Saturday, June 3, 2006

Library Company Collections on View Nationwide

Material from the diverse collections of the Library Company is currently on view in exhibitions around the United States. The New-York Historical Society’s tremendously popular exhibition Slavery in New York, which includes four satirical prints from Edward Clay’s Life in New York series from our collection, has been extended through March 26. The Addison Gallery of Art in Andover, Massachusetts recently opened Portraits of a People: Picturing African Americans in the Nineteenth Century, for which we lent two silhouettes and a portrait print. That exhibition also closes on March 26, but will then travel to the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington (April 21 -- July 16, 2006) and to the Long Beach Museum of Art (August 25 -- November 26, 2006). The Missouri Historical Society borrowed three J. C. Wild prints of Philadelphia for the current exhibition Drawing Upon Stone: John Caspar Wild’s Early Views of the Midwest, which will be on exhibition through April 30, 2006.

Closer to home, Library Company materials can be seen at several Philadelphia institutions. Not surprisingly in this Franklin tercentenary year, these exhibitions focus on Benjamin Franklin. The Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania has borrowed a book for the exhibition Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania: Worlds of Learning in the Age of Franklin, running through May 31. The National Museum of American Jewish History has included two early autobiographies of Franklin in the exhibition Benjamin Franklin and Religious Liberty, running through May 31. The Library Company has lent three books to the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia’s exhibition Franklin’s Legacy of Public Service: Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, which will be on display through May 8. The American Philosophical Society just opened a new exhibition, The Princess and the Patriot: Ekaterina Dashkova, Benjamin Franklin, and the Age of Enlightenment, which includes several late 18th-century views of Philadelphia by William Birch and a glass tube for early electrical experiments from our collection. That exhibition will run through December 31. And last, but certainly not least, a number of Library Company prints, books, and objects are included in the major exhibition Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World now on view at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. After that exhibition closes on April 30 it will travel to St. Louis, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, and finally to Paris, where it will close on March 30, 2008.

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