Part One of the exhibit ends April 24
Part Two of the Exhibit is Extended to July 31, 2014
Location: National Archives at Philadelphia, 900 Market St, Philadelphia, PA
Entrance: 917 Chestnut, between 9th and 10th Streets
Opening Reception for Part 2: May 2, 5:00 – 7:30 pm
Gallery Hours of Operation:
M-F: 8:30 am – 4:45 pm.
Second Saturday of each month: 8 am – 4 pm
A Photo ID is required to enter Federal Buildings.
Home Movies by Susan Richards
The National Archives had miles of microfilm and piles of debris from moving records and renovations, doomed for the dumpster. “Call the Dumpster Divers!” Who? The Dumpster Divers of Philadelphia are a group of over 40 found object artists, their artwork as diverse as the group and materials used. They were officially recognized with a 2012 City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Tribute for “helping to raise the consciousness of art lovers and heightened awareness of taking a creative approach to support a more sustainable city, country and world.”
This show is an unusual collaboration between two very different Philadelphia institutions and demonstrates the infinite possibilities available when we think outside the dumpster. Leslie Simon, Director, Research Services, the National Archives at Philadelphia said, “I challenged the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers to create art out of the debris from our moves and renovations. Materials included decommissioned ladders and carts, miles of microfilm and readers, aged leather book bindings, as well as decommissioned electronics and displays, posters, photographs, and lots of red tape.”
Archives Commemorative by Ann Keech
As a loosely bound collective of classically trained and self-taught artists the Dumpster Divers’ unique found object artwork has been exhibited at the American Visionary Art Museum, Noyes Museum of Art, Perkins Art Center, Please Touch Museum, the Garbage Museum and many other regional and national exhibitions. They are featured in books such as FOUND OBJECT ART, books 1 and 2. They established South Street galleries that have entranced more than fifty thousand people, while recycling these abandoned storefronts into viable neighborhood businesses. In the words of their founder, Neil Benson, “Trash is simply a failure of the imagination.”
Thus, in a new kind of alchemy, this partnership between the National Archives at Philadelphia and the Dumpster Divers of Philadelphia preserves, conveys and interprets stories of our pasts hidden in words and objects.
The National Archives at Philadelphia
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the record keeper of the Federal government. About 2% of all records created are preserved permanently and are available to the public, whether exploring family history, proving a veteran’s military service, or researching an historical topic. The National Archives at Philadelphia, one of 15 research facilities across the country, holds records of federal courts and agencies operating in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The records range from hand written 18th century customs manifests to 20th century scientific data.
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