The Parkway Central Library’s Print and Picture Collection is currently hosting a new exhibition of artists’ books, photographs, and prints acquired by purchase or gift in 2008 and 2009. On display through November 14, the exhibition mainly features work from local artists.
The Print and Picture Collection doesn’t have an endowment like some other special collections at the Free Library. For our acquisitions, we have relied on gifts from artists and collectors, a very small amount of mostly private Library funds, and money raised by the Friends of the Print and Picture Collection.
Because of the city budget crisis the past year, we bought very few photographs and fine prints in 2008 and 2009. We purchased a number of fairly inexpensive artists’ books, primarily at the Hybrid Book Fair at the University of the Arts in June, and some from individuals. We were also grateful to receive a very generous gift from Lilyan Maitin—24 prints by her late husband Sam, which served as a nice addition to the prints of his which were already in the collection. Several of the artists who participated in this year’s Robert Looney Memorial Event donated a print to the collection, as well. As it turns out, and as is our focus, most of our acquisitions are of work by local artists.
The Print and Picture Collection houses research collections of images of Philadelphia, as well as extensive fine art prints, photographs, and artists' books collections. A circulating picture collection of news photographs and pictures and illustrations clipped from books and magazines is also available to Library customers. The Print and Picture Collection is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 215-686-5405.