Source: The Bergen Record, March 12, 1974 

Paintings On Loan

By John Uzzi, Staff Writer

Painting on LoanSo the boss is coming to dinner, and you need something to cover that spoiled spot on the wallpaper.

Your local library may have just the thing in its collection of circulating art reproductions.

Many libraries are making are reproductions available to residents the same way books are available, and the popularity of the program seems to be restricted only by the public's awareness of it.

Bergen County residents who participate in the rotating art programs are enthusiastic in their support.

"Its just one of the finest innovation," said Joshua Salem, of the Paramus collection.  "A lot of people miss the enjoyment of painting."

The Salems like the variety of the library's 400 artworks and 35 pieces of sculpture and credit the program with educating their two children.

"It is the most wonderful way for them to become familiar with art," Salem said.  The collection includes reproductions of many famous old masters.

Paramus artworks are displayed in various homes but in other more surprising locations as well.  Marybelle Richardson borrows a piece of art each month to brighten her guidance office at Paramus high school.

And each month a library painting is hung in a meeting room at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church.  The room was dedicated by Leonard H. Hards in memory of his son, who was killed in an accident.

Every four weeks Hards visits the library and borrows a painting to reflect the season.  

This month a painting of Notre Dame Cathedral in France is hanging in the room to note the impending visit of a bishop.

"I'm retired, and I have the opportunity to select what I want," says Hards, explaining that he prefers the rotating art to a permanent piece since the circulating art allows variety.

The Paramus library has been circulating art for five years.  The also supply 8mm films in a program that began as an experiment and hasn't stopped in four years.

The Teaneck Library has gone a step beyond the art reproductions.  It offers a collection of 50 original etchings and watercolors by area artists

"People who borrow original graphics have gotten beyond reproductions," said Hilda Lipkin, coordinator of special programs.

Artists like the program because of the exposure.  It is so popular Mrs. Lipkin is considering expanding the collection, which is provided by artists on a loan basis.

the Englewood Library has offered more than 100 art reproductions for the past several years and last year had pieces borrowed as much as 400 times.

In September, Englewood instituted as series of circulating prints and sculptures.

Fair Lawn has one of the largest reproduction collections.

The 683 reproductions circulate the same way books do, and the library reports that three quarters of the pieces are out at any given time.

The fair lawn collection was one of the first in Bergen County, starting some 18 years ago.

The Westwood Library offers no reproductions through its adult service, which are available to residents from River Vale. But Westwood does have a mini masters series of art reproductions for children.

River Vale has 100 prints and 50 pieces of sculpture available to borrowers.  Its program has been in effect for more than a year.  River Vale library facilities are available to residents of Washington Township, Hillsdale, and Park Ridge, as well as Westwood.

"We try to pick out things that appeal to children, but adults take them out also," said Florene Terhaart, director of the Westwood Library children's room.

In most cases the reproductions can be signed out for a month.  Some libraries restrict that to two weeks and some charge minimal borrowing fee.

None of the libraries reported any instances of damage of the art.

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