As we make our way toward the first Roger W. Moss Symposium on 3 December 2010, we are pleased to receive generous support for this endeavor from the Barra Foundation. Roger worked closely with Robert L. McNeil, Jr., to plan a symposium fund which would allow the Athenaeum to offer scholarly programs at a reasonable price with special pricing for students. Many of you will be attending the first of this series on Friday, and we hope that you will continue to attend as the years pass, and new topics are presented.
There are just a few seats left for the symposium. If you missed the registration for "The Landscapes of William Birch: Providing a Context,"
here is the link that you need for online registration and payment.
Reminder: The Athenaeum will be closed Dec. 24-27 for Christmas and
Dec. 31-Jan. 1 for New Years.
Image: Silhouette depicting a game of chess between Athenaeum Librarian William
McIlhenney Jr. and George Spackman, his fellow alumnus from the University of
Pennsylvania. Probably by Auguste Edouart, c.1840-1850.
New Books for November
to Philadelphia in 1794, William Russell Birch (1755-1834) would become the
first artist successfully to publish engraved view books in the United States.
He arrived with a letter from Benjamin West and with a successful publication, Delices
de la Grande Bretagne, a series of 36 engraved views of picturesque settings
after such artists as West, Joshua Reynolds, and Thomas Gainsborough.
Although he immediately found some success as a copyist of portraits by the
reigning portrait painters of the time, Birch never lost his desire to create
picturesque views based upon the American experience, and in 1800 he published The
City of Philadelphia, a series of 28 views which would become the touchstone
for future artists, engravers, and architects desiring to present images of the
city. The success of this set of large-format prints encouraged Birch to
undertake The Country Seats of the United States of North America,
published in 1808. Although Birch's reputation has chiefly rested on these
two publications, the Athenaeum exhibition brings his English work together with
his American and makes clear his role in conveying English ideas about the
Picturesque to the United States.
Birch: Picturing The American Scene
December 3, 2010-
January 8, 2011
Trubek Lecture and Book Signing
A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses Anne Trubek takes a vexed, often
funny, and always thoughtful tour of a number of house museums across the nation
which have become meccas for the literary public. These include Ernest
Hemingway's shrine in Key West, the home of the young Samuel Clemens in
Hannibal, MO, homes for Hawthorne, Emerson and Thoreau in Concord, MA and the
many sites devoted to Edgar Allen Poe. Cited as an anti-travel guide, A
Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses explores places that have served as
pilgrimage sites, tokens of local pride and color, and zones that make us think
about the complexities of literary and historical interpretation.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 5:30 PM
Free to members. RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or email@example.com
click here to register
D. Aczel. Entanglement. The Greatest Mystery in Physics. New
York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001.
in the book's title refers to the ongoing relationship between two (or possibly
more) tiny particles of energy (quanta) originally together but
"mysteriously" functionally bonded together despite being widely separated,
so that influences on one will immediately produce similar responses in the
other. Chapters in the book describe experiments performed by theoretical
physicists (who are bonded by their mutual interests in quantum mechanics).
WARNING!!! Quantum mechanics or quantum mathematics isn't your grandfather's
science or mathematics!
reading their books, but nevertheless feel increasingly like the jazz musician
who tells the classical artist, "If you don't understand it and have to ask
what it is, you'll never get to know." I don't often get it either,
but then it slips away. But to the believers it's "established
law." I'm encouraged that Einstein, one of the founders of the
"movement," called it "an incomplete system."
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.
3: Symposium- The Landscapes of William Birch, Providing A Context. Register
4: First Saturday, Athenaeum Open 10:00am-2:00pm
8: Anne Trubek Lecture and Book Signing, A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses,
14: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am
Calendar for details and additional