GrotonREADS 2014

The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro

February 25 - April 8, 2014

Thanks to everyone who helped organize and participated in this years GrotonREADS events, reading and celebrating Barbara Shapiro's The Art Forger

2014 events included a kick-off with a trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on Wednesday, February 26. Our Grand Finale was a program with author BARBARA SHAPIRO on Tuesday, April 8, at 7 pm.

Other programs included: a talk given by an FBI Special Agent who investigated the Gardner Art Heist and the museum's former Security Director; a Scavenger Hunt in the Library for families; a presentation by an artist to help us understand the painting techniques Rembrandt used to create "Storm on the Sea of Galilee," one of the works stolen from the Gardner Museum; and book discussions and related events for 4th-8th graders. In addition, we offered a lifelong learning course on understanding art for beginners. There was also a celebration of local art as the Library held a Pop-Up Art Show for 25 area artists. Thank you to all who came! Events were free and open to all.

GrotonREADS is a community-wide reading event orchestrated by the Groton Public Library and sponsored by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust. GrotonREADS is now in its tenth year. Click here to see a list of past GrotonREADS titles.

GrotonREADS 2014 Events:


  • Why We Call It Art: A Lifelong Learning Course led by Donna Nowak, Tuesdays, February 25 - March 25 (5 sessions), 7:00-8:30 pm
    Have you ever looked at a famous painting and wondered why it is considered great art? Using the basic visual elements and the principles of design, this seminar will take some of the mystery out of understanding art. We will use slides, books, and interactive activities as we explore art, with many examples. At the end of the series, there will be an option to take a tour of the MFA with the facilitator to examine some of the works studied. Please sign up on our online event calendar. Course is limited to 15 participants.

  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Trip, Wednesday, February 26, leave GPL at 8:45 am and depart ISGM at 4 pm
    The GrotonREADS kick-off event will be a bus trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The trip includes a group tour of the museum, entrance to the special exhibit by Sophie Calle about the heist, “Last Seen…,” lunch at the Museum’s Café G (for those who pay $32 in advance), and an opportunity to browse in the museum gift shop. Registration opens on our online calendar at 12 noon on Wednesday, January 29. Trip is limited to 30 adults, so sign up promptly! Groton residents will receive preference.

  • Family Activity: A Scavenger Hunt in the Library, Saturday, March 1, 4:00-6:00 pm
    Do you like solving puzzles? Come to the Library for some after-hours fun and adventure! We will have activities for teenagers, children and families throughout the building: figure out clues, hunt for objects, and play games to collect pieces to solve the ultimate puzzle!

  • The Gardner Heist, Sunday, March 9, at 2:00 pm
    Find out first-hand about the famous Gardner art theft from FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly, who headed up the investigation, and the Gardner’s Security Director/Chief Investigator, Anthony Amore (also the author of Stealing Rembrandts). They will discuss ongoing efforts to recover the 13 missing objects, including masterpieces by Vermeer and Rembrandt, now valued at more than $500 million.

  • A Journey Inside Rembrandt's Paint, Sunday, March 23, at 2:00 pm
    Using one of the stolen Gardner paintings, Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” local visual artist Donald Shambroom will show how Rembrandt captured movement, light, and drama with paint. Shambroom will also discuss and demonstrate painting techniques described in The Art Forger.

  • GPL Book Discussion Group: The Art Forger, Tuesday, March 25, at 7:00 pm
    Join us as we discuss The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro. Open to all adult readers.

  • Pop Up Art Show, Sunday, March 30, 1:00-5:00 pm
    There is an incredible number of talented artists in Groton and surrounding communities. We highlight this fact with a Local Artists' Fair in the Library. In addition to this one-day event, enjoy a preview with a sampling of works from these artists on display in our Art Gallery throughout February and March.

  • Author Barbara Shapiro, Tuesday, April 8, at 7:00 pm
    Barbara Shapiro will speak about her decades-long fascination with Isabella Stewart Gardner, the 1990 art theft from the Museum, and a recent interest in art theft and art forgery that all came together when she asked herself, "What would any of us be willing to do to secure our ambitions? Unknown artists, famous artists, collectors, brokers, and gallery owners? Me? Belle?" The Art Forger was the result.

Groton READS 2014 Events for 4th-8th Graders:


  • "Book Worms" Book Discussion, Tuesday, March 4, 4:00-4:30 pm
    Our 4th and 5th grade book discussion group will be discussing Masterpiece by Elise Broach. Friends Marvin the beetle and 11-year-old James become involved in helping the Metropolitan Museum of Art recover stolen Albrecht Durer masterpieces.

  • Author Erin Dionne Presents: "Boston's History and Mystery," Thursday, March 6, 6:00-6:45 pm
    For grades 6 and up. The city of Boston is known for its historical sites, but did you know it’s full of real-life mysteries? From the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist to pirate treasure on the Boston Harbor Islands, we’ll uncover some of Boston’s secrets. The author will explain what drew her to these real-life puzzles and how she created the book Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking.

  • "Hot Books, Hot Chocolate" Book Discussion, Thursday, March 6, 7:00-8:00 pm
    Our Book Group for 6th-8th graders will discuss Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne, a mystery about the Gardner art heist. The author, Erin Dionne, will attend the discussion.



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More about the author

Barbara Shapiro

Barbara Shapiro is the author of The Art Forger, a literary thriller about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist that spans three centuries of forgers, art thieves, and obsessive collectors. She is also the author of five suspense novels: The Safe Room, Blind Spot, See No Evil, Blameless and Shattered Echoes, as well as the nonfiction book, The Big Squeeze. She lives in Boston and teaches creative writing at Northeastern University.

Visit the author's website

Watch the book trailer online

Read the review in The Boston Globe (10/11/2012)

Read the review in The New York Times (12/28/2012)