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Frank L. Stephens

Collection ID

BC017FS

Related Subject(s)

Collecting Area(s)

Description

Detailed Collection Information

Biographical Note                             

Frank L. Stephens, Jr. was born in Augusta, Georgia. He moved to Philadelphia at an early age. Stephens graduated from Bok Vocational Technical High School with a major in Commercial Art. He served in the United States Air Force as an illustrator; later he was promoted to non-commissioned officer in charge of the Graphic Arts Unit at Harlingen Air Force Base, Harlingen Texas. Following his commitment to the military, he attended the Hussian School of Art and went on to graduate from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1961, with a major in Advertising Design. Shortly thereafter, he began his career as an illustrator at The Free Library of Philadelphia with one interruption. He worked for three years at the Naval Supply Depot in Philadelphia as a graphic designer. In 1965, he returned to The Free Library of Philadelphia as Exhibits Manager.

Moving through the promotional ranks, and earning ever-increasing respect for his skill, artistry and professionalism, Stephens was appointed Library Arts and Graphics Administrator in 1990. He was the first Black male to serve on The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Management Team in the one hundred year history of the Library. Stephens was the principal creator of more than three hundred major exhibitions, and used his artistic talents to focus attention and provide greater exposure to the works of Black artists, thus breaking through racial barriers and stereotypes. Among the exhibits that have won praise, were those featuring Beatrice Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit’s original illustrations and an exhibition and booklet entitled “To Be Black in America,” an exhibit that paid tribute to Marian Anderson, the celebrated concert singer and famous Philadelphian. Stephens has been awarded over thirty five graphic, community, and civil awards, including two gold medals for graphic design and one gold medal for art direction from the Graphic Arts Association of Delaware Valley. He also received one gold medal for graphic illustration from the Artist Guild of Delaware Valley; was named Employee of the Year in 1970 by the City of Philadelphia and in the same year received a National Civil Service League Award. He was the recipient of the 1992 Jerry Pinkney Award for Artistic Excellence; the 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award for Design and Neographic competition; the City of Philadelphia Retirement Award; a 1994 citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and a tribute from the House of Representatives, 103rd Congress of the United States. While the Director of Graphic Arts, his graphic arts staff at the Free Library of Philadelphia received many graphic arts awards.

Stephens began his fine arts career in 1994. He has exhibited at Lincoln University, Lincoln, Pennsylvania; the Esther M. Klein Art Gallery, University City Science Center; Dizyners Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania; Gloucester County College, Sewell, New Jersey; and the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Stephens continues to work on selected graphic arts projects. During his career at The Free Library of Philadelphia, Stephens produced free-lance graphic designs for a number of major institutions in the Delaware Valley.

Description of Collection

The Frank L. Stephens, Jr. Collection contains a variety of printed materials and artwork from his long and successful career.  The documents include awards, books, brochures, flyers, photographs and reports.  The artwork component includes drawings, photographs, printed illustrations and paintings.  The collection also contains some of Stephens’ personal items including his portfolio.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 4 series as follows:

Series 1: The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Events

               Subseries: 1.1.1 Annual Reports

               Subseries: 1.1.2 Advertisements and Brochures

Series 2:  Zion Baptist Church

                Subseries 2.1:  Laurel Lodge No. 2

                            Sub-subseries 2.2.1:  Men’s Day events and celebrations

                            Sub-subseries 2.2.2:  Women’s Day events and celebrations

                            Sub-subseries 2.2.3:  Ephemera 1

                            Sub-subseries 2.2.4:  Ephemera 2

                            Sub-subseries 2.2.5:  Leon H. Sullivan

                            Sub-subseries 2.2.6:  Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America

                            Sub-subseries 2.2.7:  Laurel Lodge No. 2

Series 3:  Binders 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

Series 4:  Awards

              Subseries 4.1:  Posters and Portfolio

Series 1 contains… Reports, advertisements, brochures, programs, keepsakes, correspondence     

Series 2 contains… Zion Baptist Church, Laurel Lodge No.2 ephemera and memorabilia from Men’s Day, Women’s Day, church related ceremonies, programs and services

Series 3 contains… Large binders numbered 1-6 which are portfolios of Stephen’s work.

Series 4 contains… larger sized portfolio works are housed in this flat storage box. As of 11-04-16, four artifacts listed for Binder #5 in Box 5 are missing.

Patron Information

Research Access

Collection is open for research.

