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MALDEN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – The Malden Public Library has more to offer than just a quiet place to read or study, it’s also home to a great art collection.

For more than a century, Malden Public Library has housed the Converse Art Galleries, which were made possible by a gift from the Converse family in 1885. This gift enabled the library to acquire an entire collection of art from all over the world. world.

The library’s collection includes works of art ranging from paintings by Dutch masters of the 1600s to local artist Frank Stella. Malden Public Library Dora St. Martin said Stella has a special connection to the library.

“Stella grew up in Malden, and her mother would take her to the library for history and art lessons,” St. Martin said. “We actually have three wonderful works of [him] representing his period of the 70s and 80s.”

St. Martin said she believes the library’s art collection is a hidden gem.

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“It’s always fun to see people’s reaction to the collection,” St. Martin said. “When you walk into a room and see a Frank Stella original in your own town, your knees sag a little.”

Galleries are open during local history hours on Monday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. and Wednesday afternoons from 2-4 p.m.

WBZ’s Carl Stevens (@CarlWBZ) reports.