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Banner Image: Curtis and Penn Mutual Buildings as seen from Washington Square.  AIA/T-Square Club Yearbook , 1916.

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Banner Image: Curtis and Penn Mutual Buildings as seen from Washington Square.  AIA/T-Square Club Yearbook , 1916.

The Athenaeum will be closed for Christmas on December 24-25 and January 1 for New Year's Day.

Lecture and Book Signing- David S. Traub, Searching for Philadelphia: The Concealed City

Searching for Philadelphia utilizes photographs to bring awareness of the many largely hidden and unexpected architectural treasures the city has to offer. Most of these would likely be missed except by the curious and alert pedestrian. A photographic collection to be enjoyed for many years to come, Searching for Philadelphia gives recognition to the overlooked views that lend exceptional character and a human dimension to a great American city. David S. Traub, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in the Master Class of Louis I. Kahn. From 1970 to 1973, he worked in Kahnís office and was assigned to two important projects: the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven. In 1974, Traub established his own architectural office on Walnut Street. In 2006, he moved to a Victorian carriage house that he restored in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, not far from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is the author of many articles concerning architectural preservation. He is also the co-founder of the Philadelphia preservation group, Save Our Sites (SOS). Reception to follow.

Thursday, December 5, 6:00PM

Free for Athenaeum Members, All others $10.  RSVP to or call 215-925-2688.


Joseph Bonaparte in Philadelphia and Point Breeze


Since the 1990s the Athenaeum has proudly exhibited parts of its
collections relating to Joseph Bonaparte, the eldest brother of
Napoleon.  This exhibition. which officially re-opens on September
7th, has moved to a room closer to the Athenaeum's Haas gallery with additional objects loaned from the Philadelphia History Museum and from Athenaeum member Peter Tucci. 

This exhibition is mounted as a memorial to Joseph N. DuBarry, IV (1916-1993) whose great-great grandfather, Dr. Edmund L. DuBarry (1797-1853), lived at Bordentown, NJ, and was both friend and physician to the former king.


There's also still time to register for our Joseph Bonaparte symposium:  La France ŗ Philadelphie: Joseph Bonaparte and the French Influence in 19th Century Philadelphia


December 7-8, 2013


Online registration

Upcoming Exhibition: Samuel Breck (1771-1862): Books From the Library of a Philadelphia Francophile

Son of Samuel Breck, Sr., agent to the Royal Army and Navy of France during the Revolutionary War, Samuel Breck, Jr., was sent to the College of Loveze in France when he was 11 years old. Remaining there for four years, Breck then returned to the family home in Boston, but then moved with his family to Philadelphia in 1793. Fluent in French, Breck easily made friends among the large French community residing in Philadelphia. He joined the Athenaeum in 1819 and subsequently donated a large collection of his books in both French and English to the library. This exhibition, with the addition of some items loaned from other collections, represents Breckís donation.

December 7, 2013 - March 1, 2013

Free Admission

Athenaeum Genealogy Group

Athenaeum members who are at any stage of their family history research from beginner to advanced are welcome to participate in this group, facilitated by Circulation Librarian Jill LeMin Lee. Bring your own laptop or tablet computer to log in to the Athenaeum's subscription to Ancestry Library Edition and trade tips with your fellow genealogy enthusiasts. Participation is free, but please register with the front office at (215) 925-2688 or

Wednesday, December 11, 2:00-4:00 PM

Wednesday, January 15, 2:00-4:00 PM

Collections in the News

On Sunday, December 1st, 60 Minutes aired a segment on the construction of the U. S. Capitol dome which included an 1855 rendering of the planned extension and dome from the Athenaeum's Thomas Ustick Walter Collection.  You can watch the video online.  The drawing provided by the Athenaeum appears at 4 minutes, 30 seconds.

A photo of the Boyd Theatre from the Athenaeum's Irvin R. Glazer Theater Collection appears in an article about the theater's future development in the December issue of Philadelphia Magazine. That article can also be read online.

The exhibition Face and Form: The Art and Caricature of Frank Furness which was open in the Athenaeum's Haas Gallery from November 30, 2012-January 19, 2013, is reviewed in the December issue of The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Click here to read the review by Robert Wojtowicz.

Above: Design for extension and dome. Thomas Ustick Walter, Architect, 1855. 


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