Society

Photographic Society of Philadelphia, DoN BrewerCoiled, digital photograph, lustre inkjet print, 15″ x 19″, DoN Brewer

Photographic Society of Philadelphia, 2016 Photography Salon

at The Plastic Club

Opening Reception: Sunday, October 2nd, 1:00 – 5:00pm at The Plastic Club, 247 South Camac Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-545-9324

Additional Receptions: October 9th, 16th and 23rd, 1:00 – 5:00pm

The Photographic Society of Philadelphia* is the oldest active photography society in the country. We have been looking at the world through the camera lens since 1860!

Photography has dramatically evolved since 1860.  Back then the techniques of photography were limited to a few. Photographers developed their own processes, grounded their own lenses, made their own cameras and tripods.  “Instant” could be many minutes, images were captured on glass plates and slowly teased into visibility, and the lightest camera still weighed many pounds.  But such was the “cutting-edge technology” of the time.

The evolution of photographic technology and techniques over the last century and a half has been daunting.  Never more so than today, where film technology and digital technology both draw the photographer’s attention.  Today, lenses and cameras are designed by computer, “instant” is a tiny fraction of a second, “film” may be a digital camera’s memory card, and even the traditional darkroom may now be complemented by a cleverly used computer and digital printer.

Through it all the Photographic Society of Philadelphia has been there. The Society, throughout its history, has provided just such a place to share new technologies, ideas, and techniques.  Documentary, artistic, and scientific works by many of its members have featured prominently in the history of American photography.  And its purpose remains the same today as it has been since 1860—to increase and diffuse knowledge of the natural laws which relate to the action of light, and particularly to promote improvements in the art of photography.

* The Photographic Society of Philadelphia is a not-for-profit and tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We’re open to all film and digital photographers, from enthusiasts to professionals from all over the world.

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Photographic Society of Philadelphia, 2016 Photography Salon at The Plastic Club

Opening Reception: Sunday, October 2nd, 1:00 – 5:00pm at The Plastic Club, 247 South Camac Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-545-9324

Additional Receptions: October 9th, 16th and 23rd, 1:00 – 5:00pm

About the Plastic Club

Since 1897, The Plastic Club has been devoted to the promotion and preservation of the visual (plastic) arts in Philadelphia. The busy gallery schedule offers several annual exhibitions for members and non-members, as well as invited artists in solo and group exhibitions. Members include well-known Philadelphia artists.

The name ” Plastic Club,” suggested by Blanche Dillaye, referred to any work of art unfinished, or in a “plastic” state. The term also refers to the changing and tactile sense of painting and sculpture.

Among the founding members of The Plastic Club were the “Red Rose Girls” — Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Elizabeth Shippen Green — outstanding artists of their time. The name was given to this group of talented women by their teacher Howard Pyle.

Although initially formed as a women’s group, The Plastic Club has always hosted exhibitions and lectures by prominent men and women artists. Membership was expanded to include men in 1991, and they now number about half of the active members.

The Club’s home is a historic double townhouse located on one of Philadelphia’s “little streets” in the heart of the city. Built in 1824, it houses the club’s spacious studio, gallery spaces, offices and dining facilities. The club purchased the property in 1909, and expanded it to include the house next door in 1910. In the past ten years the building has undergone many renovations so that it now functions like a 21st century building, but still retains its 19th century charm.

We are happy to have the venerable Philadelphia Sketch Club as our neighbor to the north on Camac Street. At one time there were several other clubs here, including the Cushman Club, now in private hands, which earned the alley the nickname “Little Street of Clubs”. On October 21 2001, the historical value of our tiny street was formally recognized with the designation “Avenue of the Artists” by the City of Philadelphia.

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