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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: GENDER AND SPACE IN IMPRESSIONIST INTERIORS

In the Conservatory, Edouard Manet, 1879

by Suzanne Singletary, Ph.D., Associate Dean, New Academic Initiatives and Graduate Studies, College of Architecture and the Built Environment, Thomas Jefferson University

Tuesday Nov 12 at 6:00 p.m.
Lawrence N. Field DEC Center Forum
4201 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Thomas Jefferson University’s East Falls Campus

Free and open to all, no registration required.
For public transit info see www.SEPTA.com.
Free parking is available in a nearby visitors’ parking lot accessed from School House Lane, just east of Henry Avenue, behind Search Hall.

As early as the 1830s, the English word home had migrated into the French language, signifying an isolated, self-contained domesticity and recognition that the “house” had undergone a radical redefinition. Population growth, demographic shifts, revolutions within the social and political spheres and, significantly, the all-encompassing redesign of Paris by Napoleon III and his urban planner Baron Haussmann effected a fundamental split between public and private spaces. Impressionist painters chronicled their responses to the “New Paris,” interpreting the many repercussions and permutations wrought by Haussmannization and leaving us a painted archive of urban vistas as well as the sequestered spaces of home. Their domestic interiors not only itemize activities of daily life, but also insinuate the volatile conditions and invariable frictions that accompanied modernity, specifically the often-strained relationships between modern men and modern women “at home.” Private space, by definition, permitted the enactment of clandestine psychological and gender-related dramas, intended to remain securely closeted behind closed doors.

Suzanne Singletary teaches the history and theory of art, architecture and design. She has been involved in the development of the History of Architecture and Interiors series and taught seminars in thesis research and preparation, photography and visual culture, and issues in contemporary architecture. Currently she serves as Associate Dean for New Academic Initiatives and Graduate Studies and Director of the MS Historic Preservation Program. Her research interests include interdisciplinary aspects of art, architecture, literature and music. She has participated in international symposia and been an invited speaker at the National Gallery of Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of London, the Tate Britain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has published articles on Eugène Delacroix, French Symbolism, and Francesco Goya, and contributed essays to Impressionist Interiors (National Gallery of Ireland 2008), Perspectives on Manet (Ashgate 2012) and Rival Sisters (Ashgate 2014). Her book, James McNeill Whistler and France: A Dialogue in Paint, Poetry, and Music was published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group (2017).

HORMIGÓN EN CONCRETO: A MATERIAL HISTORY OF EARLY 20TH-CENTURY CONCRETE ARCHITECTURE IN PUERTO RICO

by Héctor J. Berdecía-Hernández, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and 2019 SAH Phila Chapter George B. Tatum Fellow.

Wednesday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m.
B-3 Meyerson Hall, University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design

Free and open to the public, no registration required.

After the Spanish-American War of 1898, new forms, construction technologies, and innovative building materials were introduced in the new Caribbean and Pacific colonial possessions of the United States. As an experimental site for a new American project, Puerto Rico became a target quickly for concrete manufacturers and architecture/engineering firms since the early 1900s. As a Laboratory, the islands were the ideal place for the use of concrete, an -also- experimental building material at that time. In examining early 20th-century architecture and concrete construction technologies, this presentation will explore early American influences in Puerto Rican architecture. Furthermore, how concrete; as a building material, was not only a material used widely across America’s new possession in the Caribbean but also how it played a role in shaping new forms of colonial governance: the American colonization of Puerto Rico.

As a University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant in the and Editorial Assistant for Change Over Time: An International Journal of Conservation and the Built Environment. Hector holds a double major degree in Environmental Design (B.EnvD.) and History, and a Post-Bachelor Certificate in Urban Studies from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Rio Piedras Campus. Héctor is currently a second year graduate student at Penn’s Historic Preservation program. Born and raised in San Juan and Moca, Puerto Rico, his research interests include conservation and innovative treatments of traditional building materials in the Caribbean region, preservation policy and history in Puerto Rico and the United States. His current thesis research focuses on the development of an assessment methodology, cleaning strategies and better conservation practices for exposed concrete surfaces in modern Caribbean architecture.

The Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians’ George B. Tatum Annual International Conference Fellowship helps fund registration, travel and lodging expenses related to attending the annual meetings of the Society of Architectural Historians. For application information on the 2020 Fellowship visit http://philachaptersah.org/index.php/about/

LEARNING FROM THE PRESERVATION MASTERS

Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia invite you to
Learning From The Preservation Masters
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 6 PM – 8 PM
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S 6th St, Philadelphia

Free but REGISTRATION REQUIRED at
https://25017.blackbaudhosting.com/25017/Learning-from-the-Preservation-Masters

What can experience teach us? How do we protect and build upon the hard-won preservation victories of the past six decades? How do we adapt our mentors’ legacies to address new challenges and opportunities for preservation?

