HOW TO HELP If you would like to help Nevins Library’s Trustees with this painting-restoration project (6 more pieces await work) or care of the building, send a check made out to Nevins Library to 305 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844.

By Melissa Fili
MethuenLife Writer

Round 2 of the Nevins family’s private art collection has been restored and returned to Methuen’s historic library!

As we first told you last April, this 16-piece antique collection – which belongs to Nevins Memorial Library – was worn and in terrible condition. It sat in storage for about 15 years until a decision on its future could be made. Last March, four paintings – including two massive portraits of David Nevins Sr., and his wife Eliza – and their intricate original frames were breathtakingly restored, courtesy of funding from the library’s Board of Trustees. Our library, while open to all, relies on a private trust to cover its building costs.

This work was again completed by Oliver Brothers Fine Art Restoration.

Last month, an additional half-dozen paintings and portraits made their return. They include:

* “Learning to Knit” and “Learning to Read,” both by Moses Wight. You’ll find these just beyond the Main Desk, against the wall facing the main entrance.

* Portraits of Daniel Nevins, Miss Mary Alexander Nevins, Miss Mary Alexander Nevins and Young Master Nevins. Daniel is David Sr., and Eliza’s son, and Mary is David Sr.’s sister. Though the artists are unknown, the subjects seem very familiar with their surroundings in the library’s second-floor Great Hall. Their deep eyes appear to intently watch visitors who gather in this space.
But maybe that’s a family trait?

Library staffer Sue Juknavorian, who is thrilled to have the pieces making their return, looked out a large, second-floor window at the massive side-by-side portraits of David Sr., and Eliza and told MethuenLife, “When we walk through at night and close up, it’s like he’s watching us. He’s so stern, with his arms folded. It’s like he’s saying, “Take care of my library!’ “

Not to worry, Mr. Nevins! Your dedicated Board of Trustees and staff are doing just that …