The Things We Keep

February 13, 2018
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

This event is sold out!

Examine beloved objects and hear their intriguing stories at this special Valentine’s Day−themed program.

Everything falls apart—compounds break down, solids crumble, surfaces rust—so holding onto a treasured item across time and through generations is a difficult task. Preservation is an act of devotion, a labor of love driven by our impulse to hold onto the stories an object can tell.

Sean Kelley, senior vice president at Eastern State Penitentiary, will share personal and moving stories behind the historic site’s most prized artifacts, including inmate-made objects and replicas honoring the penitentiary’s historic features.

Make a special Valentine for your own beloved object (or person!), explore the exhibition Things Fall Apart, and enjoy a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres, and drinks all inspired by the theme of love. Music for the evening will be provided by University of Delaware Faculty Jazz, who will be playing tunes by Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, who would have been 100 years old this year.  

This program is presented as part of our exhibition Things Fall Apart, which explores the life and afterlife of things—and why we fight to preserve them. 

Registration for this event is required. Tickets are $20 per person, $35 per couple.

For more information, contact Alexis Pedrick at

About Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but it stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone and bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The penitentiary is open four tours seven days a week, year round.


About University of Delaware Faculty Jazz

University of Deleware Faculty Jazz ​Ensemble are Todd Groves, reeds; Tom Palmer, drums; Miles Brown, bass; and Harvey Price, vibes.