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1876–1928

De arte reminiscentiae...
De arte reminiscentiae per loca, & imagines, ac per notas, & figuras in manibus positas
Girolamo Marafioti, Italian
Venice: Giovanni Battista Bertoni, 1602
Gift of Charles Godfrey Leland

This installation highlights gifts given to the Library during the Museum's early years as an industrial arts institution, emphasizing the period from 1876, when the Museum was founded as an outgrowth of the Centennial Exhibition, to 1928, when the Museum moved from Memorial Hall to its current home in the grand Neoclassical building on Fairmount. Exhibitors donated books to the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art (as the Museum was then called) after the Centennial in response to the selection committee's plea for contributions. Other books later came from notable art collectors, including Mrs. Bloomfield Moore, Mrs. William P. Wilstach, and John G. Johnson. While these individuals are primarily known for the significant works of art they left to the Museum, they also donated books and manuscripts, which they had collected or produced as they acquired art objects. Another donor from this period, Charles Leland, was primarily a book collector and focused on unusual subjects, such as the occult. Many of the books donated during these years feature beautiful illustrations and fine bindings and range in subject from mnemonics (systems used to aid memory) to witchcraft to morality tales for children.

 

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