NEWS: January 2011

Vol. 4, No. 1

In This Issue:

Banner Image: Detail of a still life by Severin Roesen.



We at the Athenaeum look forward to a happy and busy New Year for 2011, and we hope to see you for the many lectures, exhibitions, and other meetings which we have already scheduled for winter/spring. You should soon receive via snail mail your new calendar of programs, but below you will find a preview of some of the programs planned. In the meantime, don’t miss our William Birch exhibition, which continues in the gallery through January 8th, a Saturday when we will be open from 10AM to 2PM. The exhibition gleaned a very nice review from Victoria Donohoe in the December 24th Philadelphia Inquirer. In case you missed that, here is the link.
  (To see Birch images in the link go to the “View images” section to the right).

Happy New Year to all!

Reminder: The Athenaeum will be closed on January 17th for Martin Luther King Day.

Banner Image: Detail of a still life by Severin Roesen.


New Books for January

Athenaeum Bookshelf  01-2011

"Haunted Philadelphia: Photography and Pop-ups by Colette Fu" Exhibition

As Philadelphia is a “City of Firsts” for its historic sites and centuries-old buildings, it has also become known over the years as one of America’s most haunted cities, according to Fulbright Fellowship winner Colette Fu. She injects new questions into our views of Philadelphia's historic landmarks using both her photographs and a new approach to the popup structure. Ms. Fu employs Epson ultrachrome ink, mounted onto archival card stock and bound in Philadelphia newspapers and Joss paper-also known as ghost money, sheets of paper that are burned in traditional Chinese deity or ancestor worship ceremonies and in Chinese funerals.


Opening Reception: February 4, 5:00-7:00pm


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


Exhibition Dates: February 1-March 18


Above: Eastern State Penitentiary.  Photo by Colette Fu.


Pop-up Book Workshops with Colette Fu

Children’s Popup Workshop: Celebrating Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rabbit


Saturday, February 5, 2011 --  10:00AM-12:00PM

This year Chinese New Year starts on February 3rd. Children born in the year of the Rabbit are even-tempered, sensitive and patient. Find out more about the Year of the Rabbit and make your own colorful Chinese New Year card. Happy Chinese New Year-Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Members: $15/ Non-Members: $25

Adult Popup Workshop

Saturday, February 5, 2011 -- 1:30-4:30PM

The year of the Rabbit will be a calmer year, much needed after a heated year of the Tiger. In this workshop we will learn the basic mechanisms and terminology for pop-ups, including slits, angle folds, generations, coils, tents, platforms and pull-tabs and make our own Chinese New Year’s card leading us into the Year of the Rabbit.

Members: $30/ Non-Members: $50

Click here to register

Above: Pop-up book by Colette Fu.

Member Critics

Robert Harris.  Conspirata. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010.


Having read Ben Hur or Cleopatra or seen a well done movie version of any fictionalized chunk of history, the experience could have been enjoyable- unless you'd previously studied the story in school or had otherwise become very interested in the period.  Even so, a very good novel or other production might have helped to suspend disbelief.


The conspiracies Robert Harris tells us about loom huge in Ancient Rome's history, featuring bad guys like Catalina and Caesar, and only one unobjectionably good guy, Tiro, a slave, who was Cicero's secretary (and the narrator).  Cicero, the central action figure, really meant well for the people- but you know how things worked in Ancient Rome (or more recent Russia, or Germany, or Italy, or...of course, that's a reason for liking ancient stuff).


Submitted by Dr. Harold Rashkis.


Do 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


Save the Date:  

January 8: First Saturday, Athenaeum open, 10:00am-2:00pm

January 11: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am

February 4: "Haunted Philadelphia" Opening Reception, 5:00-7:00pm

February 5: First Saturday, Athenaeum open, 10:00am-2:00pm

February 5: Pop-up Book Workshops, 10:00am-4:30pm


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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