Collections Stored Off-Site

This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository and requires up to two business days to retrieve.  Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Charles L. Blockson Afro American Collection in advance of your visit so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research.

Publication and Copyright Information    

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on Reproduction.

Information on copyright (literary rights) available from repository.

Preferred Citation    

[Identification of item(s)], Frank L. Stephens, Jr. Collection, Charles L.  Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid prepared in March 2013 by Dhruv Thakker and Ashabi Rich; Supervised by Leslie Willis-Lowry, Temple University.

Inventory, Frank L. Stephens, Jr. Collection

Box     Folder     Description                                                                                     Dates

Inventory

Series 1:  The Free Library of Philadelphia Events, 1891-2006

 (Annual Reports, The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Events)

Box     Folder             Content

1          1                      Annual Report 1978 – The Graduate Hospital

1          2                      Annual Report 1976 – Housing Association of Delaware Valley

1          3                      Annual Report 1973 – Philadelphia Common Pleas and Municipal Courts

1          4                      Annual Report 1973 – The Free Library of Philadelphia

1          5                      Annual Report 1971 – Philadelphia Common Pleas and Municipal Courts

1          6                      Annual Report 1970 – Philadelphia Common Pleas and Municipal Courts

1          7                      Miscellaneous – 1 Invitations & Brochures

1          8                      Miscellaneous – 2 Invitations & Brochures

                                    The Free Library of Philadelphia

1          9                      A Guide to Library’s Resources and Services

1          10                    Afro-American Historical & Cultural Museum – 1980

Box     Folder             Content

1          11                    Black Artists

1          12                    Black Heritage

1          13                    Celebration

1          14                    Chamber Music Concerts

1          15                    Children’s Books

1          16                    Columbia’s Total Black Variety in Sound

1          17                    Decade of Growth: The Free Library of Philadelphia

1          18                    Enrichment & Greetings – Friends of The Free Library of Philadelphia

1          19                    Films from The Free Library of Philadelphia

1          20                    Free Library of Philadelphia: Brochure

1          21                    Free Library of Philadelphia: Flyer

1          22                    Israel at Forty: 40 Years of a Nation

1          23                    ‘Guide’ Free Library of Philadelphia

1          24                    Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

1          25                    Marching with Oskar Down a Universal Roadway

1          26                    Marian Anderson

1          27                    Music Department

1          28                    On Stage with Children

1          29                    Photographs – Selection of Library

1          30                    Potter, Beatrix – (1866 -1943)

Box     Folder             Content

1          31                    Rare Book Department of The Free Library of Philadelphia

1          32                    Saints, Scribes & Scholars

1          33                    To Be Black in America

1          34                    Spirit of Earth: Echoes of Light

1          35                    The Drinker Library of Choral Music

1          36                    The Miniversity College Course for Adults

1          37                    The Free Library of Philadelphia

1          38                    The Free Library of Philadelphia- A Century of Service 1891-1991

1          39                    ZORA

1          40                    Portfolio – Frank L. Stephens, Jr.

1          41                    Flyers – The Free Library of Philadelphia – 1971-1990

1          42                    Flyers – The Free Library of Philadelphia – 1991

1          43                    Flyers – The Free Library of Philadelphia – 1992

1          44                    Flyers – The Free Library of Philadelphia – 1993-2006

1          45                    Flyers – The Free Library of Philadelphia – Miscellaneous (no dates)

Box – 2

(Zion Baptist Church, Laurel Lodge No. 2)

Box     Folder             Content

2          46                    Zion Baptist Church – Men’s Day events and celebrations

  • Back to basics, back to our roots, while we take a closer walk with God – 1989 April 9
  • Commit thy works unto Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established – 1995 March 26
  • Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men
  • Men’s Day – Rev. William J. Key, Pastor – 1998 March 22
  • Men’s Day – 1999 March 28
  • Men’s Day – 2001 March 25
  • Men, seeing God in his greatness – 1993 March 28
  • Men walking with Christ, yesterday and today – 1986 March 26
  • Recommitment of our faith – 1987 March 22
  • Rise Up O Men of God
  • Triumph through God’s hands – 1996 March 24
  • Working and Praying together for God

2          47                    Zion Baptist Church – Women’s Day events and celebrations

