Current and Coming features detailed information about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania. Originated as “Currents.” Retitled “Current and Coming,” Winter 2003, and then retitled “Out and About,” Fall 2005. Revived as “Current and Coming,” Winter 2013. Ran regularly, Spring 1984 to Spring 2008, and then occasionally, Winter 2013 to Spring 2015.

Encounters and Ex­changes

A century after the opening of the New World to explora­tion by voyager Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the forces of native culture and foreign commerce collided on the banks of the Delaware River. Dramatically portraying the conflicts between the in­digenous Lenni-Lenape and European explorers, and among the nations that ex­ploited the Delaware River Valley, a recently-installed exhibition at the Philadelphia Maritime Museum entitled “Encounters and Exchanges: The Delaware Valley in the Age of European Exploration” explores the collision of the various cultures during the seventeenth century and ex­amines the transforming im­pact of this epochal interaction.

“Encounters and Ex­changes: The Delaware Valley in the Age of European Explo­ration” graphically depicts the tensions between European imperialists and the Native Americans, as well as the differences among the nations that sought to exploit the re­gion’s natural resources for commerce and trade. The exhibition spans the years 1609, when English navigator Henry Hudson’s Half Moon anchored at the mouth of the Delaware, to 1682, when Penn­sylvania founder William Penn arrived aboard the Welcome to establish his “Holy Experi­ment.” Tracing the early com­mercial links established with this region by Dutch, Swedish, and English explorers, “En­counters and Exchanges” emphasizes the role of the waterways, illustrating the ways in which maritime activi­ties laid the foundation for the Delaware Valley’s growth and development.

Drawn from the Philadel­phia Maritime Museum’s ex­tensive holdings, antique maps, navigational instru­ments and charts, prints, paintings, ship models, tools, trade goods, and Native Amer­ican artifacts – including a full-size dugout canoe – recount the saga of the perilous voyage to the New World and the earliest days of European settlement. Interactive ele­ments of the exhibition, evok­ing the rigors of life – and death – at sea, encourage visi­tors to discover, firsthand, the vessel in hardship. Visitors will actually be able to participate in this exhibition by hoist­ing a sail, lowering a lead line, opening a series of trap doors, and even spinning a wheel of fortune. (The wheel, a stylized ship’s wheel, presents various probable outcomes of a trans­oceanic voyage for an ordinary sailor of the seventeenth cen­tury.)

“Encounters and Ex­changes: The Delaware Valley in the Age of European Explo­ration” will continue t?rough Sunday, May 30, 1993.

Visiting hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 A. M. to 5 P. M.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 P. M. Admission is charged. Group rates are available by advance reservation.

For more information, write: Philadelphia Maritime Museum, 321 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-2779; or telephone (215) 625-9635.


Textile Techniques

The Goldie Paley Design Center of the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science will open an unusual exhibi­tion entitled “The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Textile Techniques and Technology” on Thursday, January 21, 1993.

“Textile Techniques and Technology” will compare and contrast the historical tech­niques involved in the creation of various woven, printed, and dyed fabrics, and more mod­ern techniques, revealing the step-by-step procedures of both. The processes will be illustrated by specific textiles and the types of machinery which produced them, in addition to photographs, his­toric design books, vintage swatches, and prints. AU arti­facts and objects on view are drawn from the extensive collections of the Goldie Paley Design Center.

The exhibition will also focus on the element of conti­nuity between traditional practices and contemporary techniques in the production of textiles, whether hand­crafted or machine­-manufactured. Common misconceptions about textile weaves and structures will be examined.

While textile exhibitions frequently tend not to address issues of process and technique – thus excluding a significant portion of the pro­fessional community from fully appreciating artifacts on display – the primary goal of “The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Textile Techniques and Technology” is to minimize the barrier between object and viewer. The exhibit will also attempt to reach members of the community traditionally excluded by textile shows by involving them in the proc­esses and techniques that yielded some of the textiles featured in “The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.”

Comparisons of historic and new fabrics will include examples of nineteenth cen­tury weave drafts and their modern computer-generated counterparts. Technical proc­esses will be demonstrated through an interactive “hands­-on” area, where raw and spun fibers can be compared by feel and contrasted with sample swatches of woven fibers. Equipment will illustrate the art of computerized weave designs throughout the exhibi­tion.

