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Curator Pick of the Month

November 2022

Title: Terrestrial Globe
Artist: Charles Smith & Sons
Creation Date: c. 1870
Origin: England
Medium: Wood, paper, brass

This terrestrial globe, which details the geographic features of the Earth, is part of a pair of library terrestrial and celestial globes. The globes were donated to the Drexel Founding Collection in 1975 by Philip Syng Physick Fell, a member of the Drexel family. In 2015, the pair was sent to Studio T.K.M. in Massachusetts to be conserved and restored to close to their original appearance. The conservators removed discolored varnish, repaired holes and damage to the mechanical pieces and in-painted areas of loss throughout both globes.

October 2022

Title: Pitchfork, Lancaster, Penna
Artist: George A. Tice
Creation Date: 1968
Origin: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Medium: Gelatin silver print

The Drexel Founding Collection started collecting photography in the early 1900s and has continued to collect with new acquisitions as recent as summer 2022. Photographs range from images of architecture and artwork from the Middle East to Eadweard Muybridge’s 1887 Animal Locomotion to Larry Clark’s c. 1969 Tulsa series to sports photography by Walter Iooss, Jr. This photograph, by George A. Tice is part of a large donation of photographs by multiple artists donated in 1985 by Paul M. Ingersoll, a Drexel family member.

September 2022

Title: Good Luck Dragon
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 21st Century
Origin: United States
Medium: Sculpture

This year, as autumn begins to fall over Philadelphia and the new term nears, students may find themselves anxious to start the new academic year. Returning students realizing how fast college flies by and new students worried about finding their space in an unfamiliar landscape all may see all the opportunities this year will bring them, but also the unknown. This ‘Good Luck Dragon’, donated to the Drexel University Medical College by the classes of 1964 and 2014 hopes to bring you peace of mind this year and the courage to embrace the unknown and appreciate the familiar. To everyone on Drexel campus this fall, new or returning, student or faculty: good luck, Dragons!

Guest curator: Bella Bach, Art History ‘23

August 2022

Title: Cuba, 1999
Artist: Walter Iooss, Jr.
Creation Date: 1999
Origin: Havana Cuba
Medium: Photograph

"The real joy of photography is these moments. I'm always looking for freedom, the search for the one-on-one. That's when your instincts come out."

This quote by Texas-born photographer Walter Iooss encapsulates a lesser seen facet of his work. Born in 1943, Iooss made a career photographing for Sports Illustrated, Atlantic Records, and the 1984 Summer Olympics. However, the photograph shown here moves the focus from celebrities and professional athletes to something much more common to us all: playing outside in the summer months.

As the last full month of summer wraps up in Philadelphia, remember to grab those last rays of sun while we still have them.

See this photograph and others celebrating leisure on the third floor mezzanine this fall!

Guest curator: Bella Bach, Art History ‘23

July 2022

Title: Slave in Revolt
Artist: Karl Broodhagen (1909-2002)
Creation Date: c. 1970
Origin: Barbados, Caribbean
Medium: Bronze

This bronze statue, created by Barbadian artist Karl Broodhagen, depicts historical figure Bussa, who led the largest slave revolt in Barbados’ history in April 1834. Bussa led a rebellion of over five thousand people, four hundred of which actively participated in battle, which he would unfortunately not survive. However, he is still heralded as a deeply influential figure in the abolition of slavery in Barbados in 1834.

This month, we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when we made an official claim to land that was not ours to take. Since then, America has built itself on the graves of Indigenous peoples and the backs of African slaves. This Fourth of July, as fireworks glitter over the art museum and shine down on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, may we not only remember the beginning of a revolution, but those in this country still fighting for the liberties it promised.

Guest curator: Bella Bach, art history '24

June 2022

Title: Coffee Pot
Artist: Thomas Munns
Creation Date: 1777
Origin: England
Medium: Sterling silver, ivory

On display in the Paul Peck Center Gallery, for the exhibition Gateway to the University: The Collections at Drexel, recently extended through December 2022, this coffee pot is an excellent example of 18th century silver in the Drexel Founding Collection. A winged dragon or cockatrice crest marks the front of this ivory handled silver coffee pot. ALthough the coat-of-arms is unidentified, the banner below the crest's sheifl reads "PROBITAS VERUS HONOS" - Honest is True Honor. Is is stamped with the lion passant which marks it as sterling and with the crowned leopard which indicates that it was made during the reign of George III.

May 2022

Title: Saucer
Artist: Royal Worcester
Creation Date: 1815
Origin: Worcester, England
Medium: Soft paste porcelain, polychrome enamels, gilding

The bright polychrome images of birds and bugs on this Royal Worcester saucer brings to mind the bright colors of the flora and fauna we'll be encountering this spring. Royal Worcester, founded in 1751 by Dr. John Wall and William Davis, to increase employment in the Worcester area, is thought to be one of the oldest English porcelain factories still working today. The Drexel Founding Collection has a matching teacup and the pair were recently displayed in the exhibition Holding Your Drink: 3,000 Years of Drinking Vessels from the Drexel and Salzberg Collections, curated by Museum Leadership students in 2017.

April 2022

Title: At the MOMA #1
Artist: Gerson Benjamin (1899-1985)
Creation Date: 1970
Origin: New York, New York
Medium: Gouache on black paper

Gershon Benjamin (1899-1985) was an academically trained painter from Montreal who moved to New York, NY in the 1920s, where he met a group of talented artists including Milton Avery, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, and John Sloan. Benjamin painted or drew every day of his 70-year career, producing an impressive legacy of work from cityscapes to portraits in a variety of mediums. The Drexel Collection is lucky to have three of his pieces in the collection donated by Joan H. Facey, a 1958 graduate of Drexel’s College of Engineering and a close friend of Benjamin’s and chair of the Gershon Benjamin Foundation.

March 2022

Title: Memorial to Athletes
Artist: Beatrice Fenton (1887-1983)
Creation Date: 1963
Origin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Medium: Plaster

“That thread of all sustaining beauty that runs through all and doth unite.” Vision of Sir Launfal – James Russell Lowell, 1848

This Memorial to Athletes, with the above inscription, was sculpted by Beatrice Fenton (1887-1983), a Philadelphia sculptor and portraitist. Fenton studied at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and went on to teach at Moore College of Art and Design. She is mainly known for her outdoor sculptures one of which can be found in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, the Evelyn Taylor Price Sundial, from 1947. Fenton also competed in the sculpture event for the art competition part of the 1932 Summer Olympics. Art competitions for works with sport-related themes were part of the Olympics from 1912-1948. In 1926, Fenton became the eleventh member and first sculptor of "The Philadelphia Ten," a group of female artists formed to promote and show their work from 1917-1945.

February 2022

Title: Graceful in West Philly
Artist: Shawn Theodore (b. 1970)
Creation Date: 2017
Origin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Medium: Digital photograph printed on archival paper

Shawn Theodore is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Philadelphia who works in photography, sculpture and collage. He is an award-winning photographer participating in exhibitions at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation, Hudson Valley Community College, the Catherine Edelman Gallery, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and the University of the Arts.

Through his artwork, Theodore creates Afromythological™ environments, photographs and objects depicting real or hypothesized Black experiences in local settings that are disappearing. Theodore’s photographs take on the question of his role as the photographer in depicting representations of Blackness in his images. How do they create agency for the individuals depicted? What stories are being told and how do they impact the trajectory of the collective black consciousness?

Three photographs by Shawn Theodore were purchased by The Drexel Collection in 2021 and 2022 and are on display in the Center for Black Culture.

