Thursday, May 28, 2009

Views of Philadelphia Exhibition

Philadelphia is the home of a number of important print collections, and none are of more significance than that at the Library Company of Philadelphia. This venerable institution, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731 "for the advancement of Knowledge and Literature," is the home of an extensive collection of prints, with a particular strength in images of Philadelphia. Recently, that collection became even stronger when the Library Company acquired 31 lots from the Jay T. Snider Collection auction, including some important Philadelphia views. On May 4th, the Library Company opened an exhibition to highlight these acquisitions, Mirror of a City: Views of Philadelphia Recently Acquired from the Jay T. Snider Collection.

Jay Snider's collection of Philadelphia related material was sold at auction in November 2008, with 375 lots that ranged over the whole history of the city, from its founding in the late seventeenth century to the Centennial and its burgeoning industry in the late nineteenth century. Many of the most important and rarest Philadelphia views, maps, documents and books appeared in this auction, and the Library Company--in part through the generosity of Mr. Snider--was able to acquire some wonderful items to fill in to their already extensive collection.

The exhibition, Mirror of a City was organized by Curator of Prints and Photographs Sarah Weatherwax and Assistant Curator Erika Piola. It will include prints, maps and original artwork from the Snider Collection, as well as complimentary items that were already in the collection.

The exhibition will run through Septembe 4th in the gallery at the Library Company, located at 1314 Locust Street in Philadelphia. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.. The exhibition is free and open to the public. More information can be found on the Library Company's web site.

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