  • Christian Women aiming to make a difference – 1991 Nov 3
  • Christian Women having Patience, Wisdom and Strength –1995 Nov 5
  • Christian Women seeking Grace for Growth and Excellence –1996 Nov 3
  • Christian Women working together for Christ
  • Pastor Gus Roman’s Message – 1990 Nov 4
  • Spiritually Disciplined Christian Women carrying out God’s word – 1998 Nov 1

Box     Folder             Content

  • Through the Spirit of Christ We Love, Behold all things become new – 1988 Nov 6
  • We Walk by Faith not by Sight – 1997 Nov 2
  • Women of Faith serving God together with Love – 2001 Nov 4
  • Women seeking ways for Christian Living – 1990 Nov 4
  • Women United giving service to God
  • Zion Baptist Church – Annual Women’s Day – 1986 Nov 2

 

2          48                    Zion Baptist Church: Miscellaneous

  • A Charge to Keep
  • Action Library News
  • Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum
  • All Men doing God’s Work in God’s Church – 1988 April 10
  • Black Expo – 1971
  • Black Resource Guide, The Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Certificate – Zion Baptist Church
  • Chancel Choir of the Abyssinian Baptist Church – 2005 Dec 4
  • Check it Out – Action Library
  • Completely Yes, God – Reverend Doctor Daly Barnes, Jr., Pastor
  • Honoring Reverend William B. Glenn Jr – 1995 Nov 10
  • Jazz OIC – Celebrating 25 Years of helping People Help Themselves
  • Lifelong Learning Center Project – 1976-1977
  • Lungs, Leather
  • Ministers in Song – Cheyney University National Alumni Association – 2000 Nov 19
  • Moving Perspective on Dance by Dr. Patricia Reid-Bookhart: 1992 Feb 5
  • OICs of America, Inc. Annual Report – 1972-1973

Box     Folder             Content

  • Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, Inc.
  • Pastor, A Gift of God, Rev. Gus Roman Installation Banquet: 1988 Dec 2
  • Progress Parade Spring – 1976
  • Robeson, Paul – A Centennial Exhibition – 1898-1998
  • Spirit of the Earth – Echoes of Light
  • Sullivan Humanitarian Award Luncheon – 50th Anniversary Celebration – 2006 Feb 19
  • Symphonic Soul
  • Symphonic Soul 2 – 1976
  • Tribute to James Frazer, Jr. – 1988 June 12
  • Zion Baptist Church – Women’s Day 2002

2          49                    Zion Baptist Church – Miscellaneous 2

  • About African Americans
  • An Evening with Reverend and Mrs. Leon H. Sullivan – 1991 Dec 7
  • 5th Annual Cultural & Performing Arts Festival – 1978 June 11
  • A New Church for a New Day –1
  • A New Church for a New Day – 2
  • Awards Banquet – 1987 June 20
  • Booklist on Human Relations
  • Book – List for Young Men
  • Called to Serve – 2005 Jan 9
  • Celebrating our 100th Anniversary, God has been Good! – Zion Baptist Church
  • Christian Activist, Deacon Jesse Lundy – 1987 April 3
  • Church Directory & Calendar of Annual Events – 1980
  • 2nd Annual Cultural & Performing Arts Festival

Box     Folder             Content

  • Rev. Joseph M. DeBerry
  • First Annual Leon H. Sullivan Charitable Golf Tournament
  • Health Partners – 1996 May 31
  • Home Going Service in memory of Stephens, Frank L. Sr. – 1990 June 3
  • Honoring Five Decades of Leadership & Achievement
  • Howard Jones Testimonial – 1986 May 2
  • Martin Luther King Birthday Party
  • NAAPO – National Afro-American Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Purlie Victorious
  • Symphonic Soul 3 – 1980 June 29
  • The Religious Celebration
  • Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Soprano, William Vendice, Pianist – 1991 Jan 20
  • Youth Council – Creative Arts Festival
  • Zion Gala Dinnerama
  • ZION – 115 years (1882-1997)
  • Zion Baptist Church
  • 2nd Annual Victory Banquet of Zion Baptist Church – 1975 June 20

2          50                    Leon H. Sullivan

  • Africa A Continent of Opportunities
  • Reverend Leon Howard Sullivan, Pasto Emeritus
  • Tribute to Leon H. Sullivan
  • Visions: Leon H. Sullivan Foundation

 

 

 

Box     Folder             Content

2          51                    Opportunities Industries Centers of America

  • OIC Annual Report 1972-1973
  • Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, Inc.
  • The Progress Companies: New Dimensions in Manufacturing Excellence