January 2022

Title: Abstract Skier
Artist: Magnus Engstrom (b. 1936)
Creation Date: 1971
Origin: Unknown
Medium: Oil on canvas

This painting by Swedish American artist Magnus Engstrom celebrates the season of snow with this colorful depiction of a skier enjoying the slopes. The figure almost blends in with the background, twisted in a dynamic pose to characterize this fast paced and exhilarating activity. Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean that outdoor fun isn’t an option so grab your gear and take part in this centuries old sport before the snow is gone.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

December 2021

Title: Turtle Wine Pot
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 1850-1870
Origin: Japan, Asia
Medium: Stoneware

This stoneware piece creatively shaped like a turtle is actually a vessel for holding wine to serve as a reminder to celebrate the year finally coming to an end. More importantly it is a marker of the many new years to come, as turtles are considered symbols of longevity in Japan. The dense clay that it was made of would have been molded into its shape, detailed down to the patterns in its shell and the toes on its feet, and then fired at a high enough temperature to make it safe for liquids.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

November 2021

Title: The Librarian
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: Unknown
Origin: Italy, Europe
Medium: Lithograph

Now is the time to cozy up with a good book courtesy of your local library. This lithograph by an unknown artist is a copy of an oil painting by Carl Spitzweg, which at first glance seems like an inviting atmosphere to promote reading. However, it was given the name The Bookworm by the public, to negatively characterize a person who reads too much and holds unrealistic and out of touch values. Spitzweg created three versions of this painting, and multiple other artists have copied or recreated it, including Norman Rockwell in 1926.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

October 2021

Title: October
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 1920
Origin: Russia
Medium: Print

For the month of October, a print of the same name is only fitting, though this one depicts events that actually began in the month of November according to the Gregorian calendar. The October Revolution began in 1917 when St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia, was seized the Bolshevik party, culminating in the founding of the Soviet Union. This poster commemorates the third anniversary of the revolution with an illustration depicting the defeat of the “dragon of imperialism”.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

September 2021

Title: Waiting
Artist: Leslie A. Maxfield
Creation Date: 1973
Origin: United States, North America
Medium: Photograph

This photograph by Leslie Maxfield was donated by Paul Ingersoll, Anthony J Drexel’s great grandson. It shows a group of young boys sitting and standing near a fence waiting for something to arrive. Just like the children in this black and white image, Drexel University is waiting for the start of a new fall term to see many returning faces back on campus, as well as many new ones. The Drexel Collection wishes students the best of luck, as classes will be here very soon!

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

August 2021

Title: Landscape
Artist: Jean Baptiste-Arthur Calame (1843-1919)
Creation Date: 1866
Origin: Switzerland, Europe
Medium: Oil on canvas

Jean Baptiste-Arthur Calame’s excellent display of light and color reminds us all to catch the last bits of sunshine before the summer term ends. Calame is recognized as one of the finest landscape painters after receiving training all over Europe, and this piece donated by Anthony J Drexel is a testament to his skills of observation and technique. The pair laying together on the grass, and the distant blue sea conveys a sense of serenity and peace that only nature can provide in its last days of warmth before the colder weather sets in.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

July 2021

Title: Bird of the Breaking Day
Artist: Karel Appel (1921-2006)
Creation Date: 1959
Origin: Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe
Medium: Lithograph

Dutch artist Karel Appel (1921-2006) developed a fondness for color in his creations, displayed here in this abstract lithograph. These prints are created through a process of etching a design onto stone with chemicals, and then impressing it onto paper. Appel’s often vibrant works led him to take part in organizing a group of artists known as COBRA, involving artists from Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam dedicated to creating expressionist paintings. This lithograph, though not as vibrant as his other pieces inspired by children’s art, demonstrates the more dynamic and motion inspired pieces that appealed to him after a visit to the United States.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

June 2021

Title: Marquetry Inlay Table Cabinet or Writing Desk
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 18th century
Origin: Germany, Europe
Medium: Walnut

As finals are arriving, don’t forget to give credit to the one who journeyed through the term with you: the desk! It’s helped to produce all your hard work and accomplishments, and this one even has enough storage to hold all your various school needs as summer break nears. This desk, made of walnut, displays a beautiful decorative surface created with delicate pieces of inlaid wood. The use of multiple colors helps this piece of furniture stand out as an incredible work of German craftsmanship.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

May 2021

Title: Stereograph: Flowers
Artist: Kilburn Brothers
Creation Date: Unknown creation date
Origin: New Hampshire, United States, North America
Medium: Hard paste porcelain, enamel

This stereograph of colorful flowers shows off the beauty of springtime, so don’t forget to look around and appreciate the blossoming surroundings!

The Kilburn Brothers was a company based in Littleton, New Hampshire, founded by Edward and Benjamin Kilburn in 1865. Benjamin, who favored spending his days outside, was responsible for photographing the scenes of nature, animals and architecture that made the company so popular while Edward developed them into the thousands of prints that people still enjoy today. Edward left the business in 1877, and it was eventually renamed the B.W Kilburn company until 1910, a year after Benjamin’s death.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

April 2021

Title: Triangular Tea Cannister
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: Unknown creation date
Origin: China, Asia
Medium: Hard paste porcelain, enamel

This little ceramic tea cannister was donated by Dr. Alma Dea Morani, a professor and graduate of the Woman’s Medical College, a forerunner of the Drexel University College of Medicine. As well as being the first female plastic surgeon in the United States, Dr. Morani cared deeply for the arts, a quality she inherited from her father, a sculptor. This canister, in a distinctive triangular shape, has an eye catching overglaze of vibrant orange and red flowers on every side, even the lid, and offers an invitation to enjoy a cup of tea and recognize the beauty that simple objects can hold.

Guest curator: Kim Johnson, art history '24

March 2021

Title: Bas-relief of Amedeo Bondi (1912-2005)
Artist: James Victor
Creation Date: Unknown creation date
Origin: United States
Medium: Bronze

Dr. Bondi was a renowned microbiologist, educator and administrator whose career spanned nearly 40 years at Hahnemann. He played a major role in the development of Hahnemann’s graduate school program, serving as the first Dean of the Graduate School from 1972 to1986, while actively teaching medical, graduate, and allied health professions students.

Dr. Bondi’s pioneer research relating to antimicrobic resistance mechanisms led to his development of the commonly used antibiotic disc sensitivity test, development of penicillin’s effective against resistant staph, and improved vaccines for whooping cough, brucellosis, and typhoid.

February 2021

Title: Stereograph: Winter Scenery, Prospect Park
Artist: George E. Curtis (1830-1910)
Creation Date: c. 1880
Origin: Niagara Falls, New York
Medium: Albumen silver print

There has been so much snow this month! This stereograph depicts a wintery scene from Prospect Park in Niagara Falls from the 19th century. Stereographs are two nearly identical photographs mounted on a board that when viewed properly through a stereoscope create a three-dimensional image. Popular in the 19th century, middle class families would collect stereographs of popular tourist sites like Niagara Falls.

January 2021

Title: Capricorn: January 1935
Artist: Thornton Oakley (1881-1943)
Creation Date: 1935
Origin: United States
Medium: Pen, ink, paper

For January we have selected this pen and ink drawing of Capricorn by Thornton Oakley from 1935. Capricorn is the tenth of twelve astrological signs and is represented by the sea goat, a horned goat with a serpent tail. Thornton Oakley was an American illustrator who studied with Howard Pyle from 1902-1905 in Wilmington, DE and Chadds Ford, PA. Thornton’s works were published in Century, Collier’s, Harper’s Monthly and Scribner’s. He went on to teach at the Philadelphia College of Art (then Philadelphia Museum’s School of Industrial Art), University of Pennsylvania, Art Institute of Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Curtis Institute. The Drexel Collection has 135 drawings and paintings by Thornton Oakley.

December 2020

Title: Carrie's Alphabet Picture Blocks
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 1885
Origin: United States
Medium: Wood, lithopaper

Happy Holidays! For December, The Drexel Collection has selected these alphabet and picture blocks from the 19th century. Commercial production of alphabet and building blocks began in the late 18th century as tools for learning and education that had many benefits including physical, social, intellectual, creative and language for children.

November 2020

Title: Ripening of the Leaf
Artist: Thomas Moran (1837-1926)
Creation Date: 1863
Origin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Medium: Oil, canvas

The Wissahickon, a tributary of the Schuylkill River and part of the Fairmount Park system in Philadelphia, PA, was a popular subject for American landscape painters in the 19th century. Thomas Moran (1837-1926), a painter and printmaker, in the Hudson River Valley School painted this view of the Wissahickon in 1863. The Hudson River Valley School was a mid-19th century, American school focused on landscape paintings with influence from romanticism. Although best known for his paintings of western landscapes, Moran’s paintings of the Philadelphia area capture the beauty of the landscape and the changing seasons.

October 2020

Title: A Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Midnight Moon at Mount Yoshino
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Creation Date: 1886
Origin: Japan
Medium: Woodblock print

In the 19th century Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892) made a series of 100 ukiyo-e, Japanese wood block prints, called One Hundred Aspects of the Moon that introduced Japanese and Chinese folklore during a period of increasing western presence. The moon symbolized different meanings in the prints depending upon whether it was waxing or waning.

This print tells the story of Sasaki no Kiyotaka, the winged ghost with blue lips commonly used to depict corpses, who was a high official forced to commit ritual suicide for ill-advising Emperor Go-Daigo in the 14th century. Kiyotaka's restless spirit haunted the court and no courtier was willing to face the angry ghost except lady Iga-no-Tsubone.

