Gateway to the University: The Collections at Drexel
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
11:00 AM-4:00 PM
Exhibition from September
13, 2021 through February 26, 2022.
All visitors without Dragon cards must check in for a visitor pass.
1876 Centennial National Bank, located at the crossroads of Market
and 32nd Street, marks the gateway to the
Drexel University campus. Now the Paul Peck Alumni Center, it is home to a
newly renovated gallery space designed to showcase Drexel’s rich and diverse
collections. These collections, which embody the interdisciplinary
collaborative spirit of Drexel academics mark Drexel as one of the great
collecting universities in the United States.
Though widely known for innovation, entrepreneurship
and civic engagement, Drexel has been a serious collecting institution from its
very inception in 1891. In fact, it was the University’s forward thinking
founder AJ Drexel, who provided the inspiration and resources to establish The
Drexel Collection. The original collection grew and evolved over the years and
now the University holds a series of impressive collections including the
internationally renowned Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, The
Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection as well as The Legacy Center,
which documents the role of women in American medicine, and the Archives at
The inaugural exhibition in the new gallery,
curated by Cara Fry and Derek Gillman, is designed to provide a window into Drexel’s
extraordinary collections which range from rare books to couture; from natural
science to fine and applied arts. Every piece in the show is a treasure –
including a Rittenhouse Orrery clock from 1873, a 1991 James Galanos evening
gown, a 450 million year old slab of fossilized trilobites and a 16th century
Paracelsus incunabulum. Also highlighted is an 1876 William Morris textile
which serves as a fascinating case study for the way in which the objects in
the Drexel collections invite interdisciplinary teaching and research and
thereby provide historical context and contemporary relevance.
The exhibition is free and open to the public.