William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture
A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program at the Library Company of Philadelphia
Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, October 5, 2018
Launched in 2008, the Visual Culture Program (VCP) at the Library Company began with the mission to foster the study of historical images as primary sources for studying the past. VCP has grown to promote dialogues about the history of our social construction of the visual through exhibitions, research fellowships, conferences, acquisitions, and public programs.
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?
Registration: Registration is free and opens at the Library Company at 8:15AM. A light breakfast will be provided.
Dining: In addition to the light breakfast, snacks will be served during the morning and afternoon breaks. Lunch is on your own and there will be an evening reception with appetizers and beverages.
Mobile Devices and Social Media: As a courtesy, please silence your devices during the sessions. We also encourage you to use your devices to engage in social media discussion and posts about the symposium. Please use the hashtag #vcpbirch. To link to the Library Company social media accounts, please use:
Instagram and Tumblr: librarycompany
Generously Supported By:
This exhibition and programming is supported in part by the Center for American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Freeman’s; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; Terra Foundation for American Art; the Walter J. Miller Trust; and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.
Travel & Accommodations
Transit: The Library Company of Philadelphia (1314 Locust Street) is easily accessible by public transit and automobiles. We are located on Locust Street, between Broad Street and 13th Street in Center City Philadelphia. We are a few blocks from City Hall and one block east of the Academy of Music. Closest SEPTA (www.septa.org) stations are Suburban Station and Jefferson Station. There are parking lots nearby and taxis are available at the Doubletree Hotel at the southeast corner of Broad and Locust streets.
Holiday Inn Express – Philadelphia Midtown
1305 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Close to the Jefferson Station SEPTA stop, this modern downtown hotel is a less than a 5-minute walk to the Library Company. The contemporary rooms come with free Wi-Fi, work desks and flat-screen TVs with premium cable channels, as well as microwaves, mini fridges and coffeemakers. Amenities include complimentary buffet breakfast, new on-site Fitness Center, and seasonal outdoor pool.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the rate of $144 for October 4 and 5, 2018. Reservation must be made by September 4, 2018.
Other Nearby Lodging:
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – Philadelphia Center City 237 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
This contemporary downtown hotel 4 blocks from City Hall is adjacent to a SEPTA subway station, plus a less than 5-minute walk to the Library Company. All rooms offer modern decor and custom-designed beds, plus flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi (fee). Suites with separate living areas (some with kitchenettes) and Executive rooms provide access to the Executive Lounge’s free breakfast. A breakfast and brunch restaurant overlooks the street, plus there’s a bistro serving light meals from lunch through dinner. There’s also a fitness center and a rooftop atrium with pool.
The Independence Hotel 1234 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Less than a block from the Library Company, the Independent Hotel is one of the most friendly and intimate hotels in the area. Nearby Philly’s Restaurant Row on 13th Street features some of the best dining in town. Your stay includes complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi.
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Perfectly situated in Center City and about 3 blocks from the Library Company, the hotel includes dining, Starbucks, a fitness center and a heated, indoor pool. Philadelphia’s famous Reading Terminal Market is directly across the street.