September 2020

Title: Portrait of Jane Addams
Artist: Violet Oakley (1874-1961)
Creation Date: 1934
Origin: Chicago, United States
Medium: Pastel, charcoal, paper

For the International Day of Peace and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the Drexel Collection selected this portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams (1860-1935). Addams was the head of the Women’s Peace Party in 1915 and president of the International Congress of Women. She helped found the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919, serving as president until 1929. Addams was an advocate for women's rights and a prominent social reformer and activist fighting for children and workers’ rights. For these efforts she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first woman to receive the award. The artist, Violet Oakley (1874-1961), was a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

August 2020

Title: Summer, New Castle, PA
Artist: Miles J. Early
Creation Date: 1934
Origin: United States
Medium: Oil on canvas

The heat of summer is palpable in this painting of New Castle, PA with the bright sun shining through the trees on the dirt road leading towards the mining buildings to the right. New Castle, PA was a leader in tin plate manufacturing in early 1900s. The painting, along with two others depicting New Castle, was owned by Col. Anthony Biddle, the grandson of Anthony J. Drexel. The artist Miles Jefferson Early (1886-1957) was active in Illinois and is best known for his landscape paintings.

July 2020

Title: Letter from Commissioner of Revenue, Tench Coxe, to Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, signed by George Washington, January 12, 1795
Artist: Tench Coxe
Creation Date: 1795
Origin: United States
Medium: Document

Happy 4th of July! Steven H. Korman donated approximately 46 pieces of U.S. presidential memorabilia to The Drexel Collection in 2018, with this letter from Tench Coxe to Alexander Hamilton as one of the standout pieces in the collection. The letter recommends Henry Long for the position of keeper of the Cape Fear Lighthouse in North Carolina and contains signatures from both Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.

June 2020

Title: Sunday Promenade
Artist: Hale Woodruff, artist (1900-1980); Robert Blackburn, printer (1920-2003)
Creation Date: 1931-1936 design; 1996 printed
Origin: United States
Medium: Linocut

The linocut Sunday Promenade comes from a folio of eight prints by Hale Woodruff (1900-1980) from his Atlanta Period, 1931-1936. The set recently accessioned by The Drexel Collection was printed posthumously by Robert Blackburn (1920-2003) in 1996. Hale Woodruff, an African American, was an artist and educator who established the Fine Arts Department at Atlanta University. Woodruff’s Atlanta period dealt with black themes related to the state of Georgia, depicting the African American’s general struggle in this period as well as celebrating African American community and heritage, such as in this linocut. The acquisition of the folio of Woodruff linocuts, from donor E.T. Williams, Jr., is part of a larger plan to expand The Drexel Collection’s holdings in works of art by people of color and underrepresented artists.

May 2020

Title: Nudes
Artist: Matt Phillips (1927-2017)
Creation Date: 1975
Origin: New York, United States
Medium: Linocut

One of our newest acquisitions, this linocut by Matt Phillips was recently donated to The Drexel Collection from the Collection of Arthur L. and Joanne B. Frank. This burgundy and white linocut depicts three female nude figures in the studio of the artist. Phillips was a painter, printmaker and art educator. He first studied at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania as well as throughout Europe, teaching in Paris from 1962–1964. When he returned to the United States, he taught at the Bard College in upstate New York for 27 years. The Drexel Collection recently hosted an exhibition on Phillips works, Matt Phillips: Inspired curated by Museum Leadership student Joseph O’Kane ’18.

April 2020

Title: George III Style Tambour Top Desk
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 19th century
Origin: United States
Medium: Wood, brass, leather

Many of us have been working home for about a month, with makeshift work areas, but can you imagine this desk as your new workstation? This tambour or roll-top desk is one of six matching banker’s desks from Drexel & Co., purchased from 1838 Investments in 2005. 1838 Investments Advisors was linked with the Drexel bank since its founding. The desk measures over five feet wide and three feet deep!

March 2020

Title: The Good Samaritan
Artist: William Hogarth (1697-1764), publisher G.I. Robbinson
Creation Date: Published 1803
Origin: London, England
Medium: Engraving

William Hogarth (1697-1764), an English painter and printmaker, was known for his satirical prints and social commentary. This month’s curator pick is the print The Good Samaritan after a painting by Hogarth in 1736-1737 which is hanging in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, England. The scene illustrates a passage from Luke 9:30-34, where a wounded and robbed Israelite is treated by a Samaritan. This is a later print published in 1803 by G. & I. Robbinson.

February 2020

Title: Two Lovers in Rock Garden
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 19th century
Origin: China
Medium: Soap stone

Love is in the Air! In honor of Valentine’s Day, The Drexel Collection has chosen this soapstone sculpture as our February object of the month. This piece depicts a man kneeling, closely at the feet of a woman. Both figures are dressed in Manchu style clothing. The sculpture is part of a large collection of materials donated to the collection by Alma Dea Morani MD, a student and faculty member of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania and the first female plastic surgeon.

January 2020

Title: Snow Goggles
Artist: Inuit
Creation Date: 20th century
Origin: Alaska, United States
Medium: Seal hide, horn glass

Winter’s in full swing and The Drexel Collection is looking forward to some snow days! On average, January tends to be the month when we get the most snowfall. That’s why The Drexel Collection has chosen this pair of Inuit snow goggles as our January object of the month. These goggles are used to prevent snow blindness by blocking the sun’s ultraviolet rays as they reflect off the snow.

December 2019

Title: Rolling Pin
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 1843
Origin: United States
Medium: Glass

Do you want a glass rolling pin for your holiday bake-off? This black glass rolling pin from 1843 made in York, PA, has a blown hollow cylindrical body. Glass rolling pins were used in the preparation of pastry-making, and they were often filled with ice to maintain the temperature when rolling. Apart from producing baked goods, decorative rolling pins were often used by sailors as superstitious good luck charms at sea. This rolling pin was donated by Mrs. Leon Smelo from Birmingham, class of 1934.

November 2019

Title: Chatelaine Watch
Artist: Johann Christian Neuber (1736-1808)
Creation Date: c. 1780
Origin: Germany
Medium: Gold, precious and semi-precious stones

For November, The Drexel Collection has chosen its chatelaine watch, thought to be owned by Marie Antoinette. The watch was created around 1780 by Johann Christian Neuber in Dresden, Germany. Chatelaine watches were fastened to a belt or pocket and could be used by any gender. In 2012, Drexel’s Chatelaine Watch was part of the exhibition Gold, Jasper, and Carnelian: Johann Christian Neuber, and toured New York and Paris.

October 2019

Title: Microscope
Artist: Joseph Zentmayer (1826-1888)
Creation Date: 1876
Origin: United States
Medium: Brass

We celebrate World’s Teacher’s Day this month with our brass microscope, thank you for all your hard work! This microscope was made in ca. 1876 by the German-born Philadelphia microscope maker, Joseph Zentmayer (1826-1888). He started making microscopes c. 1858 and his son continued in the business through the mid-1890s. The equipment is very delicate and has a slick design. It is currently in collection storage and it is not a working microscope due to missing lenses.

September 2019

Title: Kettle
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: c. 1700
Origin: France
Medium: Copper, tin

As the temperatures slowly begin to drop, there’s nothing like putting on the kettle to warm up with your favorite hot beverage. This copper kettle is one of The Drexel Collection’s earliest acquisitions, purchased with funds from A.J. Drexel specifically for the new institute and museum founded in 1891. This kettle may look a bit different than ones found in today’s households, it’s much larger and decorated with floral designs using the metalworking technique repoussé. Repoussé uses hammers to create the design from the reverse side or the interior of a vessel. Copper, while a popular material for cooking due to its ability to conduct heat, can also cause issues if not lined due to toxic substances created when copper comes into contact with acids. For this reason, most copper cookware is lined, like the tin on the interior of this kettle, to prevent any issues.

August 2019

Title: Kitty Series: The Sermon
Artist: John P. Soule
Creation Date: 1871
Origin: Boston, Massachusetts
Medium: Stereoview

Celebrate the International Cat Day on August 8th with our very cute cat stereo print! This is one of the four black and white cat stereo images we had in our collection. This stereograph was taken in 1871 in Boston, MA. A stereograph is a pair of stereoscopic pictures or a picture composed of two superposed images that gives a 3-dimensional effect when viewed with a stereoscope.

