NEWS: July 2008

Vol. 1, No. 6

In This Issue:

Engraving of The Athenaeum from Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, 8/15/1854.  Hand colored at a later date.



Thank you to the many people who have volunteered for summer, fall and PAB! If you have not already contacted us and wish to volunteer, please do not hesitate to contact me at

At the opening for Art Bound: Book Design Past and Present we greeted about 90 people to the show, creating a very nice mix of our members, people connected to the Philadelphia Center for the Book, and others who were simply interested in book design. Three artists whose work is being shown in the Haas Gallery also attended – Cynthia Back, Maria Pisano, and Elysa Voshell. Attendees enjoyed talking with the contemporary artists. 

REMINDER: Gallery talks for Art Bound will be held on July 9th, at 5:30 PM, on July 29th at 3PM, and on August 13th at 5:30PM. Please reserve your place either by calling Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or by e-mailing

BOOK ARTS WORKSHOPS: Last Saturday’s first workshop went very well, and we thank volunteers Ilene Lefko and Mary Ellen Weber for assisting Maria Pisano in the workshop. In fact, both Ilene and Mary Ellen also participated in the workshop and enjoyed making flexagons. At their suggestion we are opening up the Saturday, August 2nd, workshop “Accordion Book: Poetry and Art” to adults. The hours and cost remain the same, and this will give you an opportunity to try out a workshop if you are worried about your skills. You might also want to participate by bringing along a child or grandchild, niece or nephew so that you can make accordion books together. A few places are still available for the other summer workshops. You may use this form to register:


Book Workshop Registration

Banner Image: Engraving of The Athenaeum from Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, 8/15/1854. Hand colored at a later date.

Farewell and Welcome

Our beloved Membership Secretary, Mrs. G. (aka Dolores Garadetsky), is formally retiring this month. Mrs. G. came to the Athenaeum 48 years ago, hired by former Librarian James Dallett. She remembers the days when we rented space to an insurance company, and she also remembers the Members Reading Room and the Busch Room with floors covered with large black-and-white squares and walls covered in a “warm beige.” She has seen many, many changes in the organization and the building, and we are attempting to capture those memories in an oral history conducted by Bruce Laverty.

We also welcome Laura Fiorello as Mrs. G.’s successor. Laura Fiorello brings to the Athenaeum her substantial experience with the Marian Anderson Award/Philadelphia Festival of Arts and the City of Philadelphia with its Percent for Art Program and the Office of Arts and Culture. In addition to her skills with programs and grant administration, Laura carries with her design skills which you have already encountered in the Art Bound invitation. 

To give members an opportunity to say farewell to Mrs. G., we will hold the July Coffee Day on Tuesday, July 8. Please take this opportunity to chat and reminisce with Mrs. G and to meet Laura.
Volunteers to bring cookies, brownies, etc., most welcome. Please contact Susan Gallo if you intend to contribute to the refreshments.

Laura Fiorello and Mrs. G., Photo by Jim Carroll

Athenaeum Bookshelf is Moving Online

The Athenaeum will now be publishing our list of new books online. This will allow us to provide information in a more timely fashion – monthly instead of bimonthly – to better serve our readers. It will also allow us to cut printing costs and conserve paper.

Since you already receive our monthly newsletter, you do not have to take any action to receive the online version of the Athenaeum Bookshelf.  A link to the latest issue will appear in the right column of each month's newsletter. It will also appear on the homepage of the Athenaeum's website. 

Socrates Cafe

An Athenaeum member, Gil Feinberg, has volunteered to facilitate a "Socrates Cafe" once a month in the Athenaeum board room. Socrates Cafe is a leader facilitated dialogue exploring life's great questions using the Socratic Method. No preparation is required of participants, just an open mind and willingness to share your thoughts with others. The first one will start at 11 AM on Tuesday, September 16, and will last from 1-1.5 hours. Members and friends are welcome. Given space constraints, it is important that you send an email to Gil at if you plan to attend.

Engraving from The memorable things of Socrates /written by Xenophon, in five books ; translated into English ; to which are prefix'd the life of Socrates, from the French of Monsieur Charpentier ... and the life of Xenophon, collected from several authours ; with some account of his writings. London, T. Ilive for G. Sawbridge, 1712. Collection of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.


In The Next Issue: New ways to view historic maps.

The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday.  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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