An Interview with Phila Weekly

NMOP founder Len Davidson spoke with Philadelphia Weekly about progress at the museum despite the pandemic, what the public can look forward to when they visit, and how they can support the museum from home.

Read the interview here.

Join us for our virtual grand opening!

We held a Virtual New Year Grand Opening on January 15, 2021.

The museum’s physical grand opening will follow later this year. In between, we’re launching virtual programs: demonstrations, conversations, art, and performances!  Keep up with us here and follow us on Instagram @neonmuseumofphiladelphia.

When the museum physically opens to the public, we’ll offer an array of changing art exhibits and events: presentations on Philly commercial and neighborhood history, a daily video program, a library, lounge, and museum shop—and don’t get us started on deadbox.

Some of you have already previewed the space.  We continue to invite founding members for individual, socially-distanced tours.   Please use this link to become a founding member and contact us to schedule your visit.

Like any museum, we’re at our best in person.  Taking a cue from classic mom and pop businesses, we look forward to seeing you face-to-face.  May the new year and new space be settings for celebrating our shared humanity.

Virtual Tours & Talks in September

COVID may be keeping our doors closed to the public for the time being, but the lights are on and we’re inviting you to virtually tour the museum for the first time! Here’s a list of September events where you can catch all the action.

 

Wed, Sept 9 @ 8pm EDT – Society for Commercial Archaeology Zoom Event

Info & Registration

Join the Neon Museum of Philadelphia’s founder, Len Davidson, for a night of bright Philly lights!

Davidson will show his museum virtually to SCA members as the finishing touches of the museum are being illuminated. Unable to open currently due to the pandemic, this is a unique and special opportunity to explore Philly’s historic neon signs. Davidson, the author of Vintage Neon and a longtime SCA member, brings decades of knowledge from the fabrication and restoration of famous neon in Philadelphia, and his extensive collection of old Philly signs.

During this Zoom Tour, viewers will virtually step into the museum, which contains over 80 signs from the history of Philadelphia and 20th century United States. Davidson will focus on some highlights and explain the histories and stories behind some of the artifacts.

More information on SCA can be found here. Register for the event here.

 

 

Sat, Sept 26 @ 12:30pm EDT / 9:30am PDT – Neon Speaks 2020 Festival and Symposium – Behind the Scenes: Boston and Philadelphia Neon

Info & Registration

Len Davidson of the Neon Museum of Philadelphia has been saving and restoring vintage signs for decades. The staff at the Neon Museum of Philadelphia are ready to give a preview of their new museum, especially since COVID-19 has delayed the grand opening.

Dave and Lynn Waller of Williams Neon will take us on a virtual tour of their neon shop, warehouse and a converted fire station. This handsome collection of neon signs features whimsical and excellent sign design from mid-century to current day.

More information on Neon Speaks, including the full festival schedule, can be found here. Register for the event here.

 

 

Week of Sept 21 – The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) Digital Book Fair & Interview Series in Collaboration with Neon Speaks Festival and Symposium

MONA and Neon Speaks will bring together historians, authors, and neon enthusiasts across the world to celebrate the connective power of visual books.

Look out for MONA’s interview with NMOP’s Len Davidson about his quintessential book Vintage Neon. Author interviews will be released through MONA’s “IGTV” in the weeks leading up to the festival and symposium.

More information on MONA’s book fair can be found here.

Penn Treaty Park

Neon Monument to Philly’s Indigenous History Glows Again

On October 14, 2019, WHYY published this feature about the preservation of a neon monument.

This public art project was designed by Duane Linklater, an indigenous Canadian artist. It was temporarily installed in Penn Treaty Park in 2017 for Mural Art’s Monument Lab city-wide art event. Len Davidson and Cohen Metals fabricated the original monument and resurrected it in October 2019 at Penn Treaty Museum. The 20’ sculpture, “In Perpetuity,” uses ruby red neon to spell out a translated quote from Chief Tamanend at the treaty of William Penn and the Lenni-Lenape nation.

PRESS

https://whyy.org/articles/neon-monument-to-phillys-indigenous-history-glows-again-at-penn-treaty-park/

Shop

Trolley Car Diner Closes; May Reopen

Along with many positive developments of Fall 2019, was the initially sad news that the Trolley Car Diner in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood closed after 19 years. The diner had become a neighborhood gathering spot and neon showplace. Mounted on a 42’ stainless backing, the sign’s neon wheels turned and a power line sparked while the traffic light was green. When the light turned red, the wheels stopped and doors opened, revealing driver and departing passenger.

But news is looking up: the present owner reported in late November 2019 that “the neon will be saved by the buyer of the property and reused on site, along with the 1952 Mountain View Diner.”