James Logan Memorial

1939

Designed by architect Thomas Pym Cope (1897-1985)

Bronze: cast in pieces and welded

93.5” x 58” (237.5cm x 147.3cm)

 

The Library Company of Philadelphia, which houses James Logan’s nearly 3000-volume book collection, and the Fairmount Park Art Association (today the Association for Public Art) co-commissioned this three-sided, concave, column-shaped pylon or stele. Ionic capital-like ornaments at the tops of all three sides reinforce its modern classicism. The Memorial stood on the steps of the Ridgway Building of the Library Company (today the High School for the Performing Arts on South Broad Street) until 1969.

 

Library Company Board Member and James Logan descendant, Thomas Pym Cope, designed the memorial. The Colonial Dames accepted the Memorial for installation at Stenton as a gift from the Association for Public Art. The Dames have provided a fitting home for this monumental piece of Logania, designed by a Logan descendant, whose architect father, Walter Cope (1860-1902), worked on the initial refurbishment of Stenton prior to its opening to the public in 1900. 

 

The Memorial honors James Logan’s contributions to early Philadelphia and Pennsylvania and his love of intellectual study.  The primary face is inscribed as follows:

 

IN MEMORY OF

JAMES LOGAN

1674-1751

BORN AT LURGAN, IRELAND

DIED AT STENTON, PENNSYLVANIA

FRIEND OF WILLIAM PENN

MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA

1722

CHIEF JUSTICE

OF THE SUPREME COURT

AND

PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL

1731-1739

ACTING LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR

OF THE PROVINCE

1736-1738

FOUNDER OF THE

LOGANIAN LIBRARY

NOW HOUSED

IN THIS BUILDING

 

Logan read seven languages, including the classical languages, Greek and Latin.  On the remaining sides are:

H EYΔAIMONIA

ENEPΓEIA TIΣ EΣTIN

APIΣTOTEΛHΣ

 

Happiness is a kind of mental activity.

 

ANIMI CULTUS

ILLE ERAT EI QUASI

HUMANITATIS CIBUS

CICERO

 

Cultivation of the mind was for him almost the food of humanity.

 

 

The physical condition and cloudy surface of the memorial at the time of its gift suggested it was once sprayed with graffiti on the main face, spattered with bits of concrete, and probably damaged by lifting with a chain without proper padding. Conservator Adam Jenkins cleaned the Memorial, removed the concrete with a scalpel, and also removed drip lines under the letters on the primary face, where a substance had perhaps originally filled the text. The treatment included equalizing the color, retaining the patina, and sealing the surface overall using a blend of hot microcrystalline waxes. This waxing will need to be maintained every year, and we are creating a fund for Memorial Maintenance. Please contact Stenton to contribute to the Memorial Maintenance Fund, 215-329-7312.

 

 

Acknowledgements:

Donation: Laura Griffith, Associate Director, Association for Public Art

Conservation Treatment: Adam Jenkins, Adam Jenkins Conservation, LLC

Installation Design: Claudia Levy, Landscape Architect, Levy DiCarlo Partners, LLC

Excavation: Denis Lucey Garden Design and Crew

Storage, Transport, and Installation: Atelier Fine Arts Services