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APT TC - Modern Heritage - Neon Museum of Philadelphia - Virtual Tour and Presentation
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Category: Events

Neon Museum of Philadelphia
Virtual tour and presentation webinar on the history, artistry and preservation of figural neon signage followed by live Q & A with founder/restorer Len Davidson.

The Neon Museum of Philadelphia was established in 1985, initially as a “lending library” of salvaged and restored neon signs for display in downtown Philadelphia locations where borrowers could take responsibility for their upkeep. During the 1970s, University of Florida educator-sociologist Len Davidson had begun collecting and restoring neon signs as volunteer apprentice to a local neon fabricator-sign shop owner. Returning to his native Philadelphia in 1979, he established Davidson Neon Design and expanded his collection, seeking out elder sign makers to record the history of figural neon. Dr. Davidson’s book “Vintage Neon,” published in 1999, documents the evolution and artistry of neon signage with historical accounts, descriptive narratives, a resource guide, and 350 color photos capturing the zenith of figurative and animated neon signage. Dedicated to preserving neon art and historic signage as an important element of community heritage in Philadelphia and America, the Neon Museum of Philadelphia found a permanent home in 2019 and opened to the public in 2021.

Founder Len Davidson will provide a presentation and virtual tour on the history and evolution of neon signage, examining historic signs in the museum’s collection that illustrate the signage types, range and evolution of neon technology and design, followed by interactive Q & A with webinar attendees.

Presenter Credentials
Len Davidson, PhD, is a Philadelphia-born, educator-craftsman who began collecting and restoring neon while teaching sociology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Returning to Philadelphia in 1979, he established Davidson Neon Design, restoring, among many others, 25 historic signs in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, along with the outside logo for the market itself. Dr. Davidson founded the Neon Museum of Philadelphia in 1985, originally as a disbursed exhibit program, including 29 signs displayed on the historic the Firestone tire service station, acquired by Drexel University in 2012. Davidson wrote Vintage Neon, published in 1999, the most comprehensive color photographic record of historic neon signage to date, with visual and narrative documentation on more than 300 signs, a neon sign typology, resource guide and details about the technical and stylistic evolution of neon signage. Dr. Davidson has been recognized in many articles, awards and TV features for his neon preservation and design work. The museum opened its permanent collection to the public in 2021.

Register for free