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Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America: Personifying the Evolving Profession: Transactions, APS (Volume 103, Part 4) Northern Light and Northern Times: Swedish Leadership in the Foundation of Biological Rhythms Research: Transactions, APS (Volume 103, Part 22
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Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America Northern Light and Northern Times
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. Swedish biomedical researchers were important in the early development of the study of biological rhythms in the mid-20th century. This study looks at the foundation of biological-rhythm research (today called “chronobiology”). The first international society (Society for the Study of Biological Rhythm) was formed by a core group of Swedish scientists, who held their first meeting in Sweden, and who dominated the activities of this Society until the 1950s, when its membership became more international. Swedish researchers were therefore important for the emergence of this interdisciplinary field and for establishing its autonomy as a distinct field. The bulk of the book is a description of the early meetings of the International Society and the papers presented at those meetings, with biographical information on some of the key Swedish researchers.
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.
Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830: Memoir 267 Dean and the Historian: Their Lives and Times through Letters
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Of Elephants & Roses: Dean and the Historian
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. 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.



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