Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Six Degrees of Shellenberger

Do you remember the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?" I’ll bet you do, and I’ll bet you did not always need six steps to trace a relationship to this Philly native. I often make similar connections between historical figures in my work at the Library Company and it always tickles me. I even curated a one-case exhibition on the theme when the Print Department's Arcadia book Center City in the Nineteenth Century came out in 2006. Consequently, when Curator Sarah Weatherwax pointed out the ties between a 2010 acquisition and my blog post about J. Monroe Shellenberger from a few weeks ago, I could not resist a sequel posting. Despite wanting to delude myself that I remember every graphic that we acquire, I had not made the connection to this print of the 1886 architectural drawing of our infamous friend's residence in Doylestown. Designed by Philadelphia architect Charles M. Burns, Jr., the dwelling, according to the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings website, was built by H. D. Livezey and James Flack circa 1886. Perhaps Shellenberger's embezzling helped pay for it? 

Erika Piola
Associate Curator, Prints and Photographs

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