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Selections from the Art Department Research File Collection
Now through Wed, May 31, 2023 5:00 P.M.
Parkway Central Library
Stop by the Art Department hallway gallery on the 2nd floor to see a display of archival ephemera from our research files. The Art Research File Collection spans 64 linear feet and is divided into three series: Artists, Philadelphia Art Subjects and general Art Subjects. Philadelphia artists are especially well documented in this collection with primary materials that include exhibit promotional materials, catalogs, biographical information and clippings from new-defunct newspapers not indexed in databases. Researchers will find information here on artists that do not yet have monographs devoted to them or an online presence.
While the files span the late 1800s through today, the bulk document the 1960s through the 1980s. A finding aid is to unpublished and primary source archives what a catalog is to books in a library and we're nearling completion on one for this collection. Keep an eye out for more exhibits and events around this collection once the completed keyword-searchable finding aid is available on the Art Department page. In the meantime, anyone can use this collection in the library by simply asking an Art & Literature reference desk librarian if files are available on a given artist or art subject. Be sure to check out finding aids on other archival collections held by Parkway Central Library research departments such as Education, Philosophy, Religion and Social Science and History, as well as those held in this building's rich Special Collections.
This brief display offers a peek inside the research files for Philadelphia artists James Dupree, James Engelbart, Matt Madden, Peter Paone and Ellen Powell Tiberino as well as an example of one of the many non-local artists: Ruth Asawa. Philadelphia subject files are represented by materials from the Institute of Contemporary Arts exhibition files, the Philadelphia Bottle Club, Philadelphia Supergraphics and two contemporary galleries: Pressure Club and Vox Populi. From the general art subject files we've selected a few on Artists' Books and Turkish Embroidery.