Chemical Heritage Foundation Announces Spring Programs

New exhibit, old movies, bestselling book all make debuts at CHF

Mar 05, 2010, 08:00 ET from Chemical Heritage Foundation

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) at 315 Chestnut Street in Old City kicks off the spring of 2010 with a host of new programs, including the First Friday opening of its third temporary exhibit, Marvels and Ciphers, as well as a visit from celebrated British author Richard Holmes.

Marvels and Ciphers, a new exhibit curated by CHF staffer Marge Gapp, will use photos, books, cartoons and artistic works from the museum archives to examine the public's views on science and discovery. "Everyone has strong feelings about the subject of science," Gapp explains. "We hope that Marvels and Ciphers will allow visitors to examine those feelings and perhaps alter them."

Marvels and Ciphers opens officially to the public on March 5 during the 2010 launch of First Fridays at CHF, formerly Manual Science. These monthly events, held from 5 to 8 p.m., will showcase the beauty and accessibility of science with discussions, demonstrations and art projects. The March First Friday event will include an informal talk with Marvels curator Gapp, as well as a hands-on activity that will allow visitors to make their own kaleidoscopes—and look at the world through a whole new lens. First Fridays at CHF will continue throughout the year, with April Fool's Day-themed activities next up, on April 2. First Fridays at CHF are supported by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program.

Building on the idea that there is an inextricable bond between science and society—this time through art—CHF will welcome acclaimed British biographer Richard Holmes as part of its Civic Science Lectures on Monday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. Holmes' latest work, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, was named TIME's top non-fiction book of 2009. The author, whose book is due to be published in paperback on March 1, will give a lecture about The Age of Wonder, followed by a question-and-answer session. Tickets are available for $10 at, and advance registration is required.

"The book demonstrates how closely connected science and art were at the end of the 18th century," says Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Denise Creedon. "It's only fitting that, as we examine those connections in the 21st century, we invite Richard Holmes to share his work."

Finally, this spring CHF will present an exclusive film series in collaboration with Philadelphia's own Secret Cinema. The Secret Cinema will present the first in a series of four screenings of vintage and educational films about chemistry and science at CHF, followed by discussions with notable authorities on the intersection of science and everyday life, as also demonstrated in the Marvels and Ciphers exhibit. The Secret Cinema series will launch on Wednesday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m., after which, University of Pennsylvania associate professor of sociology David Grazian will lead a discussion about the public reaction to scientific debate and discovery. The series continues on Wednesday, April 14 with a screening and lecture presented by University of the Arts film professor Michael Wellenreiter. This program has been supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Spring 2010 at CHF (315 Chestnut Street) at a Glance:

Marvels and Ciphers public opening at the CHF Museum

Friday, March 5,* 2010, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

*Members of the media are welcome to visit the exhibit beginning Monday, March 1.

Author Richard Holmes lecture in the Ullyot at CHF

Monday, March 8, 2010, 6:30 p.m.*

*Interviews may be scheduled earlier in the day.

Secret Cinema screening and discussion with David Grazian in the Ullyot at CHF

Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 6:30 p.m.

First Fridays at CHF: April Fool's Day Activities in the CHF

Friday, April 2, 2010, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Secret Cinema screening and discussion with Michael Wellenreiter in the Ullyot at CHF

Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 6:30 p.m.

First Fridays at CHF: Science Puppetry in the CHF Museum

Friday, May 7, 2010, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) fosters an understanding of chemistry's impact on society. An independent nonprofit organization, CHF strives to inspire a passion for chemistry; highlight chemistry's role in meeting current social challenges; and preserve the story of chemistry across centuries.

CHF maintains major collections of instruments, fine art, photographs, papers, and books. It hosts conferences and lectures, supports research, offers fellowships, and produces educational materials. The museum and public programs explore subjects ranging from alchemy to nanotechnology. For more information, please visit:

Media Contact:

Carrie Barnes

ELISE communications

(215) 253-4208

SOURCE Chemical Heritage Foundation