Local art historian Ben Glenn will do a presentation on the famous water lily paintings done by Claude Monet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 7 at the Samuels Public Library in Front Royal.

The event will also serve as a membership drive for the Friends of Samuels Library, a nonprofit support group whose membership dues underwrite library purchases and programs that otherwise would not be possible – items such as new books for the collection, much-needed equipment, and educational programming.

Glenn’s presentation is one of many adult-education programs that Samuels Public Library holds throughout the year.

“The programs are always packed to a standing-room-only crowd with art lovers and those eager to learn,” said Melody Hotek, president of the Friends of Samuels Library. “Ben has a special way of conveying unique facts about the artist as well as what was happening in history during their time while making it great fun for the audience.”

Glenn said that his decision to focus on Monet’s water lily paintings stemmed from a trip he made to Paris, where he visited an art gallery called the Musee de l’Orangerie. The gallery is famous for its two rooms of Monet’s enormous mural-size paintings of water lilies displayed in rooms designed by the artist expressly for them. Inspired by this experience, Glenn began to research Monet’s work devoted to water lilies, which comprises 300 paintings that were created over a span of nearly four decades.

“While many of us can recall a few iconic Monet water lily paintings, there is much more to them in their variety, execution and the influences that led to their creation,” he said. “Many of them are far more groundbreaking than most people realize.”

Glenn said those who join the Friends of Samuels Library from now through May 7 will be invited to a special “New Members Night” including a presentation by him on Monet’s water lily paintings. The cost to join the organization is $15 a year.

– Contact Donald Lambert at dlambert@nvdaily.com