July 2019

Title: A View of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia
Artist: Edmund Darch Lewis (1835-1910)
Creation Date: 1876
Origin: United States
Medium: Oil, canvas

The Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition inspired many artists. Edmund Darch Lewis, a painter associated with the Hudson River School, studied landscape panting in Philadelphia with the artist, Paul Weaver. Lewis exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was later elected an associate of the Academy. The Drexel Collection has two paintings of the Philadelphia area by Lewis as well as other paintings by Hudson River School artists.

June 2019

Title: Drexel pin
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 1920 - 1930
Origin: United States
Medium: Metal, enamel

Get your own souvenir pin at the Drexel store to celebrate your graduation! This delicate tiny metal pin currently in storage is from the early 20th century and was donated by an unknown donor. We would like to hear from you if you recognize this pin and know more details!

May 2019

Title: Plate with Flowers and Fruit
Artist: Royal Vienna Porcelain Factory
Creation Date: 1795
Origin: Vienna, Austria
Medium: Hard paste porcelain, gilding, enamel

This Royal Vienna Porcelain Plate with flowers and fruit was made in 1795 and was donated by Mrs. George W. Childs, A.J. Drexel’s best friend’s wife. It is now on display in the Main Building and it is said to have belonged to Queen Carolina of Naples, sister to Marie Antoinette.

April 2019

Title: "Bohemian" Wine Glass
Artist: Unknown (1817-1878)
Creation Date: late 19th century
Origin: Czechoslovakia
Medium: Glass, gilding, enamel

Bringing to mind the new blooms of spring, this 19th century “Bohemian” wine glass is decorated with pink lustre, gilding and polychrome enamels. When used in reference to glass, “Bohemian” is often used to describe 19th-century faceted, engraved, and bright colored vessels that were produced in the regions of Bohemia and Silesia, now parts of the Czech Republic. The glass, along with 7 others like it, was donated to The Drexel Collection by Mrs. Albert J. Nesbitt in 1963.

March 2019

Title: Landscape
Artist: Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878)
Creation Date: 1873
Origin: France
Medium: Oil, canvas

The Drexel Collection has a number of mid-19th century landscape paintings from the French Barbizon School (1830-1870), which focused on tonal qualities, soft forms, loose brushwork and rural landscapes. Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878) was a landscape painter of the Barbizon School. His early work was highly detailed depicting peaceful landscapes. He later began to embrace broader brushstrokes and freer painting styles. These later works greatly influenced the Impressionist painters. The painting is hung in the president’s office in the Main Building.

February 2019

Title: Teapot
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: c. 1920
Origin: China
Medium: Earthenware

This teapot is made from unglazed reddish-brown clay, molded in a rectangular form. The exterior of the teapot is decorated with incised floral decoration consisting of two groups of flowers connected by a curving branch enclosing a column of Chinese characters all filled with black. The opposite side is decorated with three columns of incised black Chinese characters in cursive script calligraphy style. Two of the columns consisting of larger characters are a pair of couplet or two successive lines of verse forming a unit. This couplet is commonly seen at the entrance of a traditional Chinese tea house. It means that the tea steeped using mountain spring is very aromatic, like the dew on flowers. The interior of the teapot is lined with white porcelain. This is part of a tea set consisting of a teapot and eight tea bowls.

January 2019

Title: Portrait of Anthony J. Drexel
Artist: Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant (1845-1902)
Creation Date: 1894
Origin: United States
Medium: Oil, canvas

Anthony J. Drexel (1826-1893) was the founder of Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry. He was not a self-promoter and was notorious for not wanting his portrait done and in many of our portraits he looks somewhat uncomfortable. He was persuaded by his lifelong friend and businessman George W. Childs to do this painting, but it could not be hung after his death. This painting painted by the French artist Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant (1845-1902) is now hanging in the Paul Peck Alumni Center.

December 2018

Title: Woman Standing in Front of Snow Covered Background
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (1786-1864)
Creation Date: 1815
Origin: Japan
Medium: Woodblock

For the month of December, The Drexel Collection has chosen Woman Standing in Front of Snow Covered Background by Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), a woodblock print created from Japan.

Woodblock prints came to be the expression of the urban culture and emerging middle class of the Tokugawa period (1603-1867). Edo, the capital of Japan, became the epicenter of this artistic phenomenon that acquired great popularity in connection with the flourishing practice of Kabuki theatre. The Drexel Collection houses nearly 200 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints.

November 2018

Title: Foot Warmer
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: c. 1858-1872
Origin: United States
Medium: Tin

It's getting chilly out there! For its November pick the Drexel Collection chose this tin foot warmer made in 1872. The foot warmer would have been filled with hot water and used in a carriage during the winter.

In the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, women and children carried foot warmers to meetings or to church. Women’s long skirts would hang over the foot warmer, holding in the heat. Foot warmers were made of wood, tin, brass, or a combination of these materials. Although improvements in heating occurred in the 1820’s, foot warmers continued to be used in sleighs and carriages. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, heated concrete blocks were used as foot warmers in automobiles.

October 2018

Title: Majolica Candlestick
Artist: Doccia Porcelain Factory
Creation Date: 1875
Origin: Italy
Medium: Earthenware, tin glaze

For the month of October, The Drexel Collection has chosen this majolica candlestick from the Doccia Porcelain Factory. The company was established by Marchese Carlo Ginori in 1735. The majolica candlestick, featuring an ochre griffon and lotus flower, is part of a set of two and was created in 1875 in Italy. Majolica is a revival of the earlier style of maiolica from the 15th to 17th centuries, which was made from tin-glazed earthenware and can be identified from its white base and bright earthy colors.

September 2018

Title: Dragon Pendant
Artist: Nathan Postiloff Jewelers, Inc.
Creation Date: 2002
Origin: United States
Medium: Gold, diamonds, sapphires

This month, The Drexel Collection has chosen Antoinette Westphal’s Dragon Pendant as its curator's pick. The necklace was created in 2002 by Nathan Postiloff Jewelers, Inc. and features the Drexel dragon in gold surrounded by diamonds and sapphires on a gold chain. Ray Westphal presented the original necklace to Antoinette in 2002 and the Antoinette Westphal School of Media Arts & Design is named for her. Come visit a replica of this beautiful piece on display in the URBN Center.

August 2018

Title: Late Afternoon on the Seine
Artist: Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878)
Creation Date: 1871
Origin: France
Medium: Oil on canvas

To celebrate the month of August, The Drexel Collection has chosen Late Afternoon on the Seine by Charles-Francois Daubigny as its object of the month. Daubigny was born in Paris but as a child lived in the country village of Valandmois. It was during these childhood years that he developed a love of the rural landscape. He was a member of the Barbizon School and in 1857 launched his studio boat, the Botin, from which he produced some of his most memorable paintings. In this painting the atmospheric effects call to mind the hazy days of summer. The fading orange light of the sunset is reflected in the wide waters of the river, bordered by masses of trees in full green foliage. Come visit this painting in the Picture Gallery in Drexel’s Main Building!

July 2018

Title: Platter
Artist: Sèvres Factory
Creation Date: c. 1814
Origin: France
Medium: Hard paste porcelain

For the month of July, The Drexel Collection has chosen this Louis Philippe dish created by the Sèvres Factory in the early nineteenth century. Ceramics made by the Sèvres Factory were used by the aristocracy and often contained the initials of court members. This piece contains a monogrammed “LP” in foliate script and is surmounted by a crown and flanked by two laurel branches tied together at the bottom with a ribbon, the symbol for Louis Philippe, King of the French during what is referred to as the July Monarchy, from 1830-1848.

June 2018

Title: Isle of Sylt
Artist: Eugen Gustav Dücker (1841-1916)
Creation Date: 1879
Origin: Germany
Medium: Oil, canvas

For the start of the summer months, The Drexel Collection selected Isle of Sylt, a bright beach scene, by Eugen Gustav Dücker painted in 1879. Dücker studied painting in St. Petersburg until receiving a six year scholarship to study painting in Düsseldorf, Germany – ultimately going on to be a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Dücker was thought to be one of the founders of modern landscape painting. In 2014, this painting underwent major conservation, and now looks drastically different and more vibrant than before. Check out The Drexel Collection’s New & Conserved Pieces to see more and visit Isle of Sylt in the Picture Gallery located on the third floor of Drexel’s Main Building.

