(rescheduled date & time listed below)
Mayor Frank Moran, the City of Camden and the Camden County Historical Society honor City’s namesake on 304th birthday
CAMDEN, NJ – Mayor Frank Moran, City Council members, City staff and Chris Perks, President, Board of Trustees form the Camden County Historical Society, will be proclaiming March 21s Lord Camden Charles Pratt Day in honor of the City’s namesake and in commemoration of his 304th birthday. In addition, the City will reinstall a portrait of Lord Camden painted by Raphael Senseman around 1928. The painting which originally hung in Camden City Hall’s Council Chambers will be reinstalled after more than a 20 year hiatus. This is part of a larger effort by Mayor Frank Moran and the City to display the City’s rich history.
Lord Camden: Charles Pratt, (1714-1794) was a distinguished barrister, statesman, and held a variety of political roles throughout his lifetime, including Lord Chancellor of England from 1766-1770). He was opposed to the taxation of American Colonists and was an outspoken supporter of constitutional rights for the American Colonies during the American Revolution.
Camden City Name: In 1764, Philadelphia merchant Jacob Cooper purchased forty acres of land around modern-day Cooper Street, and later began subdividing his land into lots for sale. Jacob started referring to his fledging town “Camden” by the 1770’s. There is no direct document that states why Jacob Cooper chose Camden as the town’s name, but Lord Camden was a well-known figure to those living around Philadelphia.
Raphael Senseman: Born in Philadelphia in 1870, Raphael Senseman began his career as an independent painter in 1902 while living in the City of Camden. Utilizing an oil and water-color mix, Senseman mainly painted landscapes inspired by the wooded areas around Collingswood. He captured the diverse scenes of Camden County through tens of thousands of paintings during his lifetime. Walking door to door each week with a stack of paintings in his hands, he sold his art for low amounts or bartered them for food and services. His lifelong passion for paintings and diligent weekly work helped him support his wife and five children through the early twentieth century.
Lord Camden Painting: The near life-size painting of Charles Pratt, First Earl of Camden (England) and the namesake of the City of Camden, was painted by Raphael Senseman as a commission piece to celebrate the City of Camden’s 100th Anniversary in 1928. The painting of Lord Camden took months for Senseman to finish and it was later displayed above the Camden City Council Chambers.
In 2003, the Lord Camden painting was gifted to the Camden County Historical Society. With support of the trustees of The Richard C. von Hess Foundation, the Camden County Historical Society raised enough money to fully restore the Lord Camden painting to its original vibrancy in 2016. Parker Art & Restoration Studio completed the task of repairing holes, removing decades of dust, and touching up blemishes on the painting’s surface.
The City will be hosting a press event which will include a short speaking program in Camden City Hall (City Council Chanbers-2nd floor). The program will also include a formal proclamation, historical perspective on Lord Camden, history of the portrait and artist as well a display of the fully restored painting and related historical items.
WHO: Mayor Frank Moran, City Council members, City staff and Chris Perks, President, Board of Trustees CC Historical Society
WHAT: Ceremony honoring proclaiming March 21st Lord Camden Charles Pratt Day in honor of the City’s namesake and in commemoration of his 304th birthday. In addition, the City will reinstall a portrait of Lord Camden painted by Raphael Senseman
WHEN: Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Camden City Hall – Council Chambers (2nd floor)
520 Market Street, Camden, New Jersey 08101