Several members of the ‘Old Guard’ of Philadelphia’s preservation community come together for an evening that will give insight into the preservation world of the recent past. Join Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and the Society of Architectural Historians Philadelphia Chapter for a panel discussion with distinguished preservation professionals. Their combined 200+ years of experience stretches from architecture and planning, restoration, preservation advocacy, public policy, teaching, and more. Come reflect on the lessons they learned, hardships they faced, and advice they want to hand down to the next generation of preservationists.

PANELISTS
John Andrew Gallery | Author and former Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance
Janet Klein | Member of the Board of Directors of The Woodlands
Hy Myers | Independent Architect and Planning Professional
Betty Turner | Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Historical Commission; President & Co-Founder of Germantown Community Connection

Moderated by Andrew Hart, Assistant Professor of Architecture for Visualization and Computational Design at the College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Jefferson University and Member of the Board of Directors of the Preservation Alliance.

Tour of the Patio at Archmere Now Open to All

There are still some spaces open on our tour on March 31, so we are opening it to anyone who is interested. Advance registration is still required. Please register at info@philachaptersah.org. For details see http://philachaptersah.org/index.php/category/chapter-programs/

A Private Tour of The Patio at Archmere Academy

Sunday, March 31 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

3600 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE

(Note: you will have to climb stairs on this tour if you wish to see below or above the ground floor.)

Open to Phila Chapter SAH members only.  $20 per person.

Space is limited and advance registration is required at info@philachaptersah.org

Join the Chapter on a private tour of “The Patio” at Archmere (Arch to the Sea), the former estate of John J. & Helena Springer Green Raskob in Claymont, DE.  Listed on the National Register in 1992, The Patio is an Italian Renaissance Revival mansion designed by the Wilmington architects Alexander James Harper and Clay McClure. Built from 1916-18, this 15th-C Florentine palazzo on the Delaware River was home to the Raskobs and their 13 children until 1931.  The ground floors are furnished with period furniture, some of which belonged to the Raskobs.  A significant feature of the home was the retractable stained glass skylight over the central court which features a fountain carved with likenesses of the Raskob children by Sculptor Charles Keck, a student of Augustus Saint Gaudens.  (In 1977, a protective, though transparent, covering was placed over the skylight which prevents it from being retracted.)

Born in 1879 and raised in Lockport, NY, J.J. Raskob became Pierre S. du Pont’s personal secretary in 1901.  In 1911, he became assistant treasurer of DuPont, in 1914 treasurer, and in 1918 vice-president for finance of both DuPont and General Motors.  Raskob had been an early investor in General Motors and had engineered DuPont’s ownership of 43% of GM. Raskob remained with DuPont until his retirement from the company in 1946.

He was also a devout Catholic and staunch Democrat, serving as chairman of the Democratic party from 1928-1932.  Many important players on the National stage were guests at The Patio for strategy meetings in 1928 when four-time New York Governor and fellow Catholic Alfred E. “Al” Smith ran for President.  Largely due to anti-Catholic sentiment Smith lost to Republican Herbert Hoover, so Raskob turned his attention to another project that he started in 1929, construction of the Empire State Building. The Empire State Corporation, formed to build the structure, was a consortium of four men: Pierre S. DuPont, Louis G. Kauffman, Ellis P. Earle, and Raskob.  After his loss for President, they named Al Smith as the corporation’s president.  Smith was a real booster for the ESB and did a great deal to sign tenants during the Depression.  The Empire State Building was officially opened on May 1, 1931, later that year Raskob left Archmere for his home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland as the Claymont area had become increasingly industrial in the first decades of the 20th-C. 

In 1932 the Norbertine religious order purchased the estate and founded Archmere Academy, originally an all-boys school, today Archmere continues as co-ed private Roman Catholic college prep school with an annual enrollment of about 500 students.  Current Headmaster Michael A. Marinelli, Ed.D., will be our guide on this tour that will take you from the basement to the attic. 

Driving Directions: From Philadelphia Pike drive past the main gates to the mansion and make a left turn at the traffic light onto Manor Avenue.  Enter at the THIRD gate on the left.  Park in that lot and walk around to the front entrance of The Patio.

Public Transit Directions: Archmere is a 10 minute walk from the SEPTA Claymont Station on the Wilmington/Newark Line. For walking directions follow this link https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Claymont,+200+Myrtle+Ave,+Claymont,+DE+19703/3600+Philadelphia+Pike,+Claymont,+Delaware/@39.7998058,-75.4578404,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c6e40bd4f2cf73:0x5b800c0087541c27!2m2!1d-75.4523299!2d39.7977258!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c6e40d0f53016b:0xbb09e8121e7d9563!2m2!1d-75.4539289!2d39.8023699?hl=en&authuser=0

Annual SAH Phila Members Pizza & Pictures Party

Tuesday January 22, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. 
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S. 6th Street

Please join us for an evening of fun and good food!

