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September 13th, 2005
Pennsylvania State Historical Marker Commemorates Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial

Dedication of a State Historical Marker to honor the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2005, in front of the 107-year old community art center at 715 Catharine Street in South Philadelphia. The event will be followed by a reception and the first night of free-tuition art classes. The dedication, reception and evening art classes are free and open to the public.

Throughout its history, Fleisher’s programs have engaged more than 500,000 individuals, whether through its in-house art classes for adults and children or via classroom and after-school programs in area schools. Last year over 4,000 students attended programs that offered more than eighty choices for visual arts study weekly. Additionally, the exhibition and performance programs over the past thirty years have featured and promoted the work of innumerable local, regional, and nationally and internationally known artists.

Some of Philadelphia’s most important artists both taught and studied here: portrait painter Robert Susan (father of novelist Jacqueline Susann), and sculptor Albin Polasek (who served as head of the sculpture department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), were on faculty. Students of the Graphic Sketch Club (later renamed the Fleisher Art Memorial) included: Frank Gasparro, who grew up to become the tenth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint and the most minted engraver in history; and Louis I. Kahn, who developed into one of the seminal architects of the twentieth century.

Although the Fleisher Art Memorial has been a presence in its South Philadelphia neighborhood for over a century, its impact is spread throughout the region and beyond through every artist who has studied or exhibited here, as well as each person who views an exhibition or attends a performance. The historical marker for Fleisher is one of the few in this area that commemorates the rich history of an institution that is still so very much alive – if not more so now than when first founded by Samuel S. Fleisher over one hundred years ago.

To make a reservation to attend the dedication ceremony on September 13, please contact Leigh Evan Sweda at 215.922.3456 ext. 314, or lsweda@fleisher.org.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Marketing and Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at (215) 684-7860. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100, or visit the Museum's website at www.philamuseum.org.

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