Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration
Come join us as we celebrate the Poet's 194th birthday at the Annual Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration on Wednesday May 29, 2013 at 5pm. The ceremony will include readings from the winners of the Walt Whitman Association's Annual High School Poetry Contest. Poetry contests theme and guest speaker to be announced. For more information on the event call (856) 964-5383.
Walt Whitman in Mickle Street
When asked why he chose Camden as his home, Whitman replied, " Camden was originally an accident, but I shall never be sorry I was left over in Camden, It has brought me blessed returns." Join us for a tour of Walt Whitman's home in Camden on Mickle Street (today's Mickle/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard). Here we will explore the great writer's last residence, discuss everyday life and share the thoughts of the many visitors who came to see the aging poet in his final years. Admission is free. Call 856-964-5383 for tour times and to schedule a visit.
*Please Note: Tour times and availability are subject to change. Please call ahead to confirm site hours and tour availability. (856) 964-5383.
2012 Birthday Celebration Guest Speaker – Paul J. Stankard – Artist in Glass
For this year’s Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration, we are honored to have as our guest speaker, the distinguished glass artist, Paul J. Stankard. An avid admirer of Walt Whitman, Stankard is one of the most prestigious and world-renown glass artists, famed for encasing his extremely delicate sculptures of flowers and insects in globes or cubes of clear glass. He is the recipient of numerous awards and holds two honoree doctorates. Stankard's work has shown across the United States and Europe and in Japan and Taiwan. He is currently a Fellow at the Corning Museum of Glass and serves as a founding board member of the Creative Glass Center of America in Millville, New Jersey.
Paul Stankard finds many corresponding themes between his work and that of Walt Whitman:
“From the beginning, I was drawn to Whitman's response to Nature, his view of life as a creative spiritual journey, his references to native flowers, insects and birds which are the subjects of much of my own work. I love the way he takes seemingly ordinary experiences and shows them to be miracles. A simple flower is symbolic of the mystery of living things: "A morning glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.””
"As an artist who has worked with my hands in glass for 35 years, the line 'the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery' continues to amaze me. And the native flowers he chose to write about like pokeberries and common mullein are easily overlooked, ordinary. He speaks of the ant's perfection, the egg of a wren.”
"Experiencing the plant kingdom with Whitman energizes me. I have internalized his works with my feelings to recapitulate and rework those feelings in glass. His work informs my aesthetic and elevates my expectations of myself as an artist. What Whitman did with words, I seek to do with glass on a visual level. My dream is to articulate fresh information about nature in glass. My work is driven by respect for living things, and by delicacy and detail. I try to match Whitman's depth of feeling with my own passion and skill. You have to bring something to Whitman - it isn't immediately available at first. I want from the viewer the same openness, curiosity, and maturity that are needed for Whitman's work. "
Whitman, Esherick, and Song of the Broad-Axe
An admirer of Walt Whitman, artist Wharton Esherick (1887-1970) is recognized as a key link between the pre-1916 Arts and Crafts Movement and the renewed interest in the crafts following the Second World War. He is most widely known for his sculptures and non-traditional furniture designs from the late 1920s and 1930s onward. In his long and varied career, Esherick joined the traditions of the decorative arts with those of the fine arts. He was also a noted printmaker and book illustrator whose work was published in popular magazines and in elegant limited editions.
The artistic talent of Esherick was fused together with his interest in poet Walt Whitman through his woodcut-illustrated publication of Whitman’s Song of the Broad-Axe in 1924. This event marks the coming together of the two great artist’s works with the release of a facsimile edition of Esherick’s hand-lettered and illuminated version of Whitman’s poem. The event coincides with the exhibit, Wharton Esherick and the Birth of the American Modern, a collaborative of the Wharton Esherick Museum, Hedgerow Theater, and the University of Pennsylvania.
JANUARY 29, 2011 Location: University of Pennsylvania
10:30am- 12:30pm Special tour of the exhibition by Wharton Esherick
Museum Director and Curator Paul Eisenhauer
Tour begins in the Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
2-4 pm Book release, reading, and reception
Book Release of facsimile edition of Esherick's hand-lettered and
illuminated version of the Walt Whitman poem, with remarks, and
reception. In addition, Darrel Blaine Ford will be doing a reading of
Song of the Broad-Axe in the persona of Walt Whitman. Ford uses his
resemblance to Whitman in his impersonation, which celebrates the poet
and seeks to introduce him and his work to a new generation.
Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, first floor
For more information: http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/esherick_exhibition.html
To RSVP: http://www.library.upenn.edu/forms/eventsresponse6.html