As though it’s not always Furness Week in Philadelphia, to fashion a Furness celebration has become an annual Hidden City tradition. Last year’s, our best yet, saw related exhibitions from The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, in Face & Form: The Art and Caricature of Frank Furness, and the Streets Dept-curated show at Art in the Age, Furnessadelphia: A Street Art Salute to the Banks of Frank Furness. And, as the happy straggler you were happy to stay late at the party and chat with, the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Frank Furness: Working on the Railroads.
Working on the Railroads features hand sketchings, moldings and windows from demolished train stations, and an incredible model of Furness’ expansion of the Wilson Brothers’ Broad Street Station. (It also features some depressing maps illustrating just how many stations Furness designed for the railroad—and how few still remain.)
Following the close of that exhibition, the Library Company will roll out a collection of items originally created with a temporary life cycle. Curated by Erika Piola and Rachel A. D’Agostino, co-directors of the LCP’s Visual Culture Program, Remnants of Everyday Life: 19th-Century Ephemera in the Home, Workplace, and Street will bring to life graphic design from the hand drawn era, exploring its evolution through production technologies.
Collectors of all sorts take note: the ephemera exhibition features everything from business cards from business card printers to matchbooks warning against the spread of VD. It draws from sources all across America, but features heavily on Philadelphia, which is the nature of the collection.
Remnants of Everyday Life opens on Monday, May 13th. But not before “Furness Week” has run its course. Frank Furness: Working on the Railroads is on display through April 19th.
The Library Company of Philadelphia is at 1314 Locust Street.