2          52                    Laurel Lodge No. 2

  • Honoring Brown, James B. – 1993 Oct 23
  • Honoring Chapman, Arthur Sr. – 1987 Oct 24
  • Honoring Colbert, Raymond – 1998 Oct 31
  • Honoring Coney, Tenily – 1978 Oct 28
  • Honoring Downes, William
  • Honoring Farmer, George – 1995 Oct 28
  • Honoring Fooks, Louis G. – 1977 Oct 29
  • Honoring Garland, Nathaniel – 1996 Nov 2
  • Honoring Johnson, Robert E., Sr.
  • Honoring Slaughter, David – 1987 May 17
  • Honoring Smith, Bernard – 1990 Oct 27
  • Honoring Smith, Raymond – 1991 Nov 2
  • Honoring Stewart, Charles R. – 1980 Oct 25
  • Honoring 40 or more members – 1977 Nov 1
  • F.A.M

 

Box     Folder             Content

3          1                      Binder  #1

  • Simplicity in Design “The Thomas McKean, Automobile Reference Brochure” – 1960
  • Photo of “Frank Stephens, Jr. and Richard Cattafesta” – Feb. 1960
  • First exhibit case design “ Auto Reference Collection” – 1960
  • Three Photographs of “Convention Hall, Children’s Exhibit” 1960
  • “The John Frederick Lewis Collection” exhibit, 1993
  • “Ancient Liberties and Free Customs” Lobby, 1965
  • “Christmas” 15th Century manuscripts. Lobby, 1983
  • “Ladies In My Library” Norman H. Strouse Collection – Lobby, 1968
  • Best of Library “100th Anniversary” –Lobby, 1991
  • Best of Library “100th Anniversary” – Gallery, 1991
  • “The Rarest Of the Rare” – Lobby, 1986
  • “Poland One Thousand Years of History” –Lobby, 1966
  • “Poland” – Lobby, 1983
  • “Women And Women Issues” – Lobby, 1982
  • “Beatrix Potter’ Original drawings and paintings from the collection of Bacon Collanmore – Lobby, 1966
  • “Everything Beatrix” – Lobby, 1992-1993
  • “Salute To The Parkway” – Lobby, 1986
  • “Philadelphia Gardens” – Lobby, (circa 1984)
  • “200 Years of Publishing In Early Photographs” – Lobby, 1976
  •  Beatrix” – Lobby, 1992-1993
  • “Old Philadelphia In Early Photographs” – Gallery (circa 1976)
  • “From Shallop To Submarine” – Lobby, 1977

 

Box     Folder             Content

3          2                      Binder #2

  • “U.S. History Through Postal Stamps” – Lobby, 1992
  • “FLP Map Collection” – Lobby, 1998
  • “The French Revolution” – Lobby, 1989
  • “We The People 200-The Evolving Constitution” – Lobby, 1987
  • “To Make All Laws” – Lobby, 1990
  • “American Humor” – Lobby (circa 1976)
  • ”A Tribute To Jorge Amado” – Lobby, 1993
  • “International Year Of The Child” – Lobby, 1979
  • “Olympia” – Lobby and Gallery (circa – 1984)
  • “The Circus” – Lobby, 1983
  • “The Circus” – Gallery, 1983
  • “The Automobile Reference Collection” – Lobby, 1967
  • “The Automobile Reference Collection” – Lobby, 1991
  • “Hoopla” – Lobby, 1991
  • “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” – Lobby (circa 1970)
  • “Books For Young Adults” – Lobby, 1982

 

3          3                      Binder #3

  • “The Pride and Prejudice” From Collection of Charles L. Blockson and The Print and Picture Collection – 2nd floor, 1988
  • “Black Artists” – Exhibit Gallery, 1992
  • “To Be Black In America” – Lobby, 1970
  • Art Festival” for the National Medical Association Of Eastern Pennsylvania Catalog, 1971
  • “The Black Cowboy” – Gallery, 1993

 

Box     Folder             Content

  • “The Great Blacks In Wax Museum” Rev Leon Howard Sullivan exhibit Baltimore, Maryland, 1996
  • “Great Beautiful Black Women” Painting by Paul Collins
  • “Black Baseball Pioneers” lobby and gallery exhibit
  • “Books By Black Writers” lobby – (circa 1970)
  • “Prison Art” lobby, 1971
  • “Zora Neal Hurston” gallery, 1996
  • “A Salute To The Puerto Rican Community” lobby, 1986
  • “Black Dolls” gallery, 1992-1993
  • “Odunde” 2nd Floor exhibit, 1990
  • “Odunde Historical Maker” 1997

