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Opening Reception for Philadelphia Stories -- Yours, Mine, Ours

Philadelphia Stories -- Yours, Mine, Ours

Watch a Comcast Newsmakers Interview With Curator Maria DiElsi

See A Slideshow Of Photos From The Opening Reception

Pictured L-R: Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia and Dr. Bill Larkin, President of The Art Institute of Philadelphia

The Art Institute of Philadelphia presents Philadelphia Stories: Yours, Mine, Ours  -- a unique look at the people of the city's neighborhoods through images drawn from the historic photo archives of the City of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

With more than 60 never-before-exhibited images painting a picture of the evolution of life in the city's neighborhoods, Philadelphia Stories: Yours, Mine, Ours has been attracting attention.

Starting with a private reception on December 4 followed by a public opening on December 5 ("First Friday"), the exhibit has already been seen by hundreds and should bring many more visitors to the gallery before it closes on January 23.

Standing in for Mayor Nutter at the private reception was Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia. Also in attendance were Records Commissioner Joan Decker and Kim Sajet, President and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP).  Philadelphia residents who had donated photographs to HSP’s project were also on hand to share their memories of the people and places in the photos.

Philadelphia Stories: Yours, Mine, Ours was curated by The Art Institute of Philadelphia Photography faculty member Maria DiElsi with digital photographic restoration by Academic Director Rob Crites.

Philadelphia Stories: Yours, Mine, Ours will be on display in the 1622 Chestnut Street Gallery from December 3, 2008 - January 23, 2009. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Gallery hours :Monday - Thursday: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
 Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 Saturday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
 Sunday: CLOSED

Philadelphia Stories: Yours, Mine, Ours
Over 60 never-before-exhibited images paint a picture of the evolution of life in the city's neighborhoods from the invention of photography to the present day.  The images draw from the City of Philadelphia's Department of Records' archive of over 2 million images, as well as the extensive photographic holdings of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP).  The collection is enhanced by the contributions of ordinary Philadelphians who donated historic family images during the "Scan Your Memories" events sponsored by the City of Philadelphia and HSP.

Under headings like, "we eat and drink," "we serve community and country," "we pray and we play," the exhibit showcases images that are both playful and serious, nostalgic and contemporary. We see the lives of the ordinary people, who eat, drink, shop, work, serve, and love each other and we revisit the precious places – homes, restaurants, theaters, places of worship and gathering -- where ordinary life takes place and takes on meaning.   Video displays of interviews with Philadelphians telling the stories of their families and neighborhoods provide a living link between past and present. 

The exhibit is a preview of, a multicultural and multimedia web project that will tell the story of Philadelphia's oldest immigrant and African-American neighborhoods and how they have changed over time. is sponsored by HSP and will be launched in the spring of 2009.  The site's mission is to use the lens of place to chronicle history and culture and to showcase historical and contemporary images to link the past to the present and show change over time.

The show is curated by The Art Institute of Philadelphia faculty member and Philadelphia native Maria DiElsi, and builds on the groundbreaking exhibit, "Philadelphia Stories: The Building of A Great American City," which attracted more than a thousand visitors to the 1622 Chestnut Gallery during its month-long run.  "Yours, Mine, Ours is a more intimate look at the city," says DiElsi.   "You can see the faces of the immigrants who brought their music, food, and culture to the city, and of the children of all races and backgrounds playing stickball in the streets.  It is a remarkable record, and reminds us that all our lives are extraordinary."

The Art Institute of Philadelphia

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