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The Art of Revolutions: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 109 Part 5 Speaking in Tongues: APS, Transactions (Vol. 106, Part 4) 2016
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The Art of Revolutions Speaking in Tongues
The American Philosophical Society exhibition, Curious Revolutionaries: The Peals of Philadelphia (April-December 2017), Curated by Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows  Drs. Diana Marsh and Amy Ellison, offered visitors a look at the lives, accomplishments, and legacies of Charles Willson Peale and his talented family. Expanding on the exhibition, "The Art of Revolutions" conference, cosponsored by the American Philosophical Society , the Museum of the American Revolution, and the Phildelphia Museum of Art, explored the role of imagery in infulencing and giving meaning to the political wrevolutions that defined the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The conference was held October 026-28, 2017, at the American Philosophical Society. Included here is a selection of the talks presented at the conference, revised and updated. The volume also contains an introduction by Cathy Kelly and compelling preface by Patrick Spero, Librarian and Director of the APS Library. Raised in a Lebanese mountain village, Fedwa Malti-Douglas came to America at the age of 13. After a rich academic career, Professor Malti-Douglas turned her attention to other muses, publishing a novel (Hisland, SUNY Press) in 1998, and poetry (including a chapbook of visual poetry). Fedwa’s honors include the 1997 Kuwait Prize in Arts and letters, and the National Humanities Medal for 2014, presented in 2015 by President Barack Obama. This volume tells the story of a family torn apart by divorce, death, and exile, and reunited by an inherited form of muscular dystrophy. It has been praised as “a memoir of unpitying clarity,” “deeply moving and arresting,” which “crosses landscapes of sadness, of happiness, of pain and peace, of alienation and acceptance, toward a healing enlargement of the soul.” Color photos.
Dean and the Historian: Their Lives and Times through Letters John Milton’s Roman Sojourns, 1638-1639: Neo-Latin Self-Fashioning: Transactions, APS (Volume 109, Part 4)
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Dean and the Historian John Milton’s Roman Sojourns
William S. Middleton, a graduate of the Univ. of PA School of Med., taught thousands of students during his 63 years at the Univ. of Wisconsin (UW) School of Med. One of his most important decisions was to establish a medical history dep’t. and appoint as its first chair, Erwin Ackerknecht, the pioneering medical historian. The correspondence between the dean and the historian began in 1947 and continued until 1974. Both men fought for causes they believed in: Middleton for improved veterans’ healthcare, better training of physicians, and the establishment of medical libraries; and Ackernecht for a social view of medicine and rejection of fascism in education. The letters show how these two outstanding men viewed the world and viewed themselves, as they discuss their daily lives and concerns, and above all, their friendship. Illus. This study examines the impact of Rome and its vibrant culture upon Milton in the course of two two-month sojourns in the city in 1638-1639. Focusing on his neo-Latin writings pertaining to that period, it presents new evidence of the academic, literary, and musical contexts surrounding Milton’s proactive integration into seicento Rome. Highlighting Milton’s self-fashioning as one who was hospitably embraced by Catholic Rome, this volume traces his networking with distinguished Italian humanists (upon whom he left no slight an impression). Not least, we read of Milton’s attested presence in the hub of Catholicism, the Vatican itself, and his language is fulsome, even excited.
William Lewis, Esquire: Enlightened Statesman, Profound Lawyer, and Useful Citizen The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266)
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William Lewis, Esquire: Enlightened Statesman, Profound Lawyer, and Useful Citizen The House of Barnes
Lewis (1752-1819) was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, Federalist and abolitionist. His descendant Esther Ann McFarland spent years locating records by and about Lewis and compiling this study. “History buffs will be fascinated by this authentic account of the role a leading Phila. lawyer played in shaping the character of our nation while we transitioned from colonial to post-revolutionary times. As an advisor to our Founding Fathers, a champion of individual rights, a strong advocate for abolition of slavery, a state legislator, an inaugural officer of the Phila. Bar Assoc. and Pennsylvania’s first U.S. Attorney and second fed. judge, William Lewis had a major impact on the development of our laws and the balance achieved by our fed. and state governments.” Illus. The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy is a beautifully written study of the extraordinary art collector and volatile personality Albert C. Barnes.  The book places him in the context of his own era, shedding new light on the ideas and movements (about art collecting, education, and aesthetics) that shaped so much of his thinking.

The Barnes’ major holdings of largely post-impressionist art include more than 800 paintings, with a strong focus on Renoir (181 canvases), Cézanne (69), Matisse (59), and Picasso (46 paintings and drawings). In its entirety, it is the greatest single collection of such art that has remained intact.  

The last chapters of the book address the controversial events surrounding the Barnes Foundation’s move to Philadelphia, including vehement opposition—as well as strong support. There is an analysis of the Foundation’s financial plight, a review of the major court cases over the decades, and a characterization of the fervent reactions following the court’s decision to allow the move to take place.

The monograph is recommended for a broad audience, including those interested in art and art collecting, the role of art in education, and the development of cultural institutions.



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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson

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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson
The Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson and the American Philosophical Society, by Patrick Spero, With research assistance by Abigail Shelton and John Kenney.


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