May 2018

Title: The Music Lesson
Artist: Luis Jimenez y Aranda (1845-1928)
Creation Date: 1879
Origin: France
Medium: Oil, panel

The pastel colors of this month’s pick, The Music Lesson, by Luis Jimenez y Aranda, call to mind spring flowers, which is why we've selected it as our May Curator's pick. This painting is one of three pieces by Luis Jimenez y Aranda in The Drexel Collection. Aranda was a Spanish artist who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Santa Isabel de Hungria in Seville and eventually settling in France near Paris. While we are unsure of the donor of this painting, Anthony J. Drexel, the founder of Drexel University, purchased a number of paintings by Spanish artists, including Aranda, for his home in Philadelphia.

April 2018

Title: Candle Snuffer
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 19th century
Origin: United States
Medium: Silver

In celebration of April Fools' day, the Drexel Collection has selected this deceptive item, which at first glance appears to be a pair of scissors, but in reality it is a candle snuffer. There are several different types of candles snuffers, this particular pair was used to trim the wick of candles and catch the charred remains in the small box on top of the blades. These were made obsolete with the invention of the self-snuffing wick around 1825.

March 2018

Title: Plate with Doves from Galla Placida
Artist: Royal Vienna Porcelain
Creation Date: 1796-1798
Origin: Vienna, Austria
Medium: Hard-paste porcelain, gilding and enamel

This Royal Vienna Porcelain Plate, rumored to have belonged to Queen Carolina of Naples and Sicily, the sister of Marie Antoinette, was made by the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Vienna. The manufactory produced porcelain from 1744-1864 under the initial ownership of Empress Maria Theresa. Each authentic piece of Royal Vienna Porcelain contains a blue – striped shield from the coat of arms of the Duke of Austria, known as the beehive mark, to mark its authenticity. From 1780-1830 the manufactory issued porcelain in a Classical style, referring to art of antiquity, and used gold relief as decoration, as exhibited by The Drexel Collection’s example. Come visit this gorgeous piece in Drexel’s Main Building on the third floor!

February 2018

Title: Cloisonné Vase
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: mid-19th century
Origin: China
Medium: Brass, copper, gilding and enamel

To celebrate the month of February, The Drexel Collection has chosen this cloisonné vase. The development of cloisonné decorated metals in China in the 14th century was largely due to the lively trade with the Islamic world and often reflects strong West Asian influences. Cloisonné is a type of enameling in which opaque powdered glass of various colors is melted onto a metal foundation – usually copper – within outlines of fine wire called “cloisons” (the French word for “cell”). In this case, the copper areas which were not covered by enamel were then gilded. The handles are 2-clawed dragons, indicating that the vase was for commoners; the aristocracy used dragons with 5 claws for their ornaments.

January 2018

Title: Cup Plate
Artist: Boston and Sandwich Glass Company
Creation Date: c. 1840
Origin: Sandwich, MA, United States
Medium: Pressed glass

This pressed glass cup plate was most likely manufactured by the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company in Sandwich, Massachusetts in the mid – 18th century. Glass pressing was invented around the 1820’s and with the help of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, the method was perfected to eliminate surface imperfections in the 1850’s. This plate contains stippling, often called Lacy glass, or tiny dots added to the glass during the cooling process to distract the viewer from any surface imperfections, indicating its date to be around the 1830’s – 1840’s. Brilliant cut glass was made popular during the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia.

December 2017

Title: Mario the Magnificent
Artist: Eric Berg
Creation Date: 2002
Origin: United States
Medium: Bronze

This magnificent sculpture is 14 feet long, 10 feet tall, weighs 4,100 pounds, and rests atop a 17 ton granite base! Drexel University’s official mascot has been the dragon for over 80 years. Mario the Magnificent is the work of a Philadelphia sculptor Eric Berg. The statue was funded on donations and dedicated on December 4, 2002. Mario gets his name from Mario V. Mascioli, an avid Drexel athletic supporter who didn’t miss a game for over twenty years. Mascioli was a Drexel alumnus and served on the board of trustees. Swing by the Drexel Dragon Park on 33rd & Market Street to snap a picture with this daring dragon!

November 2017

Title: Covered Cup and Saucer
Artist: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Creation Date: 1815
Origin: Germany
Medium: Hard-paste porcelain

The best way to warm up on a chilly November night is with a piping hot cup of tea. This delicate covered cup and saucer are November’s pick of the month! The Meissen Porcelain Factory created this white porcelain cup, lid, and saucer in 1815 and continues to produce porcelain pieces today. The set is hand painted and depicts a European interpretation of Chinese scenes. The set is embellished with golden details to make this piece eye-catching and hard to pass by!

October 2017

Title: The Water Boy (The Alsatian Vintner)
Artist: Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi
Creation Date: 1869
Origin: France
Medium: Bronze

Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) the creator of this magical bronze sculpture is also the designer behind the Statue of Liberty located in New York City. Unbeknownst to Bartholdi, his sculpture would become one of Drexel’s greatest traditions and one of the collection’s most prized possessions. Though this sculpture was originally designed to be a fountain, the only thing flowing through this sculpture is good luck. Generations of Drexel Students have stopped by The Water Boy to rub his golden toe for good luck and a little extra help to ace their exams. The Water Boy is on display to the right of the marble staircase in the Great Court of Main Building.

September 2017

Title: Maiden figure
Artist: Sèvres Factory
Creation Date: Late 19th century
Origin: France
Medium: Biscuit porcelain

This elegant biscuit porcelain figurine is a 19th century table decoration from France. Extravagant centerpieces were used to display a family’s wealth and power to their guests during meals. Paired with delicate porcelain dishes and expertly crafted confectionery desserts, these chefs were serving guests a feast not only for stomachs but for the eyes as well.

August 2017

Title: Portrait of Letitia and Lillie Belle Randell
Artist: Joseph Frédéric Charles Soulacroix
Creation Date: 1876
Origin: France
Medium: Oil on canvas

Joseph Frédéric Charles Soulacroix (1858-1933) was a French-Italian painter and sculptor who studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (Florence). Soulacroix created romantic genre paintings of fashionable women who belonged to high society. The subjects of his paintings were often draped in velvet and fine silks, and surrounded by elegant furniture and decorations. He would include flowers and elements of nature which greatly complimented the colors and draping of his subjects’ elegant gowns.

July 2017

Title: Two Geisha and Porter in Wind and Rain at Night
Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro
Creation Date: 1801
Origin: Japan
Medium: Woodcut print

Kitagawa Utamaro was a Japanese artist who was born in 1753 and died in 1806. Utamaro is one of the most recognizable ukiyo-e designers. Ukiyo-e prints greatly influenced Western artists as well as the west’s view of Japanese art. Utamaro’s images often depict women with elongated features and exaggerated proportions. In this particular image, a man holding a lantern is escorting two geishas through the rain at night. This piece is part of Volume 2 of “Ehon Shiki no Hana” (Flowers of the Four Seasons.)

June 2017

Title: Sappho
Artist: William Wetmore Story (1819-1895)
Creation Date: 1866
Origin: Italy
Medium: Marble

Sappho was a woman from Lesbos, Greece whose poetry greatly influenced the writers of her time. Sappho is one of the few female writers whose name and reputation survived to modern times, though much of her actual work has been lost. Her poem Hymn to Aphrodite tells the story of unrequited love as she calls to the Greek god of love, Aphrodite, to help win their affections. William Wetmore Story is an American poet and sculptor. His sculptures can be found throughout the United States in various museums and academic establishments. Sappho is on display in the Great Court of Main Building to the left of the marble staircase.

May 2017

Title: Cranberry Glass Perfume Bottle
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: Late 19th century
Origin: United States
Medium: Glass

The smell of spring is in the air! The collection is celebrating the season with this elegant pink glass perfume bottle. Glass bottles used to contain perfumes and scented oils have been common among the wealthy and elite for the last 3,500 years. Given the time and technique dedicated to making these perfume bottles they are often just as valuable as the fragrances inside of them. Once only for the elite, perfumes are now made more affordable and accessible to the public, leading to the perfume industry being worth over 30 billion U.S. dollars!

April 2017

Title: William Shakespeare
Artist: Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse
Creation Date: 1880
Origin: France
Medium: Bronze

Celebrate William Shakespeare’s life this April with this bronze sculpture of one of the world’s greatest poets and playwrights. William Shakespeare created over 38 plays and 150 sonnets. Shakespeare’s works have left a lasting legacy, and he remains one of the most influential writers in history. Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse is a French sculptor, most known for his work The Abduction of Hippodameia. Carrier-Belleuse also created the sculpture on the Conical Clock of a woman holding a pendulum on display on the first floor in the great court of Main Building.

