NEWS: April 2009

Vol. 2, No. 4

In This Issue:

Mid 19th century encaustic tile from the vestibule of the Athenaeum.



We have a very busy spring planned, and we hope that as the flowers return to Philadelphia, members, guests, and tourists will also find many opportunities to visit the Athenaeum. Our children's illustration show has already proven to be a popular exhibition in the gallery, drawing University of the Arts faculty and students, as well as our own Athenaeum membership. Our literary activities traditionally pick up in the spring since we give the Athenaeum's Literary Award in May. This year we have planned an exciting evening in late April with Award winners from the past, who will discuss their own writing process and entertain questions from the audience regarding the inspiration for writing, the research involved, and the whole publication plan. This is an opportunity for members and guests to gain real behind-the-scenes insight into how writers approach the writing project and mastermind getting the manuscript from computer to publication. Spring is here, and April showers may dampen Washington Square; but they will not dampen the programs and activities planned for the Athenaeum. We hope to see you soon!

Banner Image: Mid 19th century encaustic tile from the vestibule of the Athenaeum.

Staff News

Congratulations to Denise!  Denise Fox has been selected as a semifinalist for the 25th American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show, April 22 to 25, to be held at the Paducah Expo Center in Paducah, KY.  She will join 387 others in the annual contest.  Her quilt, “New Jersey Beauty,” represents hundreds of hours of work and was chosen from a field of 709 quilts.  The annual quilt exhibition brings more than 35,000 quilters, collectors, and vendors to Paducah each spring.

Above: "New Jersey Beauty," by Denise Fox.

Symposium of Past Literary Award Winners

Do you ever wonder what happens to our past Literary Award winners?  Well, this is your opportunity to see them in action, discussing their books, their new projects, and their writing methods.  Join us at a program which brings together Award winners Charlene Mires (2002), Jack Repcheck (2003), Kermit Roosevelt (2005) and David Traxel (2006).  Moderated by Cordelia Biddle, this panel discussion should be lively and informative.

Books published by the members of the panel will be available for sale.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reception: 6:00 PM

Program: 7:00 PM


Athenaeum Members Free: RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or


Non-members: $10.00 Register Here

Photo by Jim Carroll.

Literary Award Presentation

The Literary Awards Committee Invites you to the Athenaeum Literary Award to be presented to Walter A. McDougall for Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era, 1829-1877 The sequel to Freedom Just Around the Corner in which Dr. McDougall chronicled America’s beginnings, Throes of Democracy opens with the fire of 1835 which destroyed Lower Manhattan and finishes with the election and Centennial celebration of 1876. Much more than just a traditional history of the period surrounding the Civil War, Throes of Democracy casts a broad net, revealing surprising facts and developments that shaped this period. 


Walter A. McDougall is Professor of History and the Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of Amherst College, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and taught at U.C. Berkeley for 13 years before coming to Penn to direct its International Relations Program. Dr. McDougall is the author of many other books, including Freedom Just Around the Corner: A New American History, 1585-1828 (2004), Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter With the World Since 1776 (1997) and Let the Sea Make a Noise: A History of the North Pacific from Magellan to MacArthur (1993). In 1986 Professor McDougall won the Pulitzer Prize for The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age


Behind the Scenes Tour

Do you know where this is?  Well, you will if you come to the "behind the scenes" tour on Wednesday, April 15th at 5:30pm.  This is also an opportunity for you to bring a friend who might be interested in acquiring an Athenaeum share. Light refreshments will be served.


April 15, 2009, 5:30pm

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

Above: Still Life by Severin Roesen.

Save the Date:  

April 6: Athenaeum Annual Meeting, 5:30pm

April 14: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am

April 15: Behind the Scenes Tour: 5:30pm

April 18: First Writing Workshop with Cordelia Biddle, 11:00am

April 22: Symposium of Past Literary Award Winners, 6:00pm

See the Event Calendar for details and additional events.

The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday and 10:00AM-2:00PM on the first Saturday of each month. The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. Please visit our website for more information, or call 215-925-2688.


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