Featuring Matthew R. Halley, ornithologist and historian
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | 6:30 PM
At the beautiful Chestnut Hill Meetinghouse, 20 E. Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118; free parking available
Wyck at the Dawn of American ScienceIn the early 19th century, the natural sciences flourished in Philadelphia. A new wave of biologists—some native, some immigrants—embraced the Linnaean system of binomial nomenclature, and turned their focus to the monumental task of scientifically documenting the American flora and fauna. Nestled in historic Germantown, Wyck was the home of Reuben Haines III, devoted patron and Corresponding Secretary of the Academy of Natural Sciences (now of Drexel University). His largely unpublished body of letters and diaries comprise an incredible primary record of the scientific awakening of the United States.
Matthew Halley is an ornithologist, historian, and Ph.D. candidate at Drexel University and the Academy. Matthew was resident caretaker of Wyck in 2010, and has been studying the Wyck collections for eight years. He recently published five lost letters of John James Audubon, including a copy of the lost American prospectus for The Birds of America. Matthew will present and discuss an array of primary sources from the Wyck collection, including many that have not been previously scrutinized by scholars, that present a fresh and intimate picture of the early American scientific community, and the historical Philadelphia in which they lived.
This special evening will include a light supper and refreshments. Tickets are $35 for Friends of Wyck members and $45 for non-members. An additional discount will be available for those who join as members at the time of purchase.