NEWS: May 2011

Vol. 4, No. 5

In This Issue:

Banner Image: South Washington Square, c.1900.


Don't forget to sign up for upcoming Literary May programs.  Create a pop-up card on May 7th with Colette Fu at her pop-up workshops for children and adults.  Then on May 11th, join members of the Mystery Writers of America for the Cliffhangers Mystery Writers Forum.  Click here for the full schedule of Literary May events.


Banner Image: South Washington Square, c. 1900.


New Books for May

Athenaeum Bookshelf  05-2011

Athenaeum Receives Philadelphia Cultural Fund Grant

The Athenaeum is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a grant for $8674.00 from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. With the Fund’s reduction in budget this year, the Athenaeum’s prospects for a grant were in jeopardy, but again the Cultural Fund has recognized the programs that the Athenaeum mounts through its lecture series and gallery offerings. This support, which goes into the general operating budget, is sorely needed this year when so many other grant sources have also felt the pinch of the economy.

As we near the end of our fiscal year on June 30, 2011, we are still encountering unexpected costs for the building. These have stretched our budget beyond what was expected. Your generous assistance at this point would be most appreciated. If you would prefer to make a donation by check or through a transfer of stock , please contact Eileen Magee (

Please consider making your own donation to the Athenaeum by clicking here.


Thomas Ustick Walter Prison Site to be Honored with State Marker

Celeste A. Morello, MS, MA, the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission are pleased to invite Athenaeum members and friends to the dedication of an Official State Marker honoring the Moyamensing Prison.  The marker commemorates the site of Walter’s first major public commission. The Gothic and Egyptian Revival-style Moyamensing Prison stood at 1400 E. Passyunk Ave. between 1832 and 1968. The Athenaeum owns more than a dozen original Walter drawings for the Prison as well as the Egyptian-style cast-iron “winged orb” that was installed above the entrance to the Debtors Prison. 

Wednesday May 4, 2011
12:00 noon
1400 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Printable Invitation

Above: Moyamensing Prison, Perspective Rendering, T. U. Walter, Architect, 1831.

Guild of Book Workers Exhibition

Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers Members’ Exhibition:
“Philadelphia Artists’ Books Travel to Venice”

Alice Austin will curate, transport, and install the exhibit. 

Athenaeum of Philadelphia
June 3 - 30, 2011
Opening: June 3, 5-7 pm

Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy
October 5 - 28, 2011

Above: "Altered" by Todd Pattison.

Society Hill 33rd Annual Open House & Garden Tour

Tickets are now on sale for this most enjoyable, self-guided tour of over 10 private homes and gardens in one of our nation’s most historic neighborhoods. Imagine walking on the same brick sidewalks frequented by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Each year, the Society Hill Tour offers a new selection of exceptional homes and gardens that range in style and décor from the 18th and 19th century periods to the most contemporary. This year, something new has been added: six area restaurants have partnered with the tour and will offer discounts for lunch or dinner for ticket holders only.

Sponsored by the Society Hill Civic Association, in Center City Philadelphia, the tour’s proceeds are used for neighborhood improvement and beautification projects. 

Advance ticket purchases are encouraged. To purchase a ticket, to receive a brochure, or to get more information, please contact Society Hill Civic Association at 215-629-1288, or email: Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour—at Old Pine Street Church, 412 Pine Street, Philadelphia.

Date: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Time: 1 to 5 PM.
Cost: $25 per ticket in advance, $30 at the door

Complimentary light refreshments
Rest rooms available
Comfortable shoes encouraged


Member Critics

Graham Moore, The Sherlockian. (New York and Boston: Twelve, 2010).


There are indeed scholars who tread the mythic paths of Sherlock Holmes, but are generally unarmed and likely never shoot each other.  However, in Graham Moore's cleverly written and generally amusing novel, The Sherlockian, there seems to be open season on would-be victims and amateur detectives.  And should you find them a bloody bloody lot (this is England, you know)  then you'd best watch out for the murderous feminists as well.  Yet the story is so nicely constructed that it all seems plausible and capable of a Neo- Holmesian solution.  The young man and woman who survive the mayhem (she better than he) are extremely likable (again, she better than he).  How about a TV series?


Submitted by Dr. Harold Rashkis.


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:  

May 4:Shakespeare Workshop: A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3:00-5:00pm

May 4: Literary Award Program, 5:30pm

May 6: First Friday, Bastille to Broad St. gallery talk, 5:30pm

May 7: First Saturday, Athenaeum open, 10:00am-2:00pm

May 7: Book Arts Workshops with Colette Fu, 10:00am-4:00pm

May 10: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am

May 11: Cliffhangers Mystery Writers Forum, 6:00pm

May 19: Poetry Reading with Elyse Fenton, 7:00pm

May 26: Saturnalia Books Poetry Reading, 6:00pm


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 10:00AM to 2:00PM (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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