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The Cabinetmaker’s Account: John Head’s Record of Craft and Commerce in Colonial Philadelphia, 1718-1753 (Memoir 271) Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830: Memoir 267
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The Cabinetmaker’s Account Of Elephants & Roses:
English joiner John Head (1688–1754) immigrated to Philadelphia in 1717 and became one of its most successful artisans and merchants. However, his prominence was lost to history until the discovery of his account book at the Library of the American Philosophical Society. This award-winning illustrated book explores the fascinating history of the natural sciences in the turbulent years of post-revolutionary and Restoration France, from Empress Josephine’s black swans and rare Franklinia tree to a giraffe that walked 480 miles across France to greet the king. It is the catalogue for an international loan exhibition held in 2011 at the APS Museum in Philadelphia and the record of an associated interdisciplinary symposium held at the American Philosophical Society (APS) on December 1-3, 2011. The essays, commentaries, and discussions present new perspectives on French natural history, its influence on French culture, and its ties to the natural sciences in North America. Contributors include art historians, historians of science, and scholars of French literature, history, and culture. Illus.
Speaking in Tongues: APS, Transactions (Vol. 106, Part 4) 2016 Letters of Rowland Whyte (1595-1608) : Memoir 268
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Speaking in Tongues Letters of Rowland Whyte (1595-1608)
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. Provides the first complete edition, annotated and with modernized spelling, of these important late-Elizabethan letters, written by Rowland Whyte as the personal agent and advisor at court of Robert Sidney, Viscount Lisle and first Earl of Leicester. His series of 292 surviving letters to Sidney, written between September 1595 and December 1602, were partly intended as intelligence documents, keeping Sidney fully briefed on court affairs and gossip. This edition also includes a shorter sequence of Whyte’s surviving letters to Gilbert Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, concerning the marriage of Talbot’s daughter, Lady Mary, to Robert Sidney’s rich and increasingly powerful nephew, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. A useful resource for the last years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Illus.
The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266) The Tower of the Winds in Athens: Greeks, Romans, Christians, and Muslims: Two Millennia of Continual Use: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 270)
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The House of Barnes Tower of the Winds in Athens
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.
The Tower of the Winds has stood in the shadow of the Acropolis in
Athens for more than 2,100 years. This tall octagonal building, one of
the best preserved monuments from the classical period, was built by the
architect-astronomer Andronikos of Kyrrhos
as a horologion for keeping time. Almost all its features have been
attributed to the period of construction by the Greeks or renovations
made by the Romans. The building, however, was in use almost
continuously for two millennia, which includes Byzantine
and Ottoman phases. Pamela Webb, a classical archaeologist, examines
the Tower throughout its entire functional existence. A series of
appendices helps to put the Tower in broader context for the
post-classical periods. Winner of the 2016 John Frederick Lewis
Award. Illus.



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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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