Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Alfred Bendiner was born in 1899, the second of five children to Armin and Rachel Hartmann Bendiner, Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Hungary. The Bendiner family lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania relocating to Philadelphia while Alfred was still a young child.
Bendiner attended Philadelphia's Northeast High School, and upon graduation won a scholarship to the School of Industrial Art. His first job was as a cartoonist for the Public Ledger. Bendiner enrolled in the Army in 1918 during World War I. After his military service Bendiner attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1922-1927 and earned a Bachelor of Architecture and Masters degrees. Bendiner studied architecture under architect Paul Philippe Cret (1876-1945), who funded Bendiner's European tour from 1927 to 1928. In 1929 Bendiner opened his own architectural firm where he had small projects, and used his caricature skills to supplement his income.
Bendiner served as the artist for University Museum's expedition to Tepe Gawra and Kafaji, Iraq under archaeologist and University of Pennsylvania professor Ephraim Avigdor Speiser. Upon his return to Philadelphia, Bendiner married Elizabeth Wheatly Sutro. The couple were life-long travel companions.
In 1938 Bendiner began his career making caricatures for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. His caricatures from concerts and plays of actors, musicians, conductors, comedians, and performers appeared weekly in the Bulletin with his commentary.
Bendiner wrote articles, produced compilations of his drawings, and an autobiography. Bendiner died in 1964.
Source used: Pezzati, Alessandro, "The Reluctant Architect: Alfred Bendiner (1899-1964)": The SAA Archaeological Record, 6(3):41-43.
This collection consists mainly of caricatures drawn by architect, artist, author, and Penn alumnus Alfred Bendiner dating from 1938 to 1955. Images of performers in stage productions, concerts, and operas in Philadelphia were created chiefly for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. The caricatures are original pencil drawings, ink drawings, or lithographs with some newspaper clippings.
In addition, there is a small amount of correspondence (including greeting cards by artists featuring original artwork), publicity material for Bendiner's work, photographs, proofs and first edition of Bendiner's book, Music to My Eyes, as well as a set of sketches in various forms.
Boxes 1-5, Gift of Elizabeth Bendiner, 1983; Boxes 6-7 purchased from MacManus books, 2010.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Donna Brandolisio
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.