NEWS: June 2009

Vol. 2, No. 6

In This Issue:

Independence Mall.  Watercolor by Luciano Guarnieri, c. 1960


Greetings from the Executive Director,

I have just a short announcement about summer closings. Our last First Saturday of the summer will take place on Saturday, June 6th, from 10am to 2pm. We will then close for First Saturdays in July (4th of July), August, and September (Labor Day weekend). First Saturdays will resume in October and continue as they have been this year. This will give our wonderful volunteers and faithful staff a summer break. Let me also take this opportunity to thank our two stalwart Saturday volunteers, Margaret Ullman and Bernie Resnick, who have been the mainstays for Saturday openings. Without their help this would not have happened for the Athenaeum. 


Banner Image: Independence Mall. Watercolor by Luciano Guarnieri, c. 1960.


Member Program: Rebecca Yamin Lecture

Digging in the City of Brotherly Love: Stories from Philadelphia Archaeology presents the story of Philadelphia from a new perspective, from beneath the modern city. Rebecca Yamin describes major excavations that have been launched since 1992 as part of the redevelopment of Independence Mall and surrounding areas. Her book tells the stories of forgotten residents and presents an enriched and colorful picture of Philadelphia as it was. Athenaeum member Rebecca Yamin is a historical archaeologist with John Milner Associates, Inc. Her specialty is urban archaeology. In addition to studying Independence National Historical Park, she has directed her efforts toward the Five Points neighborhood of New York City. 


Date: June 10, 2009

Time: 5:30PM


RSVP to Susan Gallo, 215-925-2688 or


Reception and book signing will follow.


Hyman Myers Receives The James Biddle Award

At the 16th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards sponsored by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia on Monday, May 11, 2009, Athenaeum Board member Hyman Myers received the James Biddle Award in recognition of  lifetime achievement in historic preservation.  A member of Vitetta, Hyman Myers has directed preservation projects at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Academy of Music, and the Pennsylvania State Capitol, among others. 

L-R: Athenaeum Board Members Charles Snelling, Satoko Parker and Hyman Myers at the Preservation Achievement Awards.  Photo by Sandra Myers.

Back On My Feet Benefit

In celebration of eight years in Philadelphia, The Bridgette Mayer Gallery is holding a benefit exhibition to support the non-profit group Back on My Feet.  Back on My Feet promotes self-sufficiency of Philadelphia's homeless population by engaging them in running as a means to build self confidence, strength and self-esteem.  The benefit will feature 100 10" x 10" panels by gallery artists, Philadelphia artists, and Back on My Feet artists, ranging in price from $500-$1000.  Proceeds from the event will go directly to Back on My Feet.


The Athenaeum's Regional Digital Imaging Center scanned the artwork for the online version of the exhibition.  We're happy to support our Washington Square neighbor in this worthy cause.  The gallery is located at 709 Walnut Street.  The exhibition opening will be Friday June 5, from 6:00-8:30pm.  It will run through June 27. Contact the gallery for more information at 215-413-8893 or 


Photo: Courtesy Bridgette Mayer Gallery.


Model Restoration

In 1981, long-time Athenaeum member, Samuel J. Dornsife, donated a pair of 1874 hand-made models of English buildings, one of a residence and the other of a church. The first has been on display on the flat-file cabinets at the bottom of the grand stair for several years. The second has been hidden away in storage for three decades. 


Earlier this year Athenaeum volunteer, Mary Ellen Weber, as part of her inventory of our museum collection, discovered the second model in its original container, in multiple pieces. Thanks to the skill and generosity of Mary Ellenís husband, Robert Stern, the model and its glass display case have been carefully and beautifully reassembled. The church model now takes its place next to its companion, at the bottom of the grand stair. Check it out on your next visit.

----Thanks, Bob!


Photos by Jim Carroll.


Book Arts Workshop with Maria Pisano

How would you describe yourself? Come and make a pop-up book where your name is the starting point for the creation of this unique work.  We will explore collage, drawings, and text and create a wonderful book that speaks about who you are.

Book Workshop Registration

Above: Carousel book made by Denise Fox at one of last summer's book workshops.  Photo by Jim Carroll.

Save the Date:  

June 6: First Saturday, Athenaeum Open, 10:00am-2:00pm

June 9: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am

June 10: Member Program, 5:30pm

June 13: Children's Day at the Athenaeum, 11:00am

June 13: Book Arts with Maria Pisano, 1:00pm

June 20: Introduction to calligraphy with Harriet Ackerman, 1:00pm

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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