In this issue:


Banner Image: Detail of Athena from frontispiece of The Polytechnic C.W. Bazeley, 1821. Engraved by William Humphrys.

Membership        New Books        Event Calendar


Banner Image: Detail of Athena from frontispiece of The Polytechnic C.W. Bazeley, 1821. Engraved by William Humphrys.

Holiday Hours:

November 26th: Athenaeum will close at 1:00PM.
November 27th and 28th: Athenaeum closed.
December 24-25: Athenaeum closed.
January 1: Athenaeum closed.


December Events


Exploring The Athenaeum: Tips of the Iceberg

Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 12:00-1:00PM.  Join Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture for the next talk in this monthly series.  December will focus on the photography of Karl F. Lutz (1896-1976).   To RSVP, call 215-925-2688 or email

Exhibition Opening

Friday, December 5, 2014, 5:30PM.  Reception, Award Presentation, and Exhibition Opening for Looking Forward: Re-Imagining The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.  To RSVP, call 215-925-2688 or email See full story below.

Annual Roger W. Moss Symposium

Saturday, December 6, 2014, 9:00AM.  Philadelphia Architecture: Present and Future. Click here for the full program and registration  See full story below.

Socrates Cafe Discussion Group

Tuesday, December 9, 11:00AM. More Information. RSVP to

Gallery Talk

Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 12:00PM.  Join Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture Bruce Laverty for a gallery talk on the Looking Forward: Re-Imagining The Athenaeum of Philadelphia architectural competition and exhibition.  Free.  To RSVP, call 215-925-2688 or email

History Making Productions Athenaeum Film

Many of you have been asking where you can see the Athenaeum film that premiered at the Treasures Capstone Party.  

Here is the link.

Please Join Us For #GIVINGTUESDAY at The Athenaeum 

2014 has flown by and the holiday season is once again upon us. Each year, we look forward to the promise of holiday cheer, the opportunity to give to family and friends and, of course, holiday shopping! In the spirit of giving and sharing, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia has joined #GivingTuesday a truly unique effort which harnesses the collective powers of charities, families, business and individuals to inspire people to contribute and give back to their communities.

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, #GivingTuesday will reach across the nation in order to celebrate and encourage the charitable activities that support nonprofits, who work tirelessly throughout the year to build and enrich their communities. This year, the Athenaeum is thrilled and honored to be one of 5,000 organizations who are participating in #GivingTuesday.

Your gift no matter how large or small -- enables us to continue to provide free entrance to visitors, build and maintain our diverse collections, create programming that excites and engages visitors of all ages and preserve our National Historic Landmark building.

Please click here to make a donation

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Athenaeum, we thank you for your support and wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season.

Looking Forward Competition Award Ceremony and Exhibition Opening

Friday, December 5, 2014

Reception: 5:30-6:15pm
Award Presentation: 6:15-6:45
Exhibition Open: 6:45-8:00pm

RSVP to or 215-925-2688

Free admission, but space is limited.  RSVP Early.

The final exhibition of the Athenaeum's Bicentennial year will open on Friday, Dec. 5th following the announcement of the winners of the Looking Forward, Re-Imagining the Athenaeum of Philadelphia architectural competition.  This conceptual competition solicited designs for an Athenaeum building of the year 2050-one that would occupy our Washington Square site after our current structure was (hypothetically) dismantled, moved and rebuilt elsewhere.  88 entrants have submitted, the jurors have made their decision, and now it's time to see which designs for an Athenaeum of the future will be awarded prizes.

The event will be webcast LIVE beginning at approximately 6:10PM on Friday December 5th.  (An Athenaeum first!)

Visit the Looking Forward website on the night of the event for the link to the live stream.

Above: (L-R) Jurors Billie Tsien, Michelle Delk, Roger Moss, and C. Ford Peatross.

Roger W. Moss Symposium-Philadelphia Architecture: Present & Future

Registration is open for the annual Roger W. Moss Symposium.  This year's topic is Philadelphia Architecture: Present and Future.  

Speakers: Inga Saffron, Daniela Holt Voith & Cameron J. Mactavish, Scott Kelly, James S. Camp and Peter L. Gluck.

The symposium now carries 5.25 credits toward AIA/CES (HSW) LUs.

Free admission for students.

When: Saturday, December 6, 9:00AM

Click here for the full program and registration

Member News 

Athenaeum shareholder Terri Johnson was featured earlier this year as a Rothman Institute Ambassador.  Terri, who underwent total ankle replacement at Rothman, was interviewed and filmed here in April and is shown displaying her new-found mobility both inside and outside the beautiful  Athenaeum building.  A portion of the film is currently running as a television advertisement for Rothman.  To see the full three-minute clip click here. 

Terri is a long-time supporter of the Athenaeum, and her firm, Bedford Cost Segregation, is a sponsor of the Looking Forward Architectural Competition.

Staff News 

The Philadelphia Center for the Book held a juried exhibition at The Art Department gallery in Fishtown in October, to showcase works by members of the PCB.  The Athenaeum's Conservation Specialist, Denise Fox entered on of her handmade books, titled "Hat Ladies."  It was accepted into the show, and the Free Library of Philadelphia purchased it for their collection of handmade books.  It is a tunnel book, which she learned to make at one of the Athenaeum's book arts workshops.

This Month In 1814:  A Look Back At The Athenaeum's Founding Year

This is the final installment of our monthly look back at the Athenaeum's first year. The Athenaeum directors held several meetings in December. The primary topic of business was a plan to apply to the State of Pennsylvania for an Act of Incorporation. The longest of these meetings involved the entire membership at the time and took place on Saturday, December 10th. We do not know what time the meeting started, but we do know that it adjourned at 5:00PM for a dinner break and resumed again at 7:30PM. At this meeting, the Articles of Incorporation first proposed at the November board meeting were approved by the subscribers and Nicholas Biddle, Esq. and Condy Raguet were assigned the task of presenting copies to the Pennsylvania House and Senate. The Legislature initially refused the request, but in February 1815, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted the charter.

Above: Athenaeum Articles of Incorporation, approved by the subscribers in Dec. 1814 and approved by the State of Pennsylvania in Feb. 1815.


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



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Philadelphia, PA  19106 


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