Library Board Updates Public on Fibrary and Library Artwork

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Rendering of Corona del Mar Fibrary. — Photo courtesy the city of Newport Beach ©
Rendering of Corona del Mar Fibrary.
— Photo courtesy the city of Newport Beach ©

At this week’s Library Board of Trustees meeting, the trustees updated the public on several library-related initiatives, including the Corona del Mar Brand Library renovation, and the donation of artwork by Rex Brandt and Joan Irvine Brandt.


The Fibrary is happening! Plans are underway for the temporary closure of the Corona del Mar branch library during the construction of a combined CdM library and fire station – aka the “Fibrary.”  

No date is set, but temporary closure is anticipated in late summer or early fall.

A CdM Branch closing committee is already committed to making the anticipated 12 to 14 – month shut down as seamless as possible.

Starting in December, Central Library and CdM branch administration members and representatives from Public Works began meeting to combine their considerable expertise to initiate a closure timeline and reconcile general details about the project.  The group will meet at least once a month and more frequently if necessary as target dates approach.  

Children’s programming will be provided during the closure at the Community Youth Center at Grant Howald Park. Concierge service will be maintained at OASIS where residents can pick up holds and return items. The outdoor book drop will remain on-site at the CdM Branch.

The Friends of the Library are considering holding a sale at the Branch prior to closure.  According to Library Director Tim Hetherton, the “collection of current popular volumes would be especially relevant for a sale. We invest in more copies of new titles to satisfy initial demand; these items would be especially desirable at a sale, and proceeds would provide a great start to fund the new collection.”   

Resident concerns regarding the temporary closure and other aspects of the transition can be submitted online at [email protected].

For more information about the Fibrary go to and click on the CdM Branch Library Project Link.

A “Brandt” New Home

Three artworks have a “Brandt” new home at the Newport Beach Central Library. The pieces are all gifts from local patrons.

Gene and Diane Dixon Crain (no relation to Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon) donated two watercolors, “Northwest Gale Newport Jetty” by Rex Brandt, and “Pirate’s Cove from High” by Joan Irving Brandt.

Hugh and Caroline Logan also donated a watercolor, “Big Corona, Under the Lifeguard Stand,” by Joan Irving Brandt.  

The thematically-related works are hung in a vignette in the reading section on the second floor of the Central Library and will soon include commemorative plaques. The overall arrangement creates a charming sitting area to consider the art in a contemplative manner.

Gene Crain is a local attorney. He and his wife, Diane, are art aficionados. They have amassed a world-class collection of watercolors of the Southern California landscape, including the works of Rex Brandt, Joan Irving Brandt, George James, Phil Dike, and Millard Sheets.

Hugh and Caroline Logan are longtime Newport Beach residents and community activists. Caroline is a local artist and serves on the City Arts Commission and Speak Up Newport Executive Board; her husband, Hugh, has served on the City’s Civil Service Board.

Rex Brandt’s legacy in the art world is as a key figure in 1950s “California Scene Painting” – an era devoted to representational works of the scenic terrain of the West Coast.  

Joan Irving Brandt was Rex’s wife and an accomplished painter, sculptor and muralist in her own right, with work on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

Together they co-directed Blue Sky, their art school, residence and studio at the foot of the Goldenrod Bridge in Corona del Mar. Newport Beach designated Blue Sky as a Historic Point of Interest in 2014.  

Both Brandts were instrumental in much of the city’s cultural development – notably, as founders of the Newport Harbor Art Museum and appointees to the City Arts Commission.

All three works are on permanent display at the central library.

Robyn Grant is a member of the Newport Beach Library Board of Trustees.

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