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Registration for Programs
 

   

Thomas H. Keels, Sesqui! Greed, Graft, and the Forgotten World’s Fair of 1926

October 25, 2017, 5:30 PM

The 1926 Sesqui-Centennial was meant to be the greatest world’s fair of all times. Instead, it became “The Flop Heard ‘Round the World.”

In 1916, department store magnate and Grand Old Philadelphian John Wanamaker launched plans for a Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition in his hometown in 1926. The “Sesqui” would be a magnificent world’s fair to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, rivaling the success of the 1876 Centennial.

Instead, when the Sesqui opened on May 31, 1926, in the remote swamps of South Philadelphia, visitors were stunned to find an unfinished fair with a few shabbily built and mostly empty structures. Crowds stayed away in droves. Fewer than five million paying customers attended the Sesqui, costing the city millions of dollars. Philadelphia became a national scandal.

In Sesqui! Greed, Graft, and the Forgotten World’s Fair of 1926, noted historian Thomas Keels situates this ill-fated celebration against the social conflicts convulsing America during the 1920s. Keels provides a comprehensive account of the Sesqui as a meeting ground for such cultural changes as women’s and African-American rights, anti-Semitism, immigration, eugenics, and Prohibition.

Thomas H. Keels is a historian and lecturer who has authored or co-authored seven books on local history, including Forgotten Philadelphia: Lost Architecture of the Quaker City, Philadelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries, and Wicked Philadelphia: Sin in the City of Brotherly Love. Visit him online at www.thomaskeels.com.


Reception
and book signing to follow.

This event has received generous support from The Francis R. and Jean L. Grebe Lecture Fund.

Athenaeum Members: Free. RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email events@philaathenaeum.org

Qty Description Price
Keels Lecture Non-Member


The Director's Seminar--"Writing A Literary Biography"

October 31, 2017

Using his own study of Pearl Buck as one reference point, Executive Director Peter Conn will explore the range of research that biographical writing entails, along with the many and varied choices that need to be made and why biography remains such a popular genre of writing.

The seminar will take place at Green Hills Farm, Pearl Buck's home in Perkasie.

Bus leaves the Athenaeum: 10:00AM
Seminar begins: 11:00AM
Lunch: 12:00PM
A tour of the National Historic Landmark house will follow lunch

The cost for the day will is $40.00, which will cover transportation, lunch and tour.

This is an event for Shareholders only.  Because of space limitations on the bus and the seminar room, enrollment will be limited to the first 30 Shareholders who respond.

This event has reached maximum attendance.

 


 

Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., “Philadelphia’s Public Schools”

November 6, 2017, 5:30 PM

For fourteen years, in the early nineteenth century, Athenaeum member Roberts Vaux served as the first president of the “Board of Public Schools” of Philadelphia. From 1847 to 1876, the main offices of the Philadelphia School Board were located in the Athenaeum. And in those Athenaeum offices, in 1857, the National Education Association was founded.

To recall and mark this history, the Athenaeum is privileged to host Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, the largest public school system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hite will discuss some of the District’s recent achievements, as well as the challenges that our public schools continue to face.

Under Dr. Hite’s leadership, the District has opened new innovative high schools, expanded successful school models, launched in-district turnarounds and redesigned schools in partnership with communities. His overall focus remains on strengthening all elementary and secondary school offerings and creating great schools close to where children live.

Dr. Hite’s professional experience includes serving at every level – teacher, principal, central office administrator and Superintendent. He was previously Superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland where his central work focused on enhanced access and rigor to ensure college- and career-readiness. Dr. Hite also served as an Assistant Superintendent in Georgia’s Cobb County School District, and in addition, as an administrator in Henrico County, Virginia, he led Highland Springs High School to “Best Practices” honors from the state’s General Assembly.


Reception to follow.

This event has received generous support from The Henry Paul Busch Fund.

This is an event for Shareholders only (Shareholders are welcome to bring one guest).
RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email events@philaathenaeum.org
 


 

Kathleen A. Foster, “After American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent

November 15, 2017, 5:30 PM

Following the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s major loan exhibition in the spring of 2017, American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent, curator Foster looks back on the origins of this project, which tracked the phenomenal enthusiasm for the medium in the United States in the era between the Civil War and the 1920s. Hear about the special challenges of this topic, the outcome of the great Homer/Sargent duel in the galleries, and the unexplored aspects of what would come to be known as “the American medium.”

Kathleen A. Foster, a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale University, is the Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Senior Curator of American Art and Director of the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and adjunct professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Her many publications and exhibitions have ranged across American art from the early-nineteenth-century to the present, with a special emphasis on the work of Thomas Eakins.

This event honors Lea Carson Sherk, who served as the Athenaeum’s President from 1996 to 2015.

Reception to follow.

This event has received generous support from The Alice Beardwood Lecture Fund.

This is an event for Shareholders only (Shareholders are welcome to bring one guest).
RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email events@philaathenaeum.org

Winslow Homer, Diamond Shoal, 1905, private collection.
 



An Evening of Classical and Contemporary Arab Music

December 6, 2017, 5:30 PM

Over the centuries, the Arab world has produced a rich heritage of instrumental and vocal music. The Athenaeum is privileged to present diverse selections from this tradition, performed by a virtuoso group of musicians organized by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.

Founded in 2003, Al-Bustan is dedicated to presenting and teaching Arab culture through the arts and language.

“Al-Bustan,” Arabic for “The Garden,” offers artistic and educational programs, promoting cross-cultural understanding among youth and adults of all ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Reception
to follow.

This event has received generous support from The Edith Ogden Harrison Lecture Fund.

Athenaeum Members: Free. RSVP: Call 215-925-2688 or email events@philaathenaeum.org

Qty Description Price
Al-Bustan Non-Member


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