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Whitman Vignettes: Camden and Philadelphia

An exhibition in conjunction with
Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy
  • Exhibition opening
  • Symposium: Whitman at 200
  • Symposium schedule
  • Lecture
  • Tour of the exhibition
Detail
Sketch of Walt Whitman by William Wallace Gilchrist from the papers of E. Scully Bradley

On exhibition May 28-August 23, 2019

The American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) spent the last two decades of his life officially residing across the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey. This exhibition on the occasion of the 200th anniversary, on May 31, 2019, of the birth of Walt Whitman, focuses on the Camden/Philadelphia connection, both during Whitman's life and in the decades that followed. Mining Penn's Walt Whitman Collections, which include original paintings by Herbert Gilchrist, son of Whitman's English admirer Anne Gilchrist, the exhibition explores his friendships, his writings, his influence, his collectors, his legacy, and even the naming of his bridge.

 

Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy is a region-wide initiative to explore the impact and importance of Walt Whitman in 2019, his bicentennial year. Institution and organizations in Philadelphia and Camden are partnering to present a diverse variety of exhibitions and events on poetry and music, plastic arts, the environment, printing and publishing, and contemporary social, political, and cultural issues. To learn more about Whitman at 200 and to view the calendar of events, go to: whitmanat200.org

Major Support for the Whitman at 200 artistic commissions has been provided to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Whitman Vignettes: Camden and Philadelphia
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Exhibition Opening

  • Tuesday, May 28

    4:00 pm  Tour of exhibition by curator Lynne Farrington

    Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, first floor

    5:30 pm  Reading by poet Michael Dickman

    Michael Dickman is a winner of the James Laughlin Award and author of many books of poetry, including Green Migraine (2015) and the forthcoming Days & Days (2019)

    Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, sixth floor

    6:30 pm  Exhibition viewing, book signing, and reception

    Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, first floor

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A Symposium
March 29 - 30, 2019

Whitman at 200

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Barbara Henry woodcut of Walt Whitman

This symposium will explore Walt Whitman, his work and his life, from various perspectives. The keynote, "Whitman Getting Old," will be given by Ed Folsom (Iowa), co-director of the Whitman Archive and editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and the Whitman Series for the University of Iowa Press.

Participants include Nancy Bentley (UPenn), Max Cavitch (UPenn), Matt Cohen (UNebraska, Lincoln), Jay Grossman (Northwestern), Laura Helton (UDelaware), Tyler Hoffman (Rutgers), Virginia Jackson (UCalifornia, Irvine), Meredith McGill (Rutgers), Don James McLaughlin (UTulsa), Peter Stallybrass (UPenn), Michael Warner (Yale), Edward Whitley (Lehigh), and Michael Winship (UTexas, Austin).

The symposium will begin on Friday, March 29, at 4 pm, with "Printing Whitman at the Common Press, Penn's Letterpress Studio," followed by the welcome and keynote at 5:30 pm, and a reception and pop-up exhibition from Penn's Whitman Collection at 6:30 pm.

Saturday's symposium will run from 9:30 am (coffee and light breakfast) to 6 pm, with four speaker sessions, a viewing of the pop-up exhibition, a student panel, and final reflections on "Late Whitman and Early Afterlife: The Good Gray Poet," a conversation between Peter Stallybrass and Ed Folsom.

Please register to attend the symposium here.

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, sixth floor
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

free and open to the public (please show photo ID at entrance)

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Symposium schedule
March 29 - 30, 2019

Whitman at 200

Looking Back, Looking Forward

  • Friday, March 29

    4:00-5:00 pm Printing Whitman at the Common Press, Penn's letterpress studio

      Location: Fisher Fine Arts Library, Lower Level

    5:30-6:30 pm Welcome and Keynote

      Location: Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center,
      Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 3420 Walnut Street, sixth floor

    Welcome: Constantia Constantinou, H. Carton Rogers III Vice Provost and Director of the Penn Libraries
    Introduction: Peter Stallybrass, University of Pennsylvania
    Keynote: Ed Folsom, University of Iowa,
          Whitman Getting Old

    6:30-7:00 pm Pop-up exhibition from Penn's Whitman Collection

      Location: Henry Charles Lea Library

    6:30-7:30 pm Reception

  • Saturday, March 30

    All Day Location: Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center,
      Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 3420 Walnut Street, sixth floor

    9:30-10:15 am Coffee and light breakfast

    10:15-10:30 am Welcome

    Lynne Farrington, University of Pennsylvania

    10:30-11:30 am Session 1: Spring and Fall Leaves

    Chair: Nancy Bentley, University of Pennsylvania
    Matt Cohen, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and Nicole Gray
         Printers of the Kosmos: Reimagining How Leaves of Grass Came to Be
    Michael Winship, University of Texas, Austin
        'My own personal, authenticated volume': Walt Whitman, David McKay, and
        the Making of the 'Deathbed Edition' of Leaves of Grass

