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The Cabinetmaker’s Account: John Head’s Record of Craft & Commerce in Colonial Philadelphia, with Jay Robert Stiefel

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Thursday, January 10, 2019
6:00PM
The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Join us for an evening at the Union League with author Jay Robert Stiefel, who will present on his recently published book, The Cabinetmaker’s Account: John Head’s Record of Craft & Commerce in Colonial Philadelphia, 1718-1753.

After emigrating from England to Philadelphia in 1717, joiner John Head went on to become one of the new city’s most successful artisans and merchants. The account book Head kept is the earliest and most detailed such document to survive from all of cabinetmaking in British North America and Great Britain, but much of the history surrounding Head’s prominent career had been lost or gone unnoticed—until Jay Stiefel discovered his account book at the American Philosophical Society Library.

Through his interpretation of the account book and supplemental research to fill in historical gaps, Stiefel shines light on middle-class life and trade in Colonial Philadelphia. The Cabinetmaker’s Account, published by the American Philosophical Society, opens a window to the world of Head and his contemporaries that compels academic and amateur historians alike to look deeper into this period of our city’s history.

Jay Robert Stiefel is an authority on the crafts and commerce of Colonial Philadelphia and the institutions founded by Franklin for the welfare of its tradesmen. A native of our city, he studied history at the University of Pennsylvania and Christ Church, Oxford. Stiefel’s writings and lectures on social history have restored to the historical record many early craftsmen, artists, and merchants whose prominence had been obscured by the passage of time.

Cost/Reservations:

ICAA Member: $20 General Public: $25 Student: $15

For tickets, please visit https://icaa-phila.ticketleap.com/cabinetmakers-account/

Any refunds must be requested at least 30 days prior to the event.

The Adam Family: The Scottish Architects Who Changed the World, with Curt DiCamillo

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Monday, January 28, 2019
6:00PM
The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The Adam brothers, sons of William Adam, Sr., the foremost Scottish architect of his time, transformed the direction of architecture and design across the western world during the last half of the 18th century. There was Robert, supreme architect and the most famous of the brothers; James, an architect, furniture designer, and scholar; William Jr., a landscape designer; and John, the business manager of the brothers’ architectural firm.

Robert Adam spent nearly five years studying the ruins of the ancient world under the tutelage of Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Upon his return to England, he rejected the popular Palladian style of Lord Burlington as “disgustful” and set about changing the taste of Britain with a new style of architecture and decoration – the Adam Style, whose influences remain today. Later known as Neoclassical (or Federal in America), the style was so influential that it found its way to remote and exotic places like Russia, where Adam Style palaces were built for Catherine the Great and members of the nobility.

The Adam brothers were distinguished as the first to fully and successfully integrate architecture and interiors. They designed curved walls, domed rooms, and elaborate plasterwork that perfectly meshed with fireplaces, furniture, fixtures, ironwork, carpets, and textiles into a uniform and harmonious whole. Partners like Josiah Wedgwood, Thomas Chippendale, and Matthew Boulton provided the icing on the Neoclassical cake, all brilliantly topped off with colors that had seldom been seen in European interiors: bright sky blue, intense pink, soft lilac, pea green, and the red-brown terracotta of Etruscan vases.

Curt DiCamillo is an American architectural historian and a recognized authority on the British country house. He has written and lectured extensively in the US and abroad and taught classes on British art and culture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. DiCamillo regularly leads international scholarly tours that focus on the architectural heritage of Britain and its influence around the world. Since 1999 he has maintained an award-winning database, The DiCamillo Companion to British & Irish Country Houses. Curt currently serves as curator for special collections at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Any refunds must be requested at least 30 days prior to the event.

(Caption credit: The National Trust for Scotland)

Cost/Reservations:

ICAA Member: $20 General Public: $25 Student: $15