studios is well-known for her Artie Art series of cards which feature her therapy dog who had a special spirit. Olson was a dog owned by Julie and Bill Levinson of North Main Street in New Hope. Olson tended to escape and head into town (where Bill was involved with The Invitational at John and Peter’s on South Main Street). Susan related to Olson, since she moved onto a New Hope farm in 1973 but would escape downtown.
James Feehan Drawing, Ferry Street Landing
James Feehan, long time Bucks County artist, was asked in the late 1980s by the then-mayor of New Hope, Jim Magill, to draw a visual interpretation of the historical location that was called Ferry Street Landing (now Ferry Landing Park, on East Ferry St.). The drawing depicts the commercial significance of the river landing as well as having an aesthetic in keeping with the artistic history of the New Hope/Solebury area. The drawing was gifted to the library in 2023 by the artist, to honor New Hope’s history and the library’s importance as a community center.
Charles “Chick” Kerr Wood Art Collection
Chick Kerr was a library supporter and frequent user during the 1980s until his death in 2007. During that time he was also an avid collector of wood-turned bowls and wood art. In addition to parts of his collection being donated to the Michener Art Museum and Philadelphia’s Museum for Art in Wood, the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury now houses its own, small collection, to highlight New Hope’s place in the history of wood art and complementing the library’s Nakashima furniture and Birdie Miller circulation desk.