4          4                      Binder #4

  • Page 1&2 lobby directory designed by Frank L. Stephens
  • Page 3 Frank L. Stephens and Assistant Marcel Maroux
  • “The  Dance” gallery, 1965
  • “Robert Lawson” lobby, 1977
  • “Maurice Sendak” gallery, 1968
  • “Brandywine Illustrators” From the rare book collection
  • “N.C. Wyeth” gallery, 1987
  • “Marguerite De Angeli” lobby, 1989
  • “Through These Arches” lobby – (circa 1976)
  • “Historical Print Collection” gallery, 1985
  • “The Gifts of Christmas Past” lobby, 1985
  • “Philadelphia The Victorian City” lobby, 1985
  • “Victorian Picture Buttons 1870-1900”
  • “The Book And The Cook” lobby, 1988

Box     Folder             Content

  • “Made To Last” gallery, 1989
  • “Pennsylvania Writers” lobby, 1985
  • “Bach” From the Collection of the Music Department
  • “Theatre Collection”
  • “View Points1983” lobby, 1983
  • “The Golden Age of Jazz” lobby, 1990
  • “Music Collection” gallery, 1991
  • “Prints In Progress” gallery, 1985
  • “Oz” L. Frank Baum
  • “Joe Brown Sculpture”

 

4          5                      Binder #5

  • “The Bendenir Collection” Print And Picture Department
  • “Music Department-Sheet Music Collection” gallery, 1976
  • “Printers Marks” lobby, 1962
  • “The Making Of The Book” lobby (circa-1970)
  • “Kadar” lobby, 1996
  • “Germantown’s Forgotten Images 1840-1927” lobby, 1983
  • “The First Americans” lobby, 1976
  • “By Reason Of Birth Or Residence”
  • “Theatre Posters” gallery, 1991
  • “Unicef” gallery, 1982-1983
  • “The Travel Posters” lobby (circa-1980)
  • “As We See The Zoo” gallery (circa-1990)
  • “Christmas” lobby, 1968
  • “Christmas” lobby, 1986
  • “Christmas” lobby 1988
  • “Christmas” lobby, 1989

Box     Folder             Content

  • “Christmas” lobby, 1990
  • “100 Years- Children Illustrations” gallery, 1991
  • “Luciano Pavarotti Paintings” gallery, 1988
  • “American Library Association Exhibit” Atlantic City (circa-1971)
  • “Fairmount Park” lobby and gallery, 1967
  • “Academy Of Natural Science & FLP Prints & Pictures Collection”
  • “John Sloan” gallery (circa-1970)
  • “Public Documents 1891-1966” lobby and gallery, 1966
  • “The Automobile Reference Collection” lobby, 1976
  • “100 Years Of Children’s Books 1890-1990” gallery, 1990
  • “U.S. Navy Aviation Supply Office” display, 1962
  • “Poetry Exhibit 1968” gallery Painting by Frank Stephens

 

4          6                      Binder #6

  • “Children’s Book Illustration” lobby, 1968
  • “15th Century Manuscripts And Artifacts” lobby (circa-1968)
  • “Original Book Illustrations” 2nd floor gallery, 1966
  •  “Fritz Janschka” gallery 1988
  • “Gunter Grass – The Tin Drums” gallery, 1968
  • “Edgar Allen Poe” Three lobby exhibits – rare book department
  • “Happy Birthday Young America” lobby, 1976
  • “Birch’s Views” gallery, 1982
  • “Presidential Letters” lobby, 1976
  • “Philadelphia First” lobby, 1988
  • “Preservation Perspectives” lobby, 1982
  • “One Million Images” Print and Picture Collection
  • ’150 Years Of Photography” gallery, 1989
  • “Benton Spruance” gallery, 1986

Box     Folder             Content

  • “Read My Clay” gallery, 1992
  • “FLP Staff Arts & Crafts” gallery, 1988
  • “Vendor Stand Competition” lobby, 1990
  • “Pennsylvania German Franktur” gallery, 1976
  • “The Randolph Collection Of Angling Prints”
  • “The Art of Stain Glass”