The dog days of summer are approaching, and we here at the Athenaeum are turning our attention to many of those activities which cannot be accomplished while we have a full program schedule during the fall, winter, and spring sessions: continuing the building repair, record keeping, and planning programs for the coming season. The work on the south wall remediation should be finished early in June, but we have submitted a "Save America's Treasures" grant to the National Park Service to continue the repairs on the building. Since this is a 1:1 matching grant, we must survey local foundations and donors for possible matches for the work; and if any of you have suggestions, all of those would be most gratefully received. The decision on "Save America's Treasures" will not be announced until December.
This summer will also find us beginning the plans for our bicentennial celebration. We have watched with considerable enjoyment the festivities this year up in Salem, MA, where they marked their 200th birthday with a symposium, special exhibition, and dinner featuring both menu and costume from 1810. We may be contacting you over the summer and fall as we gather a program committee and as our Board Development Committee solidifies its plans.
Image: The Athenaeum, c. 1923.
New Books for June
created by and for the Department of Interior Museum, this exhibition of
measured drawings and photographs is a celebration of the diamond jubilee of one
of the most successful and long-lasting WPA programs of the New Deal. The
Athenaeum is a particularly appropriate venue for the exhibition given that
long-term member, Charles E. Peterson, FAIA , was founder of the HABS program.
21-July 30, 2010
Eastern State Penitentiary. Photo by Jack E. Boucher, 1996. HABS No.
Anniversary 'East Meets West' Chess Event
In June 1860 the first ever Japanese diplomatic delegation to the U.S. visited several East Coast cities. In Philadelphia, members of the delegation were invited to the Philadelphia Chess Club. The Japanese turned up in full samurai regalia – including swords – and proceeded to demonstrate the hitherto unknown Japanese version of chess, or Shogi, to the city's top chess players. This is the first recorded game of Shogi ever to be played outside of Japan.
RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or email@example.com
To mark the 150th anniversary of this historic meeting of the Eastern and Western forms of chess, we will be bringing together Shogi experts and representatives of the Philadelphia chess community, including former U.S. Champions in both Shogi and chess. The Athenaeum was home to the main chess club in Philadelphia during the first half of the 19th Century, and various chess-related books and equipment from the Athenaeum collection will be on display. There will also be the opportunity to learn the rules of Shogi, to find out more about the historical background of the 1860 Japanese visit, and to observe and participate in games of Shogi with visiting Japanese players.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Above: Members of the first
Japanese diplomatic delegation to the U.S., 1860.
The Athenaeum is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $6,800 from the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission in the category of General Operating Support Grants for Museums. Although the Pennsylvania State budget has been embattled, the PHMC has still managed to award grants to help museums continue to operate in these rather trying economic times. This grant will go specifically to help support gallery staff salaries – so when you are visiting our gallery during the coming months, think kindly of the
Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman. Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the
Bataan Death March and its Aftermath. New York: Farrar Strauss and Giroux,
2009. (Also about the Bataan Death March: Hampton Sides. Ghost Soldiers.
New York: Doubleday, 2001).
earlier book focuses on the wretched camp where the American POWs were held
prior to the Death March, the March itself, and the return to Letterman General
Hospital in San Francisco. It is a excellent book and is appropriately
Normans' book covers more history both before and after the March, contains much
material on the Japanese side of the warfare, and is not quite as sickening,
even managing to squeeze out a little sympathy for one of the Japanese
generals. Of note is a series of drawings based mostly on the
recollections and skill of a U.S. soldier.
your correspondent had been assigned to Letterman General Hospital to join a
team (Rehabilitation of Allied Military Personnel) assembled to evaluate the
physical and mental status of the survivors at the time of their return to the
by Dr. Harold Rashkis.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2: Jennifer Lee Carrell Lecture, 5:30pm
5: First Saturday, Athenaeum open, 10:00am-2:00pm
5: East Meets West Chess Event, 11:00am
7: Coffee Day in Members' Reading Room, 9:30am
Calendar for details and additional