NEWS: April 2011

Vol. 4, No. 4

In This Issue:

Banner Image: Athenaeum Members' Reading Room.  Photo by Tom Crane, 2006.  From the book Historic Landmarks of Philadelphia by Roger W. Moss and Tom Crane (University of Pennsylvania  Press, 2008).



Banner Image: Athenaeum Members' Reading Room.  Photo by Tom Crane, 2006.  From the book Historic Landmarks of Philadelphia by Roger W. Moss and Tom Crane (University of Pennsylvania  Press, 2008).


New Books for April

Athenaeum Bookshelf  04-2011

Bastille to Broad Street Exhibition

The Athenaeum presents an exhibition of architectural drawings, photographs and objects from its collections that will examine the role that France, French designers, and French-born patrons played in the architectural development of Philadelphia, including the establishment of an educational system based on the École des Beaux-Arts system.  Hosted in the Athenaeum’s Haas Gallery, this exhibition will explore the connection between French style and Philadelphia’s architecture, with particular emphasis on the work of Paul Philippe Cret, his colleagues and his students.

April 7 - August 19, 2011

Admission is free for the exhibition and the special events below.

April 8, 3:30pm: "The French Connection: Paul Philippe Cret's Influence on Design in Philadelphia." Lecture by Curator of Architecture, Bruce Laverty.  RSVP to Susan Gallo at or 215-925-2688.

May 6, 5:00-7:00pm: First Friday Reception and Gallery Talk.

Above: La Place de la Concorde, c. 1890. Chandler Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

Senju Day Celebration

"Japanophilia: Philadelphia Collects Asian Art" A Lecture Celebrating Shofuso's Senju Day"

Felice Fischer is the Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art and Curator of East Asian Art at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. She will present an overview of the history of collecting East Asian works, particularly those from China and Japan, in Philadelphia from the late 18th century culminating in the installation of the fusuma mural paintings of Japanese artist Hiroshi Senju at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in 2007.

Co-sponsored with the Friends of the Japanese House and Garden. Guest of honor: Hiroshi Senju. 

Thursday, April 21, 5:30pm

Free for Athenaeum and FJHG MembersRSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or

All others $10, Pay online

Above: Shofuso House and Garden.

Artist Spotlight: Michele Foster-Lucas

"Carnival" Copyright Michele Foster-LucasSince artists have become the fastest growing segment of clients of the Athenaeum’s Regional Digital Imaging Center (RDIC), we thought it would be fun to spotlight those who make use of our services. There are a wide variety of media and styles represented amongst them. As a regular feature of the newsletter, we will introduce you to these artists and their work.

Michele Foster-Lucas describes herself as a folk artist who speaks of people and culture through contemporary art works. “Taught of God…my artistry has grown bold, of greater variety and with breathtaking emotional complexity.” Michele was discovered while sketching caricatures in a Washington DC park on a warm summer day in the early 1990s. She was invited to attend art shows and try her hand as an artist. She produced a small body of work for her first show, and her career took off when she sold five of the pieces. One was purchased by the famous African American artist Paul Goodnight, for his daughter’s collection.


"Girl Friend" Copyright Michele Foster-LucasSince those early days, Michele has participated in a host of shows and festivals and has exhibited at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Collectors from around the world have admired and purchased her art. Her most recent award came in the Fall of 2010 at October Gallery’s African American Art Festival, where she received the "Best in Show Award." 

Michele was introduced to the Athenaeum almost two years ago because of our ability to produce quality scans of original artwork. “My scanned artwork has been produced at a speed and quality…so much, that, my artwork reproductions have been mistaken for originals.” She also plans to make use of the RDIC’s new high quality printing services. “We can now rely on them to give us quality reproductions at competitive prices with the same speed and quality that is needed.”

Visit Michele’s website at:


Above Left: The influence of Jackson Pollack can be seen in Michele’s creation “Carnival.”

Above Right: Michele’s first foray into sculpting produced this limited edition bronze titled “Girl Friend.”

Joshua Kendall Lecture and Book Signing

Joshua Kendall, The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture.


Noah Webster (1758-1843) was more than just America’s greatest lexicographer. He was also a Founding Father who helped define American culture. In 1783, he published the first edition of his legendary spelling book, which would teach five generations of Americans how to read. A leading Federalist, who was a confidant of both George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, Webster was in Philadelphia during the Constitutional Convention where he wrote a highly influential essay on behalf of the nation’s founding document. The first edition of his American Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1828. He would continue working on revisions until the day he died. Joshua C. Kendall is an award-winning freelance journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications including The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Business Week, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5:30 PM

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

All others $10, Pay online.

Genealogical Research Tool Now Available

We are pleased to announce that, due to the success of our trial period, we have started a one year subscription to Ancestry® Library Edition, which is now available on the computer in the Busch Room, or through your laptop computer when connected to the Athenaeum's wireless network.  Ancestry, the most popular genealogical online resource, provides access to billions of records to help everyone from novice family researchers to experienced genealogists.  Records available include census, military, immigration, and more.  New to genealogy?  No problem!  Our Circulation Librarian, Jill LeMin Lee, or her assistant, work-study student Jasmine Clark, can help to get you started and guide you through the resources available. 


Save the Date:  

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

April 8: "The French Connection" Lecture, 3:30pm

April 12: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am

April 21: Senju Day Celebration, 5:30pm

April 27: Joshua Kendall, The Forgotten Founding Father, 5:30pm

May 6: Bastille to Broad Street Exhibition, First Friday Reception and Gallery Talk.


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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