NEWS: November 2011

Vol. 4, No. 11

In This Issue:

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


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


New Books for November

Athenaeum Bookshelf  11-2011

Kenneth J. Lacovara, "Giants at the End of the World: Recent Dinosaur Discoveries from Southernmost Patagonia, Argentina"

Sauropod dinosaurs were a diverse and cosmopolitan clade of long-necked, quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaurs that included the largest terrestrial animals ever. Join Drexel University’s Kenneth J. Lacovara as he reveals his latest discoveries regarding these dinosaurs in Argentina. Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Kenneth J. Lacovara holds a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Delaware and is an elected fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club. He has led five expeditions to southern-most Patagonia, where he recently excavated a new species of dinosaur, represented by the most complete skeleton ever discovered of an extremely massive dinosaur. In 2011 the Carnegie Museum of Natural History will feature Lacovara’s Patagonian research in an exhibit entitled The Frontiers of Science. His most recent documentary, Monsters Resurrected: Spinosaurus, debuted in December, 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available now on Netflix. Reception to follow.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 5:30 PM

Free for Athenaeum members. RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or, All others $10 Register here.

Mah-Jongg Lessons

On Monday, November 7th, and Monday, November 21st, the Athenaeum will offer Mah-Jongg lessons.  The lessons will take place from 2:00-4:00pm and will be taught by Lois Reibach. Reservation required.  RSVP to Susan Gallo at or 215-925-2688.


The Decorated Book Symposium

The Athenaeum's legacy collections, surviving from the 19th and early 20th centuries, include rich holdings in the designed bindings which provide inspiration to contemporary book artists.  Arts and Crafts Movement artists, such as Margaret Armstrong, the studio of the Decorative Designers, and others, represent the depth of the Athenaeum collections for decorated commercial bindings. This symposium, created to accompany the "Decorated Book" exhibition, will provide a context for both today's and yesterday's approach to the art of the book.


Friday, December 2, 2011


Click here for registration information


Olive Lothrop Grover, for Josephine Rand, The Spirit-Guest. 
New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1897.


Beginning Calligraphy Workshop: Make a Holiday Card with Harriett Ackerman

Harriet Ackerman returns to us with her wonderful beginning calligraphy workshop. In this workshop you will make your own holiday card, just in time for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. You will learn techniques that can also be applied to other kinds of cards, labels, and presentations. Ages 15 and over.  


Saturday, December 3, 2011, 1:00PM-3:00 PM


Click here to register

Member Critics

Eric Allison and Lauren Peters. Historic Preservation and the Livable City. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2011.


This fast-paced book tells three discreet stories.  The first is the history of historic preservation, which credits the backlash from the demolition of New York City’s Penn Station in 1968 for legitimizing the practice of designation and regulation of historic buildings and sites, which was not widely practiced before that time.

The second story defines the term “livable city” as an amalgam of safety, sustainability, accessible cultural centers, walkability, while being respectful of our roots and providing a sense of place.

The third story provides the most new information and is focused on the economics of historic preservation.  A cited Rutgers University study concludes that for every $1million of historic preservation activity, 38 jobs are created vs. 36 jobs for $1million of new construction.  A point is made that the U.S. Green Building Council’s measurement of resource reuse in its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system gives only 3 points (out of 69) for the reuse of an entire building, including its interior walls, ignoring that fact that demolition of an existing structure produces a tremendous amount of waste, roughly 155 lbs. per SF.

Several U.S. and Global cities are used as case studies for the points the authors make and conspicuous by its absence is any reference to historic preservation efforts in Philadelphia.

Submitted by Janet Kimbleton Grace

Do you have a book that you loved (or hated), and would you be willing to share that opinion on the Athenaeum e-newsletter?  If so, please send your short essay to


Save the date:

November 5: First Saturday, Athenaeum open, 11:00am-3:00pm.


November 9: Kenneth J. Lacovara, “Giants at the End of the World: Recent Dinosaur Discoveries from Southernmost Patagonia, Argentina,” 5:30pm.


December 2: The Decorated Book Symposium, 12:00pm.

December 2: Opening reception for The Decorated Book: Continuing A Tradition exhibition, 5:00pm.


December 3: First Saturday, Athenaeum open, 11:00am-3:00pm.


December 3: Beginning Calligraphy Workshop, 1:00pm.


See the Event Calendar for details and additional events.


The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday and the first Saturday of the month from 11:00AM to 3:00PM (excluding the summer months). 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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