The 12th Annual Robert F. Looney Memorial Event: Documentary PIX: Philadelphia, A Century of Change

By Michelle S. Mon, March 14, 2011

Mark your calendars! In celebration of the memory of art aficionado and Free Library curator Robert F. Looney, the Parkway Central Library will host the 12th annual Robert F. Looney Lecture on Saturday, March 26 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. This event includes a free, public panel discussion and a ticketed fundraiser for the Print and Picture Collection. All artwork in the auction has been donated by the artist or a collector. This is a marvelous opportunity to purchase outstanding artwork at very reasonable prices.

This year’s Looney Event will kick off with "Challenges to Documentary Photography in the 21st Century," a free panel discussion moderated by noted photography critic A.D. Coleman and featuring photographer Daniel Traub and arts writer Nancy Brokaw. The 4:00 p.m. panel discussion will be followed by a ticketed reception at 5:00 p.m., at which attendees can enjoy refreshments and bid on affordable artwork donated by many established and emerging local artists. Tickets to the reception must be purchased in advance. The reception is sponsored by the Associates of the Print and Picture Collection and Friends of the Central Library. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Print and Picture Collection!

Today, the Print and Picture Collection relies heavily on donations of artists' work to build its collections, but would like to be able to continue the example set by Mr. Looney of supporting local artists by buying their work. Money raised at the Looney event will help with acquisition of art and the purchase of conservation materials.

An exhibition titled "Documentary PIX: Philadelphia, A Century of Change" is open in Parkway Central's West Gallery now through April 29 in conjunction with the Robert F. Looney Memorial Event. Curated by Stephen Perloff and Blaise Tobia, the exhibition features photographs and images of an ever-changing Philadelphia throughout the 20th century from several contemporary artists, including Jim Abbott, Noah Addis, Michael Bucher, John Dowell, Vincent Feldman, Harvey Finkle, Joseph Labolito, Karen Lightner, Daniel Lobdell, Laurence Salzmann, Sandy Sorlien, Jeffrey Stockbridge, Zoe Strauss, Daniel Traub, and John Woodin. While both photography and Philadelphia may look very different and rely on vastly different technologies than they did a century ago, the core of what they are about is essentially unchanged.

"From Bell Telephone Building" by Frank H. Taylor
"30th Street Reflection" by John Dowell
"Mummer Yelling" by Zoe Strauss

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