Greetings from the Executive Director,
I have been pleased to see many of you in person at our
very successful “meet & greet” sessions held in February.
Some have taken this opportunity to introduce prospective members to the
Athenaeum, and I applaud your efforts to expand our Athenaeum community.
The last “meet & greet” of this series will be held at 5:30 PM on
Wednesday, March 5th, but
we have been so pleased by the member turnout for an insider’s tour that we
plan to hold one more session later in the spring.
Watch your newsletter for further information.
Let me also remind you that we will have one more gallery
talk for Palazzos of Power on Friday,
March 7th, at 4:00 PM with Bruce Laverty.
Please reserve your place for that by calling or e-mailing
Susan Gallo at sgallo@PhilaAthenaeum.org.
Space is limited, so get your reservation in now!
My thanks to all of you who responded so warmly to the
February e-newsletter. We
hope that you will begin to expect an Athenaeum presence in your e-mail as we
turn to this vehicle to maintain active communication with our members.
Reminder: The Athenaeum will
be closed March 21st for Good Friday
A Southwestern View of Washington Square, by Frank H. Taylor, c.
Athenaeum Begins Architects Oral History Project
the fall of 2007, Athenaeum board member, Hyman
Myers, began a project to conduct oral history interviews with senior
architects. Assisted by Curator of
Architecture, Bruce Laverty, Myers began with Henry Jonas Magaziner, who at age
96 is the oldest living architect in
Philadelphia. In his 90-minute interview, Mr. Magaziner recounts growing up the son of
prolific Philadelphia architect, Louis Magaziner, his Beaux-Arts-style training
at Penn’s school of architecture, and how his own independent career developed
despite the obstacles of the Great Depression and World War II. Recording
equipment, including audio, video and software, was provided by a generous grant
from the Peggy & Ellis Wachs Family Foundation.
Other senior architects interviewed thus far include Vincent G. Kling
H. Mather Lippincott (87). Edited and
transcribed interviews will be available on the biography page of the PAB
website upon completion.
Photo: Henry Magaziner, Dec. 2008.
Hyman Myers, Photographer.
thinking of the Athenaeum's 19th century holdings, one is liable to remember
our architectural research materials or decorative bindings. Less known is
our small collection of Victorian yellowbacks. Yellowbacks were the cheap
popular editions of the day, distinguished by their eye-catching (some might say
lurid) colorful covers of paper over boards. They were often sold in railway
stalls and contained advertising to help keep costs low. Books in the
Athenaeum collection include ads for Pears' soap, macassar oil, corsets,
wood wool diapers (!), and pills and potions to cure a variety of ailments.
We have so far identified 99 yellowbacks in our collection. All are
British publications dating between 1878 and 1890, a prime period for the genre. With any luck we may identify a few more examples, giving us a
window into the popular tastes of the period.
Weird Stories by Mrs. J. H. Riddell (London: Chatto & Windus, 1885)
Member Event: Jennifer Lee Carrell Talks About Her Book Interred
With Their Bones
Publishers Weekly to The DaVinci Code, this Shakespearean mystery focuses on the adventures of theater director Katharine Stanley, who is
drawn into her quest by the murder of her friend, an eccentric Harvard Professor of Shakespeare. A lost Shakespeare play, the Globe Theatre, and a questionable gift propel the reader into a headlong trek to Utah, Arizona, Washington, DC, and back to London. Jennifer Lee Carrell holds a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Harvard University. A writer for Smithsonian magazine, she has taught in the history and literature programs at Harvard. Carrell’s last book
The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox gained rave reviews from both
Booklist and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 5:30 PM
Reservations required 215-925-2688.
Athenaeum Goes Green
Building Supervisor, Lou Vassallo knows very well the amount of energy and light
bulbs expended at the Athenaeum. Recognizing the growing costs due to the
hundreds of light fixtures throughout the building, Lou has initiated a plan to
He has begun to replace old incandescent bulbs with new energy efficient
bulbs that not only use less power, but are expected to last several years
longer. In the long run, the Athenaeum will save money on lighting costs
due to Lou's efforts, but the initial investment in energy efficient bulbs is
significant. If you would like to help the Athenaeum go green, contact Dr.
Sandra Tatman. email@example.com
Photo: Lou Vassallo with a new energy
saving light bulb. Jim Carroll, Photographer.
In The Next
Issue: The Athenaeum's next exhibition, Architectural
Shades & Shadows: The Continuing Tradition of the Beaux-Arts.