In October, Philadelphia’s Mural Arts program commemorated the career of Julian Abele Ar1902 with a three-story-tall painting on the side of a row house in southwest Center City. Abele, the first African American to graduate from Penn’s Department of Architecture, was a renowned designer in the Beaux Arts tradition. As the chief designer for the Horace Trumbauer Company, he was responsible for the designs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and many of the buildings on the campus of Duke University, among other projects. (Trumbauer’s firm also designed Irvine Auditorium, but it is unclear how much Abele contributed.) The mural, which abuts a new neighborhood park named in Abele’s honor, depicts the Art Museum and the Duke University chapel. There will be an official dedication ceremony this spring.
Photo by Candace diCarlo