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125 Years: Drexel and the City

January 10, 2017

On Thursday, January 12th from 5-7pm the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery (3401 Filbert Street) will kick off the New Year with the opening of 125 Years: Drexel & the City, an exhibition that pays tribute to our University's 125th anniversary. Showcasing themes of exploration, invention and conversation that are synonymous with Drexel’s fourteen Schools and Colleges, Drexel & the City uses artifacts, images and stories that celebrate the history of life and learning within our urban setting of West Philadelphia neighborhood's from the past to the present. Objects on display include paintings and decorative arts objects from the Drexel Collection, objects from our neighborhood's industrial past, historic photographs and examples of student and faculty work spanning decades. These include images and objects made available by the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (the City of Philadelphia Department of Records) and the Drexel University Archives. More than a dozen students from Westphal and other Drexel schools and colleges and numerous other faculty contributed to this exhibition and the key programming with residents of the nearby Powelton and Mantua neighborhoods. This exhibition was organized by Dr. Elizabeth Milroy, Art & Art History Department Head and Jody Graff, our Graphic Design Program Director.

Anthony J. Drexel built his institute of art, science and industry at the heart of a vibrant district where rail yards, factories and warehouses operated in close proximity to the Powelton and Mantua neighborhoods. Then, Philadelphia was the “workshop of the world” and the Drexel Institute would be “central to the best of the working population of a great industrial city.” This exhibition explores the past while asking, how have we changed? 125 Years: Drexel and the City creates a series of experiences that tell stories of our University's founding and amazing evolution over the decades, transforming the Pearlstein Gallery into the "neighborhood", a place where visitors will be able to engage and discuss Drexel's changing relationship with its neighbors.