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Banner Image: Athenaeum member Charles E. Peterson (1906-2004) [center] during his time with the National Park Service in California, c.1930.

Membership    ·    New Books    ·    Event Calendar

Banner Image: Athenaeum member Charles E. Peterson (1906-2004) [center] during his time with the National Park Service in California, c.1930.


The Athenaeum will be closed on September 2nd for Labor Day.

Exhibition Opening- Laurie Olin: Sketchbooks from the Mediterranean

Landscape Architect Laurie Olin brings his watercolor and pen-and-ink sketchbooks from travels around the Mediterranean to the Athenaeum’s Haas Gallery. Laurie Olin is a distinguished teacher, author, and one of the most renowned landscape architects practicing today. His vision has guided many of the projects most associated with his firm, including the Washington Monument Grounds in Washington, DC, Bryant Park in New York City, and the grounds of the new Barnes Museum in Philadelphia. Unlike some earlier exhibitions of his work, this gallery show does not emphasize sketches leading directly to landscape projects, but instead concentrates on his watercolor and ink sketchbooks with images from Egypt, Greece and Italy. In 2013 Laurie Olin has received both the 2012 National Medal of Arts and the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture.

Free Admission 

Exhibition Dates: September 6-November 16, 2013

Special Events:

First Friday / Opening Reception. September 6, 5:00-7:00PM (Remarks at 6:00)

Gallery talk by Laurie Olin, Saturday, October 5, 2:00PM. RSVP required. Contact Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or

Architecture and Identity Program

Architecture and Identity will be a conversation with architects Peter Bohlin and Paolo Desideri moderated by Inga Saffron, architecture critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer.  Peter Bohlin is an architect in Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco. Paolo Desideri is an architect in Rome. Opening remarks will be made by Fabio Finotti, Chair of Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The event is included in the series of initiatives for 2013, Year of Italian Culture in the US, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia.

September 10, 2013, 6:00PM

Free.  RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or



2013 Charles E. Peterson Prize


A student competition of measured drawings, the Charles E. Peterson Prize is presented jointly by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) of the National Park Service, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the American Institute of Architects. The annual competition, currently in its 31st year, honors Athenaeum member Charles E. Peterson, FAIA (1906-2004), founder of the HABS program, and is intended to heighten awareness about historic buildings in the United States and to augment the HABS collection of measured drawings at the Library of Congress. In addition to generating over 5,800 sheets of drawings for the collection to date, the competition presents awards totaling $7,500 to the winning student teams.


Jurors for the 2013 Charles E. Peterson Prize Competition were Hyman Myers, FAIA, President of Preservation Consultants, LLC, representing the Athenaeum of Philadelphia; Aimee Woodall, AIA, Associate, RTKL, representing the American Institute of Architects; and Mark Schara, AIA, HABS Architect, representing the National Park Service.


Taking first place this year was a team from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette who documented the Alexandre Mouton House.  A full list of winners and project descriptions can be found here


Top: Drawing of the east elevation of the Alexandre Mouton House, Lafayette, Louisiana.


CCAHA Oral History Workshop


With countless advances made in audiovisual technology during the 20th century, libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies, as well as families and individuals, set out to capture the stories of the past through recordings. This oral history material was preserved using magnetic recording tapes, film, and digital formats—many now obsolete. While of great value and worthy of preservation, any oral history material in a collection should be considered at-risk until an institution conscientiously develops strategies to preserve it. 

This national conference, intended for archivists, librarians, collections managers, and any other collections staff working with oral histories, brings together noted historians and preservation experts to discuss best practices and methods for capturing and sharing oral histories. 

This workshop is co-sponsored by The Athenaeum. Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Independence Foundation, and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

When: November 6, 2013

Where: The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

For registration and the full schedule click here.  Athenaeum members should register as a member to receive a discounted registration fee.


National Museum Day


On Saturday, September 28, 2013, the Athenaeum will open its doors along with 1,400 other participating venues for the ninth annual Museum Day Live! This immensely successful program encourages learning and the spread of knowledge nationwide. Museum Day Live! tickets are available to download at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please click here.

The Athenaeum will be open from 12:00-4:00pm for Museum Day.


Monday-Friday:  9:00am-5:00pm

First three Saturdays of the month: 11:00am-3:00pm (excluding July and August).



219 S. 6th Street

Philadelphia, PA  19106 


The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  

Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. 


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