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Fiona Davis, National Bestselling Author, to Speak at Bronxville Library Thursday, October 4 PDF Print Email


By Margaret Mager, President, and Irena Choi Stern, Publicity Chair, Friends of the Bronxville Public Library

Jun 27, 2018:  The Friends of the Bronxville Public Library is encouraging book clubs to read The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis in preparation for a special conversation with the national bestselling author that will take place on the evening of Thursday, October 4, 2018, in the library’s Yeager Room.

Davis has established herself as a master of crafting captivating novels about historical New York City. In her fiction, readers are introduced to iconic New York City landmarks (the Barbizon Hotel for Women in her debut novel, The Dollhouse, and The Dakota in her second novel, The Address), through the eyes of women whose lives were transformed by their experiences within the institutions. With meticulous research, dazzling prose, intriguing characters, and an element of mystery, Davis entertains as she enriches readers’ knowledge of bygone eras through a female lens.

This August, she returns with The Masterpiece (Dutton; on sale starting August 7, 2018), sweeping readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them. The Masterpiece opens in 1928 with Clara Darden, a talented and ambitious illustrator and the only female teacher at the lauded Grand Central School of Art, which was founded by the painters Edmund GreacenWalter Leighton Clark, and John Singer Sargent in 1924 and enrolled as many as 900 students a year before closing in 1944.

“Unlike my previous novels, two characters in The Masterpiece are inspired by actual people, former instructors at the Grand Central School of Art,” Davis said. “Arshile Gorky was an abstract expressionist painter who led a large and ultimately tragic life, while illustrator Helen Dryden was considered the highest-paid woman artist in the early 1930s before mysteriously disappearing. The duo provided a jumping-off point to explore the role of women artists at that time and capture an art world and a city in flux, caught between the heady Jazz Age and the depths of the Depression.”

A second timeline in the book takes place in 1974 when the very existence of Grand Central Terminal was threatened. Developers went to court to reverse its landmark status so they could plop an enormous skyscraper on top. Support for preserving the building was tenuous, as the city was almost bankrupt, the terminal a faded glory. The fight to save the building, led by Bronxville’s own Brendan Gill, longtime writer for The New Yorker, and the inimitable Jackie Kennedy Onassis (who makes a brief appearance or two in the novel), informs the story of Virginia Clay, a former socialite fallen on hard times who is forced to take a job in the information booth.

“The novel touches upon issues dear to me: how women’s voices and agency have changed over time, the importance of the arts in our lives, and the hidden stories within New York’s historic skyline,” Davis said.

The novel will be available for sale at Womrath Bookshop on Pondfield Road. For further information, contact the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library at  CLOAKING .   

Pictured here:  The Bronxville Public Library

Photo by A. Warner

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, officeholders, candidates, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


Hemingway-Themed Benefit for Bronxville Library a Sold-Out Affair

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By Irena Choi Stern, Co-Vice President, Friends of the Bronxville Public Library Mar. 13, 2019:  Raise a Glass to Hemingway, the benefit for the Bronxville Public Library held on...

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Books & the Arts Directory

Art Restoration and Framing

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

The Fine Arts Gallery is a beautiful gallery in the heart of our village. It sells original art and specializes in local artists from Bronxville past and present. It provides high end custom framing, art consulting, restoration and appraisals. Appointments are available upon request. It also sells the Historical Conservancy Journals which include a history of the village as well as the artists who have lived here and are presenting living here ($20/copy).

99 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College

171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, NY 10708


Books & Culture

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Womrath Bookshop

Womrath Bookshop is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also sell children's toys and holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

76 Pondfield Road, Bronxville

(914) 337-0199

Music & Performing Arts Schools



Concordia Conservatory

Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.

Executive Director: Kathleen Suss

Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Concordia College-New York

Phone: 914-395-4507

Crestwood Music Education Center

Crestwood Music Education Center, founded in 1987, has established itself as one of the most reputable and premier music schools in Westchester County with well over 800 students studying piano, guitar voice, Suzuki and much more. Their philosophy is to create a very positive, stimulating environment that gives each student the chance for creative self-expression. They believe in the importance of having a world-class faculty with extensive education as well as the teaching and performing experience that can only found in America's finest music schools.

453 White Plains Road
Eastchester, New York 10709


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