March 2017

Title: Butterfly - Morpho Menelaus
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: Unknown
Origin: Columbia
Medium: Insect

Spring is so close! This winged work of art is native to South and Central America. The Morpho Menlaus is a tropical butterfly with a lifespan of only 137 days! This bright blue butterfly has a wingspan of 5.9 inches and survives by drinking the juices of fermenting fruits. Spread your wings and learn something new by stopping by the collection today!

February 2017

Title: Heart-shaped Box
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 20th Century
Origin: Nepal
Medium: Brass, coral, turquoise

Love is in the air this February. This heart-shaped brass box is decorated with coral and turquoise pieces. The brass box was crafted in Nepal in the 20th century and found its home as a part of the Drexel Collection in 1985. Similar to Tibetan prayer boxes, this piece is the perfect size to stash treasures, mementos or prayers of love this Valentine’s Day.

January 2017

Title: Monteith
Artist: Chrichton Bros.
Creation Date: 1909-1910
Origin: England
Medium: Silver

To toast to the new year, the curator's pick for January is this elaborate silver monteith with chased and cast ornament. Monteiths were used to wash or cool wine glasses. The bases of the glasses would hang in the notches along the rim, allowing the bowls of the glasses to hang in the cool water. The monteith is on view on the 3rd floor of the Main Building in our display "What Am I?" Come test your knowledge on the iPad quiz and learn more about some of the rare and interesting artifacts in the collection.

December 2016

Title: Drawing of Nina Gabrilowitsch
Artist: Violet Oakley (1874-1961)
Creation Date: 1936
Origin: Rome, Italy
Medium: Ink, paper

For December, the Drexel Collection chose this drawing of Nina Gabrilowitsch by Violet Oakley. Gabrilowitsch is the grandchild of Mark Twain, and an example of one of the many famous sitters Oakley depicted. Oakley was one of Drexel’s first students in the field of illustration and one of its most successful. She spent one semester studying under Cecilia Beaux and Joseph De Camp at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before enrolling at the Drexel Institute in 1896 to study illustration with Howard Pyle. Illustration was a relatively lucrative artistic avenue for women, and her work at Drexel proved to be the beginning of an enormously successful career.

November 2016

Title: The Shepherd
Artist: Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875)
Creation Date: c. 1865
Origin: France
Medium: Oil, canvas

The Drexel Collection has selected Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s The Shepherd as November’s object of the month. Corot was trained in the French classical tradition of landscape painting founded by Nicholas Poussin. His goal as an artist was to raise the level of landscape painting to that of high art in the eyes of the critics and he was a forerunner of the Barbizon School, although not officially a part of it. He was considered to be the greatest landscape painter of his time, with an extremely long career spanning several different styles. He often included figures in his landscapes in an effort to draw the viewer into the painting, highlighting them with bright spots of color in the clothing, such as the red kerchief on the shepherd.

October 2016

Title: Faust and Margarite
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 19th century
Origin: Unknown
Medium: Marble

Located on the third floor of the Main Building, the marble sculpture of Faust and Marguerite is October’s Curator Pick of the Month. Based on a classic German legend, the story of Faust and Marguerite has been a popular basis for many artistic works. Faust is a successful yet unsatisfied scholar who makes a pact with the devil, giving up his soul in order to live a life of indulgence and pleasure. During this time, Faust seduces an innocent and beautiful girl named Marguerite. Faust ends up destroying her life, but her innocence saves her and she is ultimately let into heaven. However, Faust’s fate differs depending on the version of the legend. This sculpture was donated by Anthony J. Drexel.

September 2016

Title: Dragon Bench
Artist: Drexel Students
Creation Date: 20th century
Origin: United States
Medium: Wood

To start celebrating Drexel University’s 125th anniversary, the Drexel Collection chose the Dragon Bench for the Curator Pick of the Month. This 20th century bench is said to have been designed and made by Drexel University students. Each square reserve on the bench contains a different design displaying the varied characteristics of a dragon’s physical appearance as they change from culture to culture, with some depicted as serpent-like creatures and others with wings and fire, as well as demonstrating the skill of the student artists. The Drexel dragon mascot was first mentioned in a 1928 edition of The Triangle.

August 2016

Title: Girl with Violets
Artist: William Adolphe Bouguereau
Creation Date: 1872
Origin: France
Medium: Oil, canvas, board

Girl with Violets is a notable part of the Drexel Collection because it was painted by the French academic painter William Adolphe Bouguereau in 1872. Bouguereau is considered arguably the greatest painter of the human figure of all time. He not only captures the subtle nuances of personality and mood, but is believed to be able to capture the very souls and spirits of his subjects like Rembrandt. While Rembrandt is said to have captured the soul of age, Bouguereau is believed to have captured the soul of youth.

July 2016

Title: Anthony J. Drexel
Artist: Moses Jacob Ezekiel
Creation Date: 1904
Origin: United States
Medium: Bronze, marble

This bronze sculpture of the university’s founder, Anthony J. Drexel, was created by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, who also created the marble bust of Drexel that resides in the Main building. Anthony J. Drexel is remembered not only as one of the most influential financiers of the 19th century but also as a philanthropist and lover of art. His love of the arts helped create The Drexel Collection with a number of pieces from his personal collection being left to the Drexel Institute in 1893. This sculpture is located at 33rd and Market streets. It was first dedicated at Belmont and Lansdowne Avenues in Philadelphia in 1905, but relocated to the Drexel campus in 1966.

June 2016

Title: Grand Piano
Artist: Steinway & Sons
Creation Date: 1876
Origin: United States
Medium: Rosewood

For the month of June, The Drexel Collection chose A.J. Drexel’s original Victorian Steinway Piano. While A.J. Drexel was known to be a private man, we can have a glimpse into his life from a tribute written by the first dean of men, J. Peterson Ryder. He wrote, “Their home had all the charm of an older civilization. Anthony Joseph’s chief pleasure was to spend his evenings in the music room, which had two pianos, playing duets and quartettes from the Old Masters with his daughters”. Today, the piano is kept tuned and on display in the Picture Gallery.

May 2016

Title: Urn
Artist: Saxon Porcelain Manufacturer
Creation Date: late 19th century
Origin: Potschappel, Germany
Medium: Hard-paste porcelain

As spring blooms into full swing, The Drexel Collection chose this Saxon Porcelain Urn as May’s Curator Pick of the Month. This large urn encompasses a number of elements characteristic of German porcelain. The crisp modeled flowers, scattered floral sprigs and elaborate figures are reminiscent of works produced at the Meissen Factory under the famous sculptor Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706–1775). The Meissen Porcelain Factory, located near Dresden, Germany, was the first European producer to discover the secret of hard-paste porcelain, which was long held by the Chinese. Hard-paste porcelain was highly sought after because of its white body, high firing temperature, making it impermeable, and delicateness.

April 2016

Title: Romulus and Remus
Artist: Artist Unknown
Creation Date: 19th century
Origin: Unknown
Medium: Bronze

For the month of April, the Drexel Collection chose this bronze sculpture of the Capitoline she-wolf feeding the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus. As legend has it, Romulus and Remus are responsible for the creation of the city of Rome on April 21, 753 BCE. Abandoned by their parents by the Tiber River, the twin brothers are saved by a series of miraculous interventions, when the river takes them to safety, and are then nursed to health by a she-wolf. The twins are soon discovered by a shepherd and his wife, who continue to raise the brothers. When they are adults, Romulus and Remus decide to return to the area where the wolf found them and establish a city. While arguing about the location, Remus is killed in the dispute, leaving Romulus as the sole founder of the city.

March 2016

Title: Animal Locomotion - Pigeon Flying
Artist: Eadweard Muybridge
Creation Date: 1887
Origin: United States
Medium: Photograph

The Drexel Collection has an extensive collection of photographs, including “Pigeon Flying” from Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion studies. Muybridge is known for his work in photographic studies of motion. In order to capture these sequential photographs of successive phases of the pigeon’s flight, Muybridge designed an elaborate photographic system that combined multiple cameras with rapid shutter mechanisms. His work pioneered photographic studies of motion and lead the way for the development of motion picture projection.

February 2016

Title: Cupid Blinding Venus
Artist: Artist Unknown
Creation Date: c. 1900
Origin: Italy
Medium: Marble

Over the centuries, Cupid has become the symbol of Valentine’s Day so it is only fitting that Cupid Blinding Venus is February’s Curator Pick of the Month. Cupid is the god of desire and in Roman mythology is the son of the goddess of love, Venus, and the war god Mars. He is often portrayed as mischievous, and a minor character in myths who simply serves to set the plot in motion. His mischievous ways are accurately captured in this sculpture group with Venus, as the winged Cupid is reaching around Venus’ from behind to cover her eyes, a classic childhood prank.

