Take your picture with the Berkeley Public Library Brushmobile!

January 12, 2015

Contact: Sarah Dentan,
Neighborhood and Children’s Services Manager
Berkeley Public Library

Take your picture with the Berkeley Public Library Brushmobile!

Berkeley, January 12, 2014 — The Berkeley Public Library’s Brushmobile, a model of the paint-powered vehicle featured in Thacher Hurd’s classic Art Dog, will roar off into the night on January 19, 2015. You are warmly invited to come say your goodbyes, share a memory, and even take a picture with the Brushmobile and perhaps some of our Art Dog props.

The Brushmobile and its paint pump are constructed of wood, fiberglass and, of course, paint. Built in 1999 by John Latronica, it was originally part of a display honoring Thacher Hurd at the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier in Binghamton, New York. Before coming to Berkeley, the Brushmobile was also the centerpiece of the Harper Collins tribute to the author in New York City.

Now 15 years old, the Brushmobile is being removed for safety reasons. Designed to be displayed for a brief period in a museum setting, the intention was to keep it in Berkeley Public Library’s Central Library Children’s Room for only a year after the opening of the expanded Central Library in 2002. Patrons immediately took to it, however, and it has been well loved by a generation of Berkeley’s children, resulting in significant wear and tear. “We’re very sorry to have to remove the Brushmobile,” said Sarah Dentan, Neighborhood and Children’s Services Manager, “but it is no longer as stable as it was, and we are concerned about children’s safety.”

Library staff is in the process of identifying an organization to repurpose the Brushmobile for use in another setting. A similarly themed wooden activity center has been selected by children’s librarians for use in the space, and is due to arrive later this winter.

The Central Library is located at 2090 Kittredge Avenue and is open Monday, noon - 8 pm, Tuesday, 10 am - 8 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm, and Sunday from 1 pm - 5 pm. 

Wheelchair accessible. For questions, to request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for this event, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY); at least five working days will help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs. Visit the library’s website: www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.