The Drexel Collection to Host Retrospective Lecture

A photograph of the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery after it opened in the early 1900s.
A photograph of the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery after it opened in the early 1900s.

The Drexel Collection, which was started as the Drexel Museum in 1891 and 125 years later remains a resource for historically and culturally significant works of art, will host a lecture examining the history of the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery and its connection to its namesake and Drexel University founder.

The lecture, titled “The House on Walnut and the Museum on Chestnut: Observations on the Early History of The Drexel Collection,” is being held to commemorate the gallery’s recent redesign to better reflect the original salon-style appearance it displayed when it opened in 1902, as previously reported by DrexelNow. The talk, which will be held June 6 from 5–7 p.m. in the gallery on the third floor of Drexel’s Main Building, will be given by Charles Morscheck, PhD, a professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and will be followed by a reception.

Morscheck, who stewarded the Collection during the ‘90s and continues to be a vital resource to the Collection through support and research, will be speaking about the relationships between the artworks currently in the gallery to those that are seen in photographs of A.J. Drexel’s home, and those in older photographs of the gallery. While the gallery was recently given a retro makeover, it has also been updated with new security, more reliable environmental controls and 29 additional paintings.

The Drexel Collection began in 1891 when A.J. Drexel gave funds to the Drexel Institute’s first president, James MacAlister, to purchase artwork for the new institution. By 1901, the collection expanded greatly when Drexel’s brother-in-law, John D. Lankenau, bequeathed his collection of landscape paintings to the Institution. This expansion resulted in the collection moving from the first floor of the Main Building to the third floor of the new Randell Building, into what is today known as the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery.

For more information, contact Lynn Clouser, director of The Drexel Collection, at 215.895.2414 or