January 2016

Title: Punch Bowl
Artist: Artist Unknown
Creation Date: Late 19th Century
Origin: England
Medium: Sterling silver

For January, this punch bowl is an appropriate choice as we welcome the New Year. In 19th century England, where this bowl was made, punch was the celebratory drink of choice. Many countries shared this tradition, incorporating the drink into all types of festivities, holidays, and events. By the 19th century, British punches recipes no longer followed strict measurements, although there was a strong preference for sweet and rich flavors. While ingredients and making methods varied across the globe, punch was always recognized as a celebratory drink.

December 2015

Title: Miniature Cow and Landscape Painting
Artist: Artist Unknown
Creation Date: Date Unknown
Origin: United States
Medium: Paper, paint, wood, gilding

In the spirit of the new exhibition opening this month in the Rincliffe Gallery “Toys, Trinkets and Trifles”, the Drexel Collection chose this miniature painting of a landscape with cows. The Drexel Collection has an extensive assortment of elegant miniatures and other tiny treasures. Does this tiny treasure remind you of any of the better known pieces of fine art in the collection? If you aren’t sure, check out the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery and The Peck Alumni Center for a hint!

November 2015

Title: Dojoji (Dojo Temple)
Artist: Artist Unknown
Creation Date: Date Unknown
Origin: Japan
Medium: Woodblock print

For November, The Drexel Collection chose this intriguing piece from the collection’s extensive variety of Japanese woodblock prints. This print captures a moment from popular kabuki play, “The Maiden at the Dojo Temple”. In this scene, the young maiden transforms herself into a demon, after realizing that her love for a young priest is unrequited. On stage, a skillful actor would achieve the effect of the transformation through a rapid costume change by wearing multiple layers that could be easily removed.

October 2015

Title: Through the Fields
Artist: Paolo Michetti
Creation Date: 1900
Origin: Italy
Medium: Oil, board

In the spirit of the fall harvest, the Drexel Collection chose Through the Fields by Paolo Michetti. This painting depicts a group of children marching through a field of wheat and poppy in the Italian countryside. The blue garmets and accessories of the figures communicates to the viewer that these people are most likely shepherds, returning from a long day at work. Michetti was inspired by the Italian region of Abruzzo, and incorporated its people, animals, and local events into his works. Michetti learned to paint from an Italian fresco painter, and embraced modern methods of painting and the use of clear colors.

September 2015

Title: Portrait of Anthony J. Drexel
Artist: Josef Bergenthal
Creation Date: c. 1860
Origin: Philadelphia, PA
Medium: Oil, canvas

September 13 marks the 189th birthday of the University’s founder, Anthony J. Drexel, born September 13, 1826. In honor of his birthday this month, The Drexel Collection chose this portrait of A. J. Drexel. This portrait is considered one of the most successful portraits of Anthony, as he was notorious for not wanting to sit for his portrait; because of this, there are many reproductions of this portrait throughout campus. Try to see if you can find them all!

August 2015

Title: Tall-Case Astronomical Musical Clock
Artist: David Rittenhouse (1732-1796)
Creation Date: c. 1773
Origin: Philadelphia, PA
Medium: Mahogany, white cedar, poplar, oak, brass, silver

This is the David Rittenhouse Astronomical Musical Clock with Chinese Chippendale mahogany case, one of The Drexel Collection’s most prized objects. The Philadelphia Astronomical Society published the book by Ron Hoppes titled “The Most Important Clock in America: The David Rittenhouse Astronomical Musical Clock at Drexel University”. Why is this clock so important you might ask? David Rittenhouse was a renowned Pennsylvania astronomer and instrument maker who designed and built the clock in 1773. He was also a friend of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The clock tells the time, month and day, location of planets, tracks several esoteric astronomical phenomena, and plays 10 different tunes on its chimes. On the top of the clock, there are six tiny planets that orbit the sun (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had yet to be discovered). It is also outlined with the names of zodiac constellations, and just by looking at the face of the clock you are able to tell where to look for a particular planet that night. The clock is just about in complete original condition. In 1879, we know that George W. Childs purchased the clock, and it was given to Drexel Institute by his widow in 1894. To learn more, watch the video on the clock's restoration and visit the Picture Gallery to see the newly installed interactive about the clock!

July 2015

Title: Modèle du Comité
Artist: Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi
Creation Date: c. 1876
Origin: France
Medium: Terracotta

What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with the Modèle du Comité, a model of the Statute of Liberty. The model is made by the same sculptor as the actual statue, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. It is possible that A. J. Drexel met Bartholdi because they were both members of the Franco-American alliance, a group dedicated to raise funds to build the pedestal for the statue in New York. In order to raise funds for the project, models like this were sold. This model is numbered “50,” and is one of only four that remain today. The sculpture was displayed in the Christie’s exhibition “Images of Liberty: Models and Reproductions of the Statue of Liberty 1867 – 1917” in 1986, and now has a prominent home in the Main Building’s Great Court.

June 2015

Title: Summer Day in Venice
Artist: Rubens Santoro
Creation Date: 1880
Origin: Italy
Medium: Oil on canvas

To welcome summer, the Drexel Collection chose this seasonal scene titled Summer Day in Venice by Rubens Santoro. Rubens painted from life and incorporated scenes from his European travels, especially Venice. Although Rubens appears to have lived and worked exclusively in Italy, he exhibited his work throughout the world in Chicago, Paris, London, Rome, and Leningrad. This shaded canal scene looks like quite the refreshing retreat from the hot Mediterranean sun!

May 2015

Title: Etruscan Ram’s Head
Artist: Artist Unknown
Creation Date: c. 700-500 BCE
Origin: Italy
Medium: Bronze

This Etruscan rendering of a ram’s head is the oldest object in the Drexel Collection, dating c. 700-500 BCE! The Etruscans, the forerunners of the Romans, were known for their fine metal craft, thanks to the high quality of ores in Tuscany. This explains why this delicate piece of less than 3 1/5 inches in diameter was able to survive so many centuries! The ram’s head was created using the technique of repoussé, where the craftsman hammers the piece of metal into shape from the reverse side. In addition to creating decorative pieces, the Etruscans also used bronze to create small objects of daily use, such as storage jars, handles, and mirrors.

April 2015

Title: Silver Resist Lustre Teapot
Artist: Leeds Pottery
Creation Date: 1815
Origin: Stoke-on-Trent, England
Medium: Earthenware

This teapot may look like heavy silver, but April Fools, it is actually a technique called “lustre”. Lustre is a metallic decoration applied to ceramics through precipitation, using salts of silver, gold, or copper that are dissolved and painted onto the surface of the ceramic before firing. This style of decoration was invented in the Near East around the 9th century BCE and then spread to the Islamic culture in Spain. The technique did not come to England until the 19th century when the potter William De Morgan began to develop lustrewares. The Drexel Collection has an extensive collection of lustrewares that are frequently showcased throughout our cases and exhibitions!

March 2015

Title: Banjo Clock
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 19th century
Origin: United States
Medium: Wood, gilding, brass

With daylight savings coming up, what better to help us “spring forward” than the banjo clock! This 19th-century clock, named for its unique shape, is one of the many excellent examples of clocks and watches within The Drexel Collection. Both the case and the inner workings were conserved in 2013. The banjo clock is an American invention, celebrated for its innovation and craftsmanship.

February 2015

Title: Glass Bottle of George Washington
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: Mid-20th century
Origin: United States
Medium: Glass

Happy Birthday George Washington! In honor of President’s Day this month, The Drexel Collection chose a glass bottle molded after George Washington. In the decades after the birth of the nation, the production of glass bottles decorated with celebrated American figures was common. Also called flasks, these historical glass bottles are distinctly American, and are popular among collectors because of their unique place in the cultural heritage of the nation. Figural bottles like this were produced in many shades of amber and also in blue.

January 2015

Title: Conical Clock
Artist: Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and Eugene Farcot
Creation Date: 1867
Origin: France
Medium: Silver, brass, marble

It’s time to start fresh and prepare for a new year! In recognition of the times gone by and the times to come, this month’s curators pick is the famous Eugene Farcot Conical Clock with sculpture by Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. Drexel’s clock arrived at the university in 1912. It was a donation from Mrs. George W. Childs in memory of her husband, George W. Childs, a close friend and business partner of A. J. Drexel. Childs purchased the clock at the Parisian Exposition in 1867 for $6,000, making it one of the most expensive clocks in the entire world. One of only three conical clocks in the United States; it is one of Drexel’s most notable pieces of art. Conical clocks have a pendulum that operates in a circular motion as opposed to side to side, and they are surprisingly accurate.

