The Centennial and the Museum School: The Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art

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Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. Centennial opening day, May 10, 1876. Courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia Print & Picture Department.

Did you know that the Philadelphia Museum of Art began as a museum of industrial art? The museum, along with a school (now University of the Arts), was founded in 1876 in order to take advantage of the purchasing opportunities at the Centennial International Exhibition and was called the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art (PMSIA).

The Centennial International Exhibition (Philadelphia, 1876), America’s first world’s fair, was a showcase for American manufacturing and for Philadelphia, then one of the world’s manufacturing giants. Sara MacDonald will present on how PMSIA began and how both institutions evolved to what they are today.

Sara MacDonald has been a librarian in charge of the archives at the University of the Arts since 1987. She co-authored The University of the Arts (ISBN 973854521X) in 2006 with Eugene A. Bolt, Jr. She has presented the institution’s history at conferences and to the UArts community.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Time:  5:30 Refreshments                 6:15 Program

Cost: $10 per person if preregistered       $15 if not reserved in advance

Place: Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

You can park in the Circle, closer to the FWWIC

Registration: E-mail names and phone numbers of members and guests to: or phone Reese at 610-692-4456