Pizza and beverages will be provided.  Please feel free to bring a dessert to share if you wish.  There is no charge for Philadelphia Chapter SAH members AND each member is invited to bring one guest at no charge as a prospective member.  Additional guests are welcome at $15.00 each.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED Please RSVP to Bruce Laverty at laverty@PhilaAthenaeum.org or 215-925-2688.

If you would like to bring a few digital images to give a short (5 minute/10-15 image) talk on a recent project, current research, or “What I did on my summer vacation,” please let Bruce know.  Digital images should be placed on a thumb drive in a Power Point file or as individual image files.

SNOW DATE TUESDAY, JANUARY 29

WILLIAM RAU’S PHILADELPHIA

“Old store Race St. Wharf, Phila.” Race Street at Delaware Avenue, ca. 1880-1900. Library of Congress.

The Oliver Evans Society for Industrial Archeology, the Philadelphia Chapter Society of Architectural Historians and the Wagner Free Institute of Science invite you to

A Glass Lantern Slide presentation by Martha Capwell Fox, Historian and Archives Coordinator for the National Canal Museum, a program of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

Wednesday, December 5 at 6:00 p.m.
The Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1700 W Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia

Reception to follow.

$15 per person for members of The Oliver Evans Society for Industrial Archeology, the Philadelphia Chapter Society of Architectural Historians and the Wagner Free Institute of Science and their guests, $20 for all others.

ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE, NO ADMISSIONS AT THE DOOR.  Select ticket from drop down menu below, then click Add to Cart button.


Ticket Price




Using the Wagner’s vintage glass lantern slide projector Martha will present a program featuring 19th-C views of Philadelphia by famed photographer William H. Rau, (January 19, 1855 – November 19, 1920).  Born in Philadelphia, at the age of 13, he started doing photographic work for his future father-in-law, William Bell, a medical and survey photographer for the federal government. In 1874, with Bell’s recommendation, Rau joined an expedition to Chatham Island in the South Pacific to photograph the Transit of Venus. After returning, Rau worked for the Centennial Photographic Company, the official photographers of Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exposition. After the exposition, he joined his father-in-law’s stereo card studio, which he purchased in 1878. He operated this studio in partnership with his brother, George, until 1880. From that point into the 20th-C he traveled the world making photographs on commission for numerous groups.  He spent a significant portion of the 1890s doing photographic work for both the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad, and published collections of his railroad photos in 1892 and 1900.  He was the official photographer for the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland the following year.  His work is now included in the collections of several prominent museums, libraries and archives around the world.

The National Canal Museum’s collection of Rau glass lantern slides was a gift from Professor Charles Best, who was chair of the engineering department at Lafayette College.  There are over 1200 slides in his collection, but we will see about 80 of the best of Philadelphia.

Martha Capwell Fox has been with the National Canal Museum for six years, but has a three decades-long relationship with the Museum through former Director Lance Metz. She graduated from American University with a dual degree in International Relations and History.  She spent most of her career in publishing; working at National Geographic and was a senior editor at Rodale Press.  She has published seven books, four Arcadia books on local  Lehigh Valley history, and YA histories of swimming, auto racing and Vatican City.  Her latest book, “Geography, Geology, and Genius:  The Industrial History of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor” is in production and should be out by the end of the year.

The talk will take place in the historic Lecture Hall of the Wagner Free Institute of Science and is followed by a reception in the Museum.

About the Wagner: Founded in 1855, the Wagner Free Institute of Science is dedicated to providing free public education in science. Its programs serve all ages and include evening science courses—the oldest free adult education program in the country—lectures, field trips and children’s lessons. The Wagner is also committed to preserving and interpreting its National Historic Landmark building, designed by John McArthur, which opened in 1865. The building houses a Victorian-era lecture hall, a library, and three-story exhibition hall displaying more than 100,000 natural history specimens. The site is virtually unchanged since the 1890s. The Wagner today is both an educational institution that teaches contemporary science, and a historic site that presents a time capsule of Victorian science. It is open to visitors Tuesdays – Fridays, 9 AM to 4 PM, year-round, and offers an array of evening and weekend programs throughout the year. It is located at 1700 W. Montgomery Avenue, a few blocks from Temple University’s main campus and the Temple-Cecil B. Moore Broad Street Line station.

