Gifts to Museum Collections
The collection of the Museum of the American Philosophical Society reflects the central role of the Society, and indeed Philadelphia, in the founding of the nation, and in the early development of science and technology in the colonies and early Republic. The collection is strongest in objects relating to early American history (especially Benjamin Franklin, the Society’s founder), early American portraits, and the history of science and technology from the 18th century through the early 20th century. The collection is housed in a secure, climate-controlled space. Objects are also displayed in conjunction with thematic exhibitions in Philosophical Hall.
Treasures of the APS Museum collection include significant portraits of founding fathers; models of inventions; scientific instruments made by or relating to David Rittenhouse and other early APS Members; plant specimens collected by Lewis and Clark; Benjamin Franklin’s personal belongings, such as a set of stencils, tall case clock, and library chair with fold-out steps; a bust of the Marquis de Condorcet by Jean Antoine Houdon; and a 16th-century refractive sundial, known as the “Dial of Ahaz,” by Christopher Schissler.
Please visit the Museum’s online database of the collections at http://www.apsmuseum.org/collections/
The Museum welcomes contributions of fine art, scientific instruments, patent models, miniatures, medals and medallions, furniture and other decorative arts, and archaeological and ethnographic objects in accordance with the scope and themes of its collection.
The Museum accepts gifts or bequests that are not unreasonably encumbered with conditions or restrictions set by the donor regarding ownership, use, display, labeling, or future disposition. Any restrictions are carefully considered before a gift is accessioned. Donors sign a Deed of Gift granting title and all rights to gifts free and clear. The Museum will not make any agreement with donors to retain gifts for a specific length of time. In keeping with IRS regulations for gifts of tangible personal property, professional appraisals of gifts for tax purposes are the responsibility of donors.
If you are considering a contribution to the APS Museum, please contact:
Sue Ann Prince, Director and Curator
sprince [at] amphilsoc [dot] org