Urban In-sights: Instructors
Associate Professor of American Studies, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
Dr. Anne Verplanck teaches courses in American art and visual culture, social and cultural history, American decorative arts and material culture, museum studies, and heritage studies. Prior to joining the Penn State Harrisburg faculty in 2010, she worked in the museum field for 30 years. Until 2009, she was the Curator of Prints and Paintings at Winterthur Museum, where she also served as Interim Director of Museum Collections and Interim Director of the Research Fellowship Program. In addition, she taught in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture/University of Delaware, and George Washington and George Mason universities. She has served in curatorial and consultant positions to numerous museums and historic sites and has lectured widely.
Curator of Graphic Arts and Director of the Visual Culture Program, The Library Company of Philadelphia
Erika Piola has worked in the Graphic Arts Department at the Library Company of Philadelphia since 1997. She received her B.A. from Haverford College and her M.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania. She is Director of the Visual Culture Program and has served as a project director and curator for a number of Library Company initiatives, including Common Touch, Philadelphia on Stone, 18th-and 19th-Century Ephemera, and African Americana Graphics. She is editor and contributor to Philadelphia on Stone: Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia, 1828-1878 (Penn State University Press, 2012). Ms. Piola has also presented and published work on American visual culture, 19th-century ephemera, the antebellum Philadelphia print market, and the Library’s African American history and photography collections. Her research interests include Philadelphia lithography, the frame maker and print dealer James S. Earle, and stereographs portraying the New Woman.
Senior Curator of Graphic Arts, The Library Company of Philadelphia
Sarah Weatherwax has worked at the Library Company of Philadelphia since 1993. She received a B.A. in History from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and a M.A. in History from the College of William and Mary. She has written articles for the Daguerreian Annual, The Magazine Antiques, Pennsylvania History, and Imprint: The Journal of the American Historical Print Collectors Society, has co-authored a book about 19th century photographic views of Center City Philadelphia, and contributed a chapter about lithographer Peter S. Duval to Philadelphia on Stone: Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia, 1828-1878. She has curated exhibitions on topics as diverse as music in Philadelphia; Philadelphia daguerreotypes; the Philadelphia homefront during World War One; William Rau, the Pennsylvania Railroad’s official photographer: and Federal-era artist William Birch. Other research interests include women in photography and Philadelphia’s built environment. She currently serves on the board of the American Historical Print Collectors Society and the Daguerreian Society.
Jeffrey A. Cohen, Term Professor in the Growth & Structure of Cities, Bryn Mawr College
Jeff Cohen is an architectural historian who has taught in Bryn Mawr’s Cities Department since 1995. His research has focused on 19th-century architecture, from adventurous designs by noted architects to everyday buildings by speculative developers. This has led to an interest in the visual and textual evidence that documents the built environment of now transformed or lost places, and to collaborative digital projects enhancing access to such materials. Recent publications by Dr. Cohen include studies on 19th century street-view series traversing a number of American and European cities, alongside earlier studies on architectural drawings, early architectural education, and works by Benjamin Latrobe, Frank Furness, and Wilson Eyre.
Wendy Woloson, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University, Camden
Wendy A. Woloson is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Camden. In addition to the history of capitalism, her research interests include the history of consumer culture, material culture, used goods markets, and underground economies. Her most recent book is Crap: A History of Cheap Goods in America (2020), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in Criticism. She is also the author of In Hock: Pawning in America from Independence through the Great Depression (2009), and co-editor of Capitalism by Gaslight: Illuminating the Economy of 19th-Century America (2015).
Lisa Elmaleh, Visual Artist, West Virginia
Lisa Elmaleh’s work is a photographic exploration of rural America. Elmaleh is an analog photographer living in Paw Paw, West Virginia. She is a traveling educator, often teaching wet plate collodion workshops out of the back of her truck for various workshops across America. Elmaleh’s Everglades work was published as a monograph (Everglades) in 2016. She has been awarded the Aaron Siskind Foundation IPF Grant, PDN’s 30, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, the Tierney Fellowship, and The Everglades National Park Artist Residency. She teaches at the Penumbra Foundation in New York City. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Elmaleh’s work is in the collection of the Norton Museum, the Ogden Museum, and other private collections worldwide.
The Halide Project, 1627 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia
The Halide Project is a volunteer run, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the continued practice and appreciation of traditional and historic photographic processes. Based in Philadelphia, The Halide Project serves the local and global photo community through special exhibitions, artist-led workshops, special events, and online resources. The Halide Project is currently developing a new community darkroom and photographic equipment lending library. Prospective future programming includes mobile darkroom outreach, an artist residency program, and a city-wide photo festival.