December 2014

Title: Horse and Cart
Artist: Unknown
Creation Date: 19h century
Origin: United States
Medium: Wood, metal, paint, horse hair

Happy Holidays! In light of the gift giving season, it seemed appropriate to look back on a toy from the 19th century. Horse toys like these were very popular for children of the 1800’s, including rocking horses, horse heads on the end of a stick, and wheeled ones like this one in The Drexel Collection. While some goods at the time were mass-produced, toys of this size and quality were handmade with wood, fabric, and animal hair. Horse toys were a chance for children to imitate the equestrian skills they were expected to have as an adult, making them very popular. In addition to the horse toy, many hand crafted toys from the 19th century are housed in The Drexel Collection.

November 2014

Title: Bronze Plated Hen Pheasant
Artist: Jules Moigniez
Creation Date: 19th century
Origin: France
Medium: Bronze

Jules Moigniez, the sculptor of this pheasant, was an expert in casting bird representations and was wildly popular in the late 19th century. A French artist, he exhibited much of his most notable work in The Salon, however his work was especially popular in Great Britain and America. After he became ill in 1869, he stopped producing work and took his own life. His father continued to cast his sculpture with his old molds but stopped around the time of the First World War when tastes had begun to change.

Ocotober 2014

Title: Salem Witch Spoon
Artist: Daniel Low & Co.
Creation Date: 1891
Origin: Salem, Massachusetts
Medium: Sterling silver

Happy Halloween! This silver spoon is an example of a Salem witch souvenir spoon from Salem, Massachusetts, that dates to 1891. Several versions of witch spoons were made by Daniel Low & Co., gold and silversmiths of Salem. Upon closer inspection, you will see that the handle of the spoon is shaped like a witch’s broom with a witch at one end and a black cat at the other. We thought this was the perfect choice for the October curator pick of the month!

September 2014

Title: The Barber Shop
Artist: George Cruickshank
Creation Date: 1835
Origin: England
Medium: Oil, panel

It’s back to school season and as students are gathering their books and clothes and getting fresh haircuts to prepare, The Drexel Collection chose The Barber Shop by George Cruikshank to celebrate the anticipation. George Cruikshank began his artistic career as an illustrator of children’s books and later turned to political satire in 1811. While most of his work is done in etchings and illustrations, he also dabbled in painting, like this piece which he created in 1811. One could see how his grotesque, theatrical and humorous style translated well for satire and cartoons.

August 2014

Title: Self-Portrait of the Artist at the Easel with Wife and Daughter
Artist: Francis Martin Drexel
Creation Date: 1824
Origin: United States
Medium: Oil, canvas

This self-portrait of Francis Martin Drexel and his family was exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1825. Francis was the father of A.J. Drexel, the university’s founder, and had a peculiar skillset. He had succeeded as both a portrait artist and as a banker. While he had aspired to become a painter since his adolescence in Austria, Francis eventually abandoned painting in 1838 to open the Drexel Bank on Third Street. However, the love that Francis had for art influenced his children and his son, A. J. Drexel, created The Drexel Collection for the very new Drexel Institute of Science, Art and Industry in 1891.

July 2014

Title: Eagle
Artist: Artist Unknown
Creation Date: c. 1815-1825
Origin: United States
Medium: Pine, paint

The eagle has been the national symbol of the United States since 1782. The Great Seal of the United States depicts the eagle with wings spread and a shield divided into a blue field across the top and 13 red and white stripes on the bottom. The eagle clutches 13 arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other. In its beak is a banner with the motto “E Pluribus Unum” which translates to “Out of Many, One.” This painted and gilded carved wooden eagle from the early 19th century is a stylized version of the eagle from the Great Seal. The flat bottom edge of the carving suggests that it may have been mounted on a wagon or car, possibly for a circus.

June 2014

Title: In the Garden
Artist: Jennifer Bartlett
Creation Date: 1980
Origin: United States
Medium: Steel plates, baked enamel, silkscreen

With the onset of summer just around the corner, Jennifer Bartlett’s In the Garden stood out as a pick to celebrate the season. The massive mural in the URBN center portrays a garden that the artist studied while visiting a villa in Nice, France. The focus of the painting is a small cherub repeated five times, shown from different angles and at different times of day. The unconventional format of the painting consists of 270 one-foot-square steel plates and was conceived in this way to restrict and formalize the composition of the painting. Its progressive composition seemed fit to install in the brand new URBN Center built in April of 2013.

May 2014

Title: Saxon Flower Soup Tureen
Artist: Unknown Artist
Creation Date: c. 1750-1780
Origin: Jingdezhen, China
Medium: Hard-paste porcelain, enamels

April showers bring May flowers and this soup tureen is covered in them! The famille rose palette with shades of pink, yellow, orange, green, lavender and blue, as well as the rabbit head handles found on the tureen, reflect the brilliant colors and new life of springtime. This tureen is an example of Chinese export porcelain made in Jingdezhen, China, for the European market. It’s decorated with a floral pattern that is a Chinese interpretation of Meissen porcelains called “German” or “Saxonian,” which shows the dissemination of ideas to and from the different continents.

April 2014

Title: Runner
Artist: Sterett-Gittings Kelsey (*1941)
Creation Date: 1976
Origin: United States
Medium: Bronze

In light of the 118th annual Boston Marathon on April 21st, this bronze sculpture of a runner seemed an appropriate choice for this month’s curator’s pick. Created in 1976 by the sculptor Sterett-Gittings Kelsey (b. 1941), this sculpture depicts the moment of victory as the runner is crossing the finish line, leaning forward to break the ribbon his face depicting both exhaustion and joy at the completion of the race. This sculpture is one of several completed by Kelsey and commissioned by the Royal Copenhagen of Denmark in 1973 to produce a series of sculptures expressing different types of movement. In order to fully understand the movements involved in different sports, Kelsey worked with champions in each sport including Olympic Skater Dorothy Hamill.

March 2014

Title: George III Silver Nine-Basket Epergne
Artist: Thomas Pitts
Creation Date: 1765
Origin: England
Medium: Silver

In 1893 Anthony J. Drexel gave the Drexel Institute a solid silver epergne, made in 1763 by a London silversmith named Thomas Pitts. Epergnes became fashionable in the 1730’s when large dining halls were popular for ornate dinner parties. It was used to hold fruit, condiments, and relishes for early courses and sweets for dessert. A lot of these delicacies were shipped from the Far East so they were very expensive; epergnes became popular so guests could take as much as they wanted without wasting the food by preparing these luxuries in the main dish. The Drexel epergne serves as a stunning example of Chinese influence in England during the 1700’s as the Chinese pagoda shape is combined with floral motifs.

February 2014

Title: Portrait of Amanda Fell Cassatt
Artist: Jean Charles P. de Chabannes la Palice
Creation Date: 1910
Origin: France
Medium: Oil, canvas

With New York Fashion Week in full swing, I thought it would be a perfect time to highlight one of The Drexel Collection’s best-dressed portraits. Amanda Fell Cassatt was the Daughter of Sarah Drexel, and granddaughter of Anthony J. Drexel. The portrait depicts this statuesque beauty in a fur-trimmed red velvet overdress concealing a light-colored delicate lace and fringed evening gown. A small blue bow fastens the overdress in the front, adding a flare of contrasting color and a bit of winsomeness to the ensemble. To complete the look, Mrs. Cassatt’s headdress is a fashionable black wrap jeweled at the center with a large black plume. This portrait can be found in the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery.

January 2014

Title: New Year's Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree
Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige
Creation Date: 1857
Origin: Japan
Medium: Woodblock print

Happy New Year! This woodblock print is part of a large collection of Japanese prints donated to The Drexel Collection by James W. Paul Jr., Anthony J. Drexel’s son-in-law. In Japanese folklore, it is believed that on New Year’s Eve all of the foxes of the surrounding provinces would gather at a particular tree near the Oji Inari shrine, headquarters of the god Inari. The animals would emit distinctive flames by which local farmers were able to predict the crops of the coming year. This print was most recently part of Drexel’s celebratory exhibition A Legacy of Art, Science and Industry: Highlights from the Collections, Drexel University, Spring 2012.