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Optical Magic in the Late Renaissance: Giambattista Della Porta's De Refractione of 1593: Transactions, APS (Vol. 107, Part 1) The Art of Revolutions: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 109 Part 5
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Optical Magic in the Late Renaissance: The Art of Revolutions
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.
Strait Through: Magellan to Cook & the Pacific (An Illustrated History) Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830: Memoir 267
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Strait Through: Magellan to Cook & the Pacific Of Elephants & Roses:
This beautifully-designed book documents the story and the drama of the unfolding exploration of the Pacific Ocean that followed the discovery of the Strait of Magellan. In rare historic maps, many in full-color, and the original printed narratives of the main European explorers, the volume traces 250 years (1520s-1770s) of both national and personal maritime achievements, as the map of the Pacific slowly developed into its present shape. Chronological maps of the Magellan Strait, Pacific Ocean, and Spice Islands (Moluccas) form the backdrop to the narratives of individual explorers and explorer-pairs: Ferdinand Magellan (d. 1521), Alvaro de Mendaña de Neira (1542?-1595) and Pedro Fernandes de Queirós (d. 1615), Sir Francis Drake (1540?-1596), and many others. 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.
Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America: Personifying the Evolving Profession: Transactions, APS (Volume 103, Part 4) The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266)
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Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America The House of Barnes
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. 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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