“The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Textile Techniques and Technology” will remain on exhibit through Saturday, April 3, 1993.

The Goldie Paley Design Center was originally built as a private residence in 1954. Upon the death of Goldie Paley, daughter Blanche Levy donated the building and grounds to the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science as a living memorial to her mother. In September 1987, the school officially opened the Design Center, which now houses an exhibition gallery and extensive fabric collec­tions. These collections in­clude unique, historic, and contemporary textiles, as well as a fabric archive, which has become widely recognized as a resource for students, design­ers, historians, and scholars. The fabric archive features more than three hundred thousand original samples that represent the actual work and design models of both Ameri­can and European textile mills and makers.

Hours of the Goldie Paley Design Center are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 A. M. to 4 P. M. Admission to all gal­lery exhibitions is free.

Additional information may be obtained by writing: Goldie Paley Design Center, Philadel­phia College of Textiles and Science, 4200 Henry Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144; or by telephoning (215) 951-2860 or 951-2861.


Image Worlds

Alfred A. DeLardi, a self­-taught photographer, was born in 1900 in South Africa, the son of a Swiss Mining engi­neer. His family moved to Houston, Texas, in 1915, where he began working in a local photography studio. After moving to Wilmington, Dela­ware, and eventually to Phila­delphia, DeLardi found a position in the camera depart­ment of Snellenberg’s Depart­ment Store. In 1922, he persuaded the well respected commercial photographer William Shewell Ellis to em­ploy him in his studio, where he soon became studio man­ager.

DeLardi firmly established himself in the Pictorialist Sa­lons of the 1930s. He produced color covers for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Everybody’s Weekly Magazine in the 1940s, and joined the start-up staff of Holiday in 1945. After leaving the magazine three years later, DeLardi continued to work as a commercial photographer with expertise in studio work, color, photo-illustration, por­traiture, and architectural work. His clients included the Pennsylvania Railroad, Sun Oil Company, Campbell’s Soup, Philadelphia Electric Company, and the DuPont Corporation.

During his more than half­-century career as a commercial photographer in Philadelphia, Alfred A. DeLardi was at the forefront of the fast-paced evolution of his trade. His career, from 1926 through 1978, spanned a period during which large corporations be­gan to invest heavily in visual persuasion, not only to pro­mote ordinary, “everyday” products, such as DuPont’s nylon toothbrushes or the Sun Oil Company’s wax paper milk cartons, but also to shape the public image and profile of the companies themselves. DeLar­di’s use of dramatic images of technical mastery, accomplish­ment in the workplace, and domestic well-being repre­sented the increasingly sophis­ticated strategies of self-representation and prod­uct identification in corporate public image campaigns.

“Image Worlds: Photo­graphs of Alfred A. DeLardi,” currently on view at the Atwa­ter Kent Museum in Philadel­phia, examines the feverish growth of commercial photog­raphy in Philadelphia and its role in defining corporate identity. Thirty-five original works by DeLardi, dating from the late 1920s through the mid- 1970s, include early pictorial and commercial work, as well as portraits of the changing face of the city. ‘1mage Worlds” continues through March 1993.

The Atwater Kent Museum, the History Museum of Phila­delphia, is dedicated to collect­ing, preserving, and interpreting the city’s history and culture. The museum is housed in the original building of the Franklin Institute (see “Noble Ambitions: The Found­ing of the Franklin Institute” by Kershaw Burbank in the summer 1992 edition of Penn­sylvania Heritage), which was designed and built by architect John Haviland in 1825-1826. The structure was saved from demolition by A. Atwater Kent, who gave it to the City of Philadelphia in 1938 to be­come a museum devoted to its history. Permanent exhibits chronicle the history of munic­ipal services, urban archaeol­ogy, childhood recreation, and the development of Philadel­phia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Changing exhibitions are of­fered throughout the year.

Visiting hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 A. M. to 4:45 P. M. Admission is free.

For additional information, write: Atwater Kent Museum, 15 South Seventh St., Philadel­phia, PA 19106; or telephone (215) 686-3630.


The Almanac Is Back!