    11:30 am-12:30 pm Session 2: Materializing the Self

    Chair: Max Cavitch, University of Pennsylvania
    Jay Grossman, Northwestern University
        Manuprint
    Michael Warner, Yale University
        Dying in Public: On Late Whitman

    12:30-2:00 pm Lunch (on your own)

    1:30-2:00 pm Pop-up Whitman exhibition open

    2:00-3:00 pm Session 3: Formats of Printing and Writing

    Chair: Laura Helton, University of Delaware
    Meredith McGill, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
        The Long Foreground: Whitman and the Newspaper Poetry of the 1840s
    Don James McLaughlin, University of Tulsa
        Whitman's Aesthetics of Paralysis: Embodied Penmanship, the Herbert Gilchrist
        Depictions, and an Early Manuscript Concept for Specimen Days

    3:00-4:00pm Session 4: Radical Poetics

    Chair: Tyler Hoffman, Rutgers University, Camden
    Edward Whitley, Lehigh University
        Whitman's Poe
    Virginia Jackson, University of California, Irvine
        Whitman's Silence

    4:00-4:30 pm Coffee break

    4:30-5:00 pm Student Panel: Presentations on Whitman Projects

    Penn Manuscript Collective, University of Pennsylvania
        Nicole Hartland
        Tat Hang Henry Hung
        Liang Kelly
        Nicholas Plante

    Walt Whitman and the People's Press, University of Pennsylvania
       Daniel Finkel

    Whitman Curatorial Seminar, Rutgers University, Camden
        Emily Helck

    Youth Council, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
        Sophie Feinstein
        Madalyn Stokes

    5:00-6:00pm Session 5: The Good Gray Poet: Late Whitman and the Early Afterlife: A Conversation

    Peter Stallybrass, University of Pennsylvania
    Ed Folsom, University of Iowa


  • Please register to attend the symposium here.

    This symposium is part of Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy a region-wide initiative to explore the impact and importance of Walt Whitman in 2019, his bicentennial year. Institution and organizations in Philadelphia and Camden are partnering to present a diverse variety of exhibitions and events on poetry and music, plastic arts, the environment, printing and publishing, and contemporary social, political, and cultural issues. To learn more about Whitman at 200 and to view the calendar of events, go to: whitmanat200.org

    Major support for Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy artistic commissions has been provided to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 5:30PM

Walt Whitman, Race, and American Politics

A lecture by David S. Reynolds

Photograph of Walt Whitman

Was America's greatest poet, Walt Whitman, a racist or, to the contrary, a progressive on race? How did he respond to an America that was even more divided than the nation is today? David S. Reynolds addresses these vital issues in his lecture "Walt Whitman, Race, and American Politics."

David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and U. S. History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography, winner of the the Bancroft Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His facsimile edition of the Whitman's 1855 Leaves of Grass was the "big clue" on the hit TV series Breaking Bad. His other books include A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman, Lincoln's Selected Writings: A Norton Critical Edition, Mightier than the Sword: "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and the Battle for America, Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson, Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville (winner of the Christian Gauss Award), and John Brown, Abolitionist (winner of the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award). Professor Reynolds is a regular book reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Review of Books. His articles have appeared in the daily New York Times, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Wilson Quarterly, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been interviewed on T.V. or radio more than 100 times, having appeared on NPR's "Fresh Air," "The Diane Rehm Show," CSPAN's Book TV, "Book Notes with Brian Lamb," among others. David Reynolds earned the B.A. at Amherst College and the Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now at work on a cultural biography of Abraham Lincoln.

Please register to attend the Lecture here.

This Lecture is part of Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy a region-wide initiative to explore the impact and importance of Walt Whitman in 2019, his bicentennial year. Institution and organizations in Philadelphia and Camden are partnering to present a diverse variety of exhibitions and events on poetry and music, plastic arts, the environment, printing and publishing, and contemporary social, political, and cultural issues. To learn more about Whitman at 200 and to view the calendar of events, go to: whitmanat200.org

Major support for Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy artistic commissions has been provided to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, sixth floor
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Free and open to the public (please show photo ID at entrance)

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Exhibition tour by curator Lynne Farrington

Please join Senior Curator Lynne Farrington in the Kamin Gallery, Wednesday, July 10, at 1pm.

Panorama of the exhibition

 

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Community events

Whitman at 200

Our calendar is jam-packed with Whitman events!

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