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Join us for a summer celebration of Wharton Esherick and Walt Whitman! In honor of Whitman’s 200th birthday, we’ll be hosting Walt Whitman himself for a reading of Song of the Broad-Axe, along with drinks, brunch fare, lawn games, and literary fun!

When Wharton Esherick was approached to illustrate Walt Whitman’s Song of the Broad-Axe, he jumped at the chance. A long-time admirer of Whitman’s poems, Esherick saw himself in the adventurous and creative spirit of Broad-Axe, in the “glad clear sound of one’s own voice, the merry song, natural life of the woods, the strong day’s work.”

This event will bring Whitman’s poem to life while highlighting our summer exhibition The Artist, the Poet and the Centaur, which features Esherick’s 1924 hand-illuminated edition of The Song of the Broad-Axe.


Admission: $45 for Non-Members / $40 for Members

Song of the Broad-Axe reading will begin at 12:00 pm

Please note: Tickets are limited and payment is required at the time of reservation. Event will be held rain or shine.


This program is offered in partnership with Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy. This yearlong series of cultural events, organized by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, marks Whitman’s 200th birthday in 2019. It examines his connection to the Philly area and his relevance today.



If you do not see this event at the link above, be sure to change the date range at the top to include June 23.