For nearly three centuries, from 1685 to 1976, almanacs served as significant sources of information for Philadelphi­ans. More than a dozen alma­nacs were often published in Philadelphia at the same time. This time-honored tradition came to an end nearly two decades ago with the final edition of the Bulletin Almanac.

Perhaps the most famous almanac publisher was Ben­jamin Franklin, who popular­ized a useful and witty compilation for the average citizen-in the voice of the average citizen – in Poor Rich­ard’s Almanac. Where earlier almanacs – beginning with the thirty-two page Kalandarium Pensilvaniense of 1685 – were brief calendars and chronolo­gies, Franklin improved con­tent by creating the fictional narrator, Richard Saunders. Through Poor Richard, Frank­lin offered useful information and advice for struggling tradespeople. At the peak of its popularity in the 1750s, roughly half of the Common­wealth’s citizens consulted, quoted, and heeded Poor Richard’s admonitions: Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright. He that riseth late must trot all day.

Franklin also expressed his early revolutionary inclina­tions, which added immeasur­ably to the popularity of the almanac: An innocent plowman is worth more than a vicious Prince. As early as 1735, he admonished those who ad­mired France’s King Louis XIV: Fools will prate, and call him great.

Benjamin Franklin’s library, The Library Company of Phila­delphia, will revive the city’s first and oldest publishing tradition – the almanac – in 1993 with the debut of The Philadelphia Almanac and Citi­zens’ Manual. This almanac has evolved during nearly two years of editorial planning and market analysis. Results of the market analysis indicate that nine out of ten Philadelphians who buy books believe they need a new almanac. The majority of those surveyed also placed equal value on informa­tion about history and culture as they do on information regarding government services and census data.

The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizens’ Manual will be com­piled and edited by Kenneth A. Finkel, a curator for The Library Company of Philadel­phia. Finkel grew determined to revive the almanac genre while preparing a lecture on its history and evolution in 1990. Not long afterward, he con­tributed an article entitled “Philadelphia Is in Need of Another Almanac” to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phila­delphia Almanac and Citizens’ Manual will convey the best of the old, Franklin-style almanac within a useful publication for Philadelphians of the 1990s.

For additional details per­taining to The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizens’ Manual, write: The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107; or telephone (215) 546-3181.


Discovering America

Nearly everyone can find a trace of his or her own pre­cious heritage etched in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because of the rich diversity of its population -from its earliest inhabitants, the Native Ameri­cans, to more recent waves of settlers, such as Vietnamese, Cubans, and Haitians. “Dis­covering America: The Peo­pling of Pennsylvania,” an exhibition organized in recog­nition of the quincentenary of the Christopher Columbus voyages, has been installed at the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in Philadelphia. A semi-permanent exhibition, “The Peopling of Pennsylva­nia” will remain on view through 1997. The exhibition was co-sponsored by The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, where it made its debut last year before traveling to Philadelphia.

Through paintings, prints, photographs, articles of every­day living, clothing, and reli­gious objects, “Discovering America: The Peopling of Pennsylvania” pays tribute to Native Americans and chroni­cles the arrivals of Europeans, Africans, Asians, and Central and South Americans. The exhibition offers visitors an insightful overview of the diverse ethnic groups which have populated founder Wil­liam Penn’s “Holy Experi­ment,” and describes the variety of forces that brought people to Pennsylvania to live – and the exciting opportu­nities and heartbreaking strug­gles they faced upon arrival. Objects and artifacts included in this exhibition were selected from The State Museum and the Balch Institute, in addition to more than twenty private and public collections.

Commerce and trade are consistent themes in “Discov­ering America: The Peopling of Pennsylvania” and the impact of change is used as a back­drop to illustrate the patterns of immigration. Canal and railroad construction, the garment industry, and a host of industries saw labor divided along ethnic; lines, providing new opportunities for some and challenges for others. The exhibition documents Pennsyl­vania’s history from the year 1000 A. D. to the present in six segments: “The First Ameri­cans, 1000-1750”; “Agrarians and Artisans, 1680-1830”; “Networks Across America, 1830-1890”; “Titan of Industry, 1870-1940”; “The Industrial Metropolis, 1880-1945”; and “Post-Industrial Pennsylvania, 1945-1990.” Simulated models of a rural Slovak-American kitchen, an Italian-American shoe store in South Philadel­phia, and a kitchen of an A£ri­can American catering business are on view.

