Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, The Library Company of Philadelphia is America's oldest cultural institution and was once the largest public library in America, until the Civil War. Its mission is to foster scholarship in and increase public understanding of American history before 1900 by preserving, interpreting, and making available its non-circulating collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art.
Artist-in-residence Teresa Jaynes will curate a multisensory exhibition based on the Library Company's extraordinary collection of pre-Braille texts for the visually impaired. The exhibition will include historic objects as well as new works created by Jaynes that visitors will experience via touch, smell, and hearing. Jaynes will collaborate with her Vision Council—advisors who have experienced varying degrees of vision loss at different stages of life—on how to make the exhibition accessible to wide audiences, including the visually impaired. Jaynes is a 1999 Pew Fellow who organized the citywide Philagrafika festival in 2000.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*