Our Five Senses | A New Family Friendly, Fully-Interactive Exhibition

By Chris B. RSS Mon, April 29, 2019

On May 13, the Free Library's Special Collections Division will present Our Five Senses, the first family friendly, fully-interactive exhibition at the Free Library. The exhibition connects the science of the senses with the mind and the literary experience. Unique materials in the exhibition cross three centuries of human discovery. 

The exhibition will run from May 13 - November 2, 2019, Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. Visitors will learn about their identity, perceptions, and brain development by following five anthropomorphic characters (Touch, Taste, Sight, Hearing, and Smell) across multiple sensory stations. These hands-on sensory stations create intergenerational conversations around literacy, science, and fun! Visitors can also sign up for free curator-led tours during the exhibition.

The exhibition was inspired by noted children's book author and illustrator, Aliki. In 1962, she published My Five Senses, a timeless picture book that is still read by librarians and families today. In 1979, Aliki donated the artwork to the Children's Literature Research Collection and original pieces from My Five Senses will be on view during the exhibition. This gift inspired us to re-examine how children and adults use their senses to explore and interpret the worldaround them. Aliki currently resides in Manhattan and continues to publish picture books. 

Local author/illustrator and 2017 Summer of Wonder artist Greg Pizzoli created five friendly anthropomorphic characters for Our Five Senses. These characters will guide visitors around the gallery, helping them learn about their senses.

Programming for the exhibition will take place around Parkway Central Library and in the Neighborhood Library Services Division.

Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by Independence Foundation and PNC. The Free Library of Philadelphia gratefully acknowledges additional contributions from individuals.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Can't wait to see it!!!
Joe Shemtov - Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Chris and Karen, I'm so excited to bring my kiddo to this!
Jamie Bowers - Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Hey where is this exhibit going to be at within the Free Library...
Sarah Mingo - WYN
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Sounds great, I can't wait to see it! I hope the exhibit clarifies that there are really 6 senses. I am not sure why this pre-conceived notion of five senses still exists--the library should be encouraging a better understanding of how we interpret our world.
Sean O'Rourke - Philadelphia
Friday, May 3, 2019

Karen K. is a rock star and I have met no one so devoted to children's and family library services and programming at Ms. K. I know that this exhibit will be one more gift to the children and families in Philadelphia courtesy of one amazing and gifted librarian.
David Mariscotti - South Philly
Sunday, May 12, 2019