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Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830: Memoir 267 The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266)
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Of Elephants & Roses: The House of Barnes
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. 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.
Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America: Personifying the Evolving Profession: Transactions, APS (Volume 103, Part 4) Letters of Rowland Whyte (1595-1608) : Memoir 268
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Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America Letters of Rowland Whyte (1595-1608)
This is the first study devoted to the portraits of nineteenth-century American architects. It is an examination of the way the iconography of such images changed over time to reflect the changing social status of the architect as the profession evolved during the century. Portraits in oil on canvas, drawings, and photography in the text range from Charles Willson Peale’s image of William Buckland in the late eighteenth century to John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Richard Morris Hunt in the late 1890s. The book has been praised as “a unique use of visual resources, supported by formidable primary research and a thorough analysis of secondary literature.” Illustrations. 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 Tower of the Winds in Athens: Greeks, Romans, Christians, and Muslims: Two Millennia of Continual Use: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 270) William Lewis, Esquire: Enlightened Statesman, Profound Lawyer, and Useful Citizen
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Tower of the Winds in Athens William Lewis, Esquire: Enlightened Statesman, Profound Lawyer, and Useful Citizen
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.
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.



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