“Discovering America: The Peopling of Pennsylvania” has become the latest focal point of the comprehensive multi­cultural training programs offered by the Balch Institute’s education program.

Additional details may be obtained by writing: Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, 18 South Seventh St., Philadel­phia, PA 19106; or by telephon­ing (215) 925-8090.


Beauty and Violence

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the only United States venue of the exhibition “Beauty and Violence: Japa­nese Prints by Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892.” The most popular artist in Tokyo at the time of his death one hundred years ago, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi is considered the last great mas­ter of the traditional color woodcut print that had flour­ished in Japan in the early eighteenth century. A rising artist during the decades of political tumult and social upheaval that followed the opening of Japan to the West in 1853, Yoshitoshi’s career alternated between periods of utter failure, heady success, and – ultimately – sheer mad­ness.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi devel­oped a unique style, at once flamboyant and realistic, that was particularly well suited to the expressions of passion and emotion. His most exciting designs depict people under the stress of physical and psychological crisis, his use of line bursting with nervous energy, his colors vivid, almost lurid. He became famous for his prints of dramatically dif­ferent subject matter, with poetic moonlit scenes and traditional studies of beautiful women opposed by depictions of gruesome ghost stories and gory battles.

A traditionalist who ren­dered famous historic battles, as well as contemporary rebel­lions, Yoshitoshi celebrated the heroic virtues of the feudal samurai warrior who had only recently been deprived of his ancient role. For his series of prints entitled One Hundred Warriors in Battle, he drew upon his own first-hand obser­vations of bloodshed in nearby battlefields. As a chronicler of the changing world around him, Yoshitoshi expanded the range of subjects of bijin-e (“pictures of beautiful women”) from the exclusive focus on geisha life to include everyday scenes of court ladies and prostitutes, waitresses and historic heroines, and even businessmen’s wives dressed in the latest Western fashions.

The foremost Japanese printmaker of the Meiji period, Yoshitoshi worked as a news­paper illustrator, achieving tremendous popularity. More than that of any Japanese artist of the era, the work by Yoshi­toshi symbolized the disturbed and shifting social forces of the Meiji era with his bold, bril­liant, and complex imagery. His contemporaries responded enthusiastically to his work, embracing him as the last master of ukiyo-e, the popular and traditional color wood­block prints.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art owns more than one thousand prints by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, who created only about two thousand in his lifetime.

“Beauty and Violence: Japanese Prints by Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892,” organized by the Van Gogh Museum, Amster­dam, in cooperation with the Society for Japanese Arts, is on view at the Philadelphia Mu­seum of Art through Sunday, February 14, 1993. The exhibi­tion is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue.

For more details, write: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101; or telephone (215) 787-5431.


Pennsylvania Photographers

The Allentown Art Mu­seum is showing the eighth exhibition in its acclaimed biennial series, “Pennsylvania Photographers,” through Sun­day, March 21, 1993.

This year’s edition, “Penn­sylvania Photographers 8,” offers a critical review of work completed during the past two years by artists living or work­ing in the Commonwealth. During the past sixteen years the series has attracted pieces by some of the Keystone State’s most important artists, including Matt Bulvony, Pitts­burgh; Larry Fink, Martin’s Creek; Judith Joy Ross, Bethle­hem; and Ken Graves, State College. Since its founding, the exhibition series has gained a reputation as a presti­gious forum in which works by emerging talent are shown with pieces by more estab­lished and well known pho­tographers. Much of the critical success of “Pennsylva­nia Photographers” has re­sulted from the professional contributions of guest curators who have been selected from the senior ranks of the profes­sion. Photographs in “Pennsyl­vania Photographers 8” have been selected by Merry Foresta, curator of photogra­phy, National Museum of American Art.

Both the form and content of “Pennsylvania Photogra­phers” are unique to the guest curator’s critical bias, a fact that engages participating artists and viewers of each biennial exhibition. In addi­tion, the guest curator chooses pieces for the exhibition from actual portfolios of original prints, rather than from slides – one aspect that ensures the show’s outstanding quality and attracts a statewide follow­ing among photographers, students, and members of the arts community.

