Current and Upcoming Events

The Visual Culture Program (VCP) is an integral part of the Library Company’s public outreach. Initiatives include the exhibitions Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind, Ephemera Online, and Philadelphia on Stone: the First Fifty Years of Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia, 1828-1878.

VCP has hosted scholarly symposiums exploring early American advertising and the role of ephemera in our popular culture; an artist-in-residence intern creatively inspired by our juvenilia collections; and presentations by historians, curators, and artists on topics that include the visual politics of the woman suffrage movement, the history of scrapbooking, and the lithographic printing process.

William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture Symposium

A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program at the Library Company of Philadelphia

Birch Exhibition Poster

October 5, 2018

William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture explores the visual, cultural, and social themes elicited from the work of Philadelphia artist William Birch (1755-1834) in celebration of the anniversary of VCP.  The symposium in collaboration with William Birch, Ingenious Artist: His Life, His Philadelphia Views, and His Legacy aims to promote broad discussions on the continual resonance in American visual culture of the work of this premier enamel miniaturist, aspiring gentleman, and artist of the first American viewbooks.

What can be learned from works conceived and executed by a non-native artist parallel to constantly (and infinitely) evolving fields and definitions of art, and means of art production, distribution, innovation, and appreciation?