In this issue:

Banner Image: Members' Reading Room, 2012.

Membership    ·    New Books    ·    Donate    ·    Current Exhibition    ·    Event Calendar

Banner Image: Members' Reading Room, 2012.


Athenaeum Used Book Sale


The Athenaeum will hold a used book sale the first week of June.  It will begin with a special members only event.


Members Only Sale and Reception

Friday June 1, 5:00-7:00PM


Contact Susan Gallo at or 215-925-2688 to RSVP for the members only event.


Regular Book Sale Hours

Saturday, June 2, 11:00AM-3:00PM

Mon-Fri, June 4-8, 10:00AM-4:00PM


Book Donations: If you would like to donate books to the book sale please call 215-925-2688 to arrange a time to drop them off.  We cannot pick up book donations for the book sale.


Literary May Author Programs

There are four author lectures and book signings during Literary May. 

Wednesday, May 2, 5:30PM
Alice Kessler-Harris, A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman.

Wednesday, May 9, 5:30PM
Sam Watters, Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935.

Wednesday, May 16, 5:30PM
Jean-Vincent Blanchard, Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France.

Friday, May 18, 3:30PM
Lynmar Brock, Jr., In This Hospitable Land.

These events are free for Athenaeum Members. Contact Susan Gallo at or 215-925-2688 to RSVP.  All others $10.  For more information about these events or to pay online, click here.

Workshop with Ejner Jensen, Ph.D.

Robert Browning and William Shakespeare: The Tempest and Its After-life in Poetry 

May 7, 2012, 4:00-5:30PM

On Robert Browning’s birthday, join Dr. Ejner Jensen in a celebration of Browning’s poetry by beginning with a few of his more generally known poems, such as “My Last Duchess.” Dr. Jensen will then explore the Victorian poet’s use of the dramatic monologue and his response to The Tempest in his challenging poem, “Caliban upon Setebos.” This focus on Browning’s great dramatic monologues will lead into a consideration of other poetic responses to The Tempest and other uses of the dramatic monologue. 

Click here to register

Society Hill Open House Tour

Society Hill’s 34th Annual Open House and Garden Tour will take place on Sunday, May 20, 2012, from 1 to 5 PM. Tickets are now on sale for this most enjoyable, self-guided tour of over ten private homes and gardens in one of our nation’s most historic neighborhoods. Imagine walking on the same brick sidewalks frequented by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin!

Each year, the Society Hill Tour offers a new selection of exceptional homes and gardens that range in style and décor from the 18th and 19th century periods to the most contemporary. According to event coordinators Martha Levine and Linda Skale, “Some people attend the tours for inspirational design ideas they may use in their own homes.” 

Dining With Discounts: After the tour, enjoy dinner at one of six fine area restaurants that offer a 15% discount exclusively for house tour ticket holders. 

Sponsored by the Society Hill Civic Association in Center City Philadelphia, the tour’s proceeds are used for neighborhood improvement and beautification projects. For more tour information, visit and click on the link for Society Hill Open House & Garden Tour.

Advance ticket purchases:  To purchase a ticket, to receive a brochure, or to get more information, please contact Society Hill Civic Association at 215-629-1288, or email: Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour at Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard Street, Philadelphia.

Date: Sunday, May 20, 2012
Time: 1 to 5 PM.
Cost: $30 per ticket in advance, $35 at the door
Group rates available
Complimentary light refreshments
Rest rooms available
Comfortable shoes encouraged

Current Exhibition

A reminder that the final gallery talk on the current exhibition Elegant Things & Vile Uses: The Civil War and the United States Capitol Building will take place on May 4th at 5:30PM.  The talk will be given by Bruce Laverty, Curator of Architecture.  This event is free to all.  Contact Susan Gallo at or 215-925-2688 to RSVP.

The exhibition closes May 18th, but there is now an online version on the Athenaeum website.  Click here to enter the online exhibition.


Capitol Dome Construction, May 15, 1861.  T. U. Walter Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

Member News

On May 12th, Athenaeum Member Ted Robb will be the recipient of the Pomfret School Alumni Award, the highest award the School Alumni Association bestows upon alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen professions and have demonstrated ongoing interest, loyalty, and commitment to the school. In 2011 the Alumni Award went to Ridley Pearson, author of Never Look Back (1985).



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