The Allentown Art Muse­um’s photography collection has been formed through purchases from this exhibition series. The museum’s collec­tion reflects the geographic breadth and stylistic diversity found in the exhibitions. In 1999, following the tenth show of the series, the museum will mount a traveling exhibition of works acquired since the inau­gural show. For many of the Commonwealth’s senior art­ists, this retrospective will offer a nearly complete survey of their artistic output.

For more information, write: Allentown Art Museum, P. O. Box 388, Allentown, PA 18105-0388; or telephone (215) 432-4333.


Silhouette Selection

Madonna, Annette Betting, Jack Nicholson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Bette Davis are among the Hollywood stars whose faces will grace the galleries of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Philadelphia, in an exhibition of recent celebrity photography opening Satur­day, February 13, 1993. Entitled “The Silhouette Selection: Recent Celebrity Photogra­phy,” the exhibition showcases seventy color and black-and­-white portraits by fourteen masters of the form: Josef Astor, Harry Benson, Greg Gorman, Brigitte Lacombe, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Map­plethorpe, Steven Meisel, Sheila Metzner, Helmut New­ton, Herb Ritts, Matthew Rol­ston, Albert Watson, Bruce Weber, and Firooz Zahedi.

Popular film and television personalities pictured in “The Silhouette Selection” include Roseanne Arnold, Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Gerard Depardieu, Matt Dil­lon, Jodie Foster, Ava Gardner, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Jessica Lange, David Lynch (an alumnus of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), Bette Midler, Jason Priestley, Meryl Streep, and Isabella Rossellini. Most of these portraits have appeared in such magazines as Vanity Fair, Life, Harper’s Bazaar, and Rolling Stone, but they have never been publicly displayed in a museum setting. This exhibition is the first to treat this influential group of pho­tographers as representatives of an important movement in contemporary photography and offers visitors the rare opportunity to see these works in their original format.

The art of celebrity photog­raphy has evolved in associa­tion with the motion picture industry; it has served as an important vehicle for commun­ication by producers, filmma­kers, directors, studios, and the actors and actresses them­selves. The first photographers to specialize in the medium were usually independents with private galleries, even though they would occasion­ally photograph Hollywood’s leading men and ladies at home, on the studio set, or on location. These photographers were not hired by the studios and production companies, but by the stars themselves, who assumed responsibility for their own portraits.

Hollywood film studios established their own still photography departments by the mid-1920s, the beginning of the ballyhooed studio hey­day. Performers under contract with a studio were required to sit for its staff photographers who worked on the studio lot. During the 1930s and 1940s­ – the golden decades of the celebrity glamour portrait­ – studios churned out hundreds of photographs each week to satisfy the public’s seeming insatiable cravings for images of favorite actors and actresses. As the studio system splin­tered in the 1950s, studios began to commission freelance photographers for special assignments. No longer bound by the restrictions of studio contracts, many motion pic­ture celebrities were once again free to take greater con­trol over their own images by collaborating with freelance photographers.

The late 1970s, which wit­nessed the revival of picture magazines, including Vanity Fair and Life, and the introduc­tion of celebrity-oriented publications, such as People and Interview, marked the begin1ting of a new era in picture-driven publications and created a new niche for celebrity photography. At a time when images were still secondary to text, photogra­phers such as Annie Leibovitz and Helmut Newton turned to large-format photography, elevating the image to the status of editorial statement in its own right and breaking the field open to stylistic experi­mentation and interpretation.

“The Silhouette Selection: Recent Celebrity Photogra­phy” complements PAFA’s landmark exhibition, “Facing the Past: Nineteenth Century Portraits from the Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,” on view through Sunday, April 11 [1993] (see “Currents” in the spring 1992 edition and “Bookshelf” in the fall 1992 issue). “Facing the Past” show­cases nearly eighty portraits of celebrities of their own eras, including George Washington and Walt Whitman.

“The Silhouette Selection: Recent Celebrity Photogra­phy” will remain on view at the Pennsylvania Academy through Tuesday, April 20 [1993].

For more information, write: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118 North Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; or telephone (215) 972-7600 or 972-7642.