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Drexel’s Treasures Now on Display in First-Ever Exhibition of Art and Archival Artifacts

April 15, 2013

Wissahickon

For the first time in Drexel's history, works of art and archival artifacts from across the University are being exhibited together during A Legacy of Art, Science & Industry: Highlights from the Collections of Drexel University.

Approximately 90 objects spanning the 15th through 20th centuries, including paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, rare books, historical documents, political posters, historical costumes and even a surgical amputation kit, will be on display.

This free exhibition opened to the public April 12 and will run through Friday, May 31 in the newly expanded Leonard Pearlstein Gallery (URBN Center Annex, 3401 Filbert Street), part of Drexel's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

The Drexel community is invited to an opening reception on Friday, April 19, beginning at 5 p.m., featuring remarks from President John Fry and Allen Sabinson, dean of the Westphal College.

"This exhibition beautifully brings together examples of creativity and craftsmanship that have been preserved throughout the university for generations," said Dr. Luther Weldon Brady, Jr., honorary chair of the exhibition. "I'm thrilled to be a part of making this collection available, and fulfilling the personal and historic role of collections in the life of the university: to illuminate the past and to inform and inspire new generations."

DHC Bustle Dress

Bustle dress by Charles James, circa 1948
Gift of Mrs. William S. Paley

Included in the exhibition are a letter from Ulysses S. Grant to Anthony J. Drexel indicating their close friendship from the University Archives; the Drexel Collection's painting by the well-known French artist Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot; items from the Drexel Historic Costume Collection, including a Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel evening ensemble; Polish political posters from the 1970s and '80s from the Fox and Lewalski Polish Poster Collection; magnetic tape sound recordings from the Sigma Sound Studios Collection archive; the College of Medicine Legacy Center's bronze sculpture of Janet Travell, who later became the personal physician to President John F. Kennedy; and the Buckskin Jacket of John James Audubon from the Academy of Natural Sciences Library and Archives.

ANS Audubon's jacket

Buckskin Jacket once owned by John James Audubon (1785-1851), from the Academy of Natural Sciences Library and Archives.

"This exhibition illustrates the incredible richness, depth and breadth of the art maintained at Drexel," said Jacqueline DeGroff, curator of The Drexel Collection. "It also demonstrates our dedication to collecting and exhibiting those works, in keeping with founder Anthony J. Drexel's mission that the art at Drexel is available to the students, faculty, staff and the public."

The exhibition was designed by Amy Rees, an adjunct professor of graphic design in the Westphal College. Hours for the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Drexel Med

 19th Century Surgical Amputation Kit from the College of Medicine Legacy Center