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From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Cocktails at 6:00 PM, Program at 6:30 PM
The Union League of Philadelphia
The Grant Room
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Please join us at the Union League for a Library Hour program featuring Anna O. Marley, Curator of American Historical Art at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, who will delve into the important and underexplored tradition of landscape representation in Philadelphia from the Early American Republic to the Centennial Exhibition (1876) and how that corpus shaped the better-known Hudson River School. Based on an exhibit at the Academy curated by Ms. Marley, she will explore Philadelphia’s key role in the growth of American landscape painting.

Thomas Cole, who is widely regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, began his career as a landscape painter after living and training in Philadelphia. During the time he spent in the city in the 1820s, he was influenced by the work of Thomas Doughty and Thomas Birch, whose American landscapes were on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Doughty and Birch were only two of many landscape painters living and exhibiting their work in Philadelphia at the time, including Charles Willson Peale, James Peale, William Russell Birch, John Lewis Krimmel, Joshua Shaw, Jacob Eichholtz, and Russell Smith. From the Schuylkill to the Hudson will place special emphasis on representations of local waterways in order to showcase the manner in which these Philadelphia water views, whether of the Schuylkill, the Wissahickon, or Delaware, constituted some of the earliest and most influential sites within American visual culture.

Please take note of the Union League Dress Code: Summer Dress: Except for the 1862 dining room and bar, business casual attire may be worn throughout the League House from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Business casual attire: Defined as a collared shirt and pressed slacks for men and comparable attire for women. Unacceptable Attire: the following attire is never acceptable on the first or second floors of the League House - denim, tee shirts, athletic wear, tank, halter or jogging tops, untucked shirts, collared shirts unbuttoned more than one button or two inches from the neck line, wrinkled clothing, ripped clothing, shorts, baseball caps, spandex, open midriffs, leggings, extremely short hemlines, sneakers, extremely casual or beach footwear.

Advanced registration is required. Purchase your tickets here.


Admission: ICAA members $20, the public $25, and students $15

Athens on High Street: Walking Tour of West Chester, Pennsylvania

Sunday, October 6, 2019
Group meets at 2:00 PM
Chester County Historical Society
225 N. High Street, West Chester 19380

This two hour walking tour, guided by Anne Krulikowski, PhD, Associate Professor of History at West Chester University, explores the varied and sometimes impressive architecture of the borough of West Chester with a special emphasis on Classical Revival Architecture.

The highlights of the tour are a number of buildings by Philadelphia-born architect Thomas Ustick Walter (1804-1887), whose work includes Founder’s Hall at Girard College and the U. S. State Capitol Dome. One of his earliest commissions was the First Presbyterian Church (1832) in West Chester and the town became a showcase of Walter’s work in the 1830s and 1840s; the last building he designed was Horticultural Hall (1848).

The tour begins a block north of the commercial district, in front of the Chester County Historical Society, formerly Horticultural Hall; Walter’s final West Chester commission was the only one not in a classical revival style. But the former Horticultural Hall, where all the famous lectures like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Sojourner Truth spoke before the Civil War, was the centerpiece of intellectual life in the borough. Thus, this building appropriately connects the cultural life of borough residents with the physical landscape in the historic district of brick Federal buildings with classical decorative elements punctuated by grander classical essays in white granite. The tour then proceeds through the center of town and stays mainly though not entirely within the historic district, which is still oriented to the Walter-designed courthouse, to get a sense of the preserved scale of the town, predominantly 2 and 3-story brick buildings.

In addition to the Walter buildings and a few Samuel Sloan (or attributed), we will see the two earliest federal houses in today’s commercial district; one is the house of Dr. Stephen Darlington, who began the famous herbarium. The First Bank of West Chester (Walter), a Beaux Art bank from 1913, several classical revival banks from the 1960s/70s that replaced many of the original buildings torn down in the interests of modernization, the first purpose-built business building (Federal style, home of the Chester County Time, which printed the first biography of Abraham Lincoln), the first and until a few years ago only skyscraper, and Colonnade row on Minor Street.

Advanced registration is required. Purchase your tickets here.


ICAA Members: $20, General Public: $30, Students: $15
Maximum Attendees: 25