Skyline Spectacular: Outdoor Advertising Structures and American Architecture

Image Credit: Jack E. Boucher, photographer. EAST FACADE AS SEEN FROM EIGTH AND MARKET STREETS – Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, Twelfth & Market Streets, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA. 1985. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

Presented by Craig Lee, art history Ph.D. candidate at the University of Delaware and Philadelphia Chapter SAH 2018 George B. Tatum Annual International Conference Fellow

Tuesday, October 2 at 6:00 p.m.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S 6th St,

For Philadelphia Chapter SAH Members and their guests only, please register at info@philachaptersah.org

Initially dismissed as a visual blight, outdoor advertising structures rose with the twentieth-century’s new skyscrapers in the United States and soon came to overlook the urban realm, provoking intense public and professional debate about the changing nature of the American cityscape. Their transformational effect led to a range of responses across the country from new restrictive building codes and civic lawsuits to their embrace in architectural designs and urban depictions. Please join Craig to explore the history of rooftop billboards, illuminated spectaculars, and other forms of commercial signage on top of buildings in relation to the aesthetic politics of the American skyline

HENRY W. BROWN, HIS HOUSE, AND THE OAK ROAD: A WALKING TOUR

Ivy Cottage, 3819 The Oak Road, 1914

Sponsored by The East Falls Historical Society

Led by David M. Breiner, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University,
and Steven J. Peitzman, MD, Drexel University

Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 10 a.m. (Rain Date will be Sunday September 16)

Cost $15, EFHS Members $10, payable on site, pre-registration is not required.

Please meet at 10:00 sharp at the southwest corner of The Oak Road and School House Lane. The tour goes on unless the morning brings heavy rain. Parking is permitted along some parts of The Oak Road. For more information contact Steven Peitzman at peitzmansj@gmail.com.

Stretching only from School House Lane to Midvale Avenue, The Oak Road is likely the only street in Philadelphia that both requires a  “The” for its full name, and has always contained an oak tree in its center. Both the street and its dominant structure, the Timmons House, were created by Henry W. Brown in 1907. Brown was a prominent figure in the insurance industry and a lead cricket player at the Germantown Cricket Club. The Oak Road came to be both a residential “colony” for the Brown family and a handsome development of mostly Colonial Revival homes: the handsome brick and stucco Timmons house exemplifies the Colonial Revival movement in American Architecture and culture. Other buildings on the tour will include the Ivy Cottage, a Gothic revival house dating to circa 1860, and the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd, designed by Philadelphia architect Carl Ziegler and built in 1926. The tour leaders, David Breiner, PhD and Steven Peitzman, MD, will also discuss the historical background of School House Lane and of the nearby part of East Falls which was once known as Queen Lane Manor. We will not visit inside the structures to be discussed, but the tour leaders will share several historic maps and photographs. The tour will meet on Saturday, September 15, at 10 am, at the southwest corner of School House Lane and The Oak Road.

Annual Members Meeting & Program 05/16/2018

Please join the Philadelphia Chapter SAH for our annual meeting of the Members and program.

The “Lady Architect”: (Re)Discovering the Career
and Clientele of Minerva Parker Nichols (1862-1949)

by Margaret (Molly) Lester, Research Associate for PennPraxis and creator
of the Preserving Minerva website, www.minervaparkernichols.com

Wednesday, May 16 at 6:00 p.m.
at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia,
219 S. 6th Street

The program will begin following the annual meeting of the Members.

Free for Phila Chapter SAH members.
$15.00 for non-members, payable on site.
Registration requested at info@philachaptersah.org

Although her formal independent practice lasted just eight years and was concentrated in the Philadelphia area, Minerva Parker Nichols (1862-1949) built a career and clientele of architectural and social significance in the late nineteenth-century’s professionalizing field of architecture. Trained as an apprentice, Nichols designed over 60 commissions nationwide, earning plaudits and extensive press coverage from her peers. Yet, she is rarely recognized today for her contributions to the field of architecture—in particular, on behalf of female clients and women’s clubs in an era of growing economic independence for women. This oversight neglects one of the earliest case studies of a woman successfully contributing dozens of structures to the American built environment—including spaces explicitly for women—and creating a business model as an independent female architect where there was none. This talk is based on research that began 7 years ago for a Master’s thesis, and continues today.

Margaret (Molly) Lester is a Research Associate for PennPraxis, the center for applied research, outreach, and practice at PennDesign.  Her portfolio includes research, documentation, and field survey projects related to historic buildings and landscapes, ranging from eighteenth-century historic sacred places to twentieth-century public golf courses. Previously, she worked as a freelance architectural historian and preservation planner, a national program director for Partners for Sacred Places, and an architectural historian/historic tax credit consultant for Heritage Consulting Group. She holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Architectural History from the University of Virginia.