At A Glance
A multi-media law library constructed of metal, bronze, and law books for the southwest corner arcade of the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center
Intended to serve as a symbolic or literal forum for discussions and debates on issues related to the American Justice system
Simkin was a Philadelphia artist whose projects invited public participation in nontraditional settings
Constructed of metal, bronze, and law books, Phillips Simkin’s Philada Book of Just Hours is a 26-foot multi-media law library located in the southwest corner arcade of the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center. At the base of the “library” – made of actual law books collected from area law libraries – are three metal chairs, positioned to represent the affirmative, negative, and judge’s point of view. The form of the symbolic bronze lectern is derived from the historic crack in the Liberty Bell. The artist intended for the installation to serve as a symbolic or literal forum for discussions and debates on issues related to the American Justice system. Philada Book of Just Hours was commissioned by the City of Philadelphia as part of the Percent for Art Program.
Phillips Simkin’s work “overflows with humor, insight, multiple meanings, and possibilities that arouse the spirit as well as the human intellect,” says Penny Balkin Bach, the Executive Director & Chief Curator of the Association for Public Art. Simkin was a long-time Philadelphia resident whose projects invited public participation in nontraditional settings. A Tyler School of Art and Cornell University graduate, Simkin received the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Prize Award, and other national grants and awards. He also taught at the University of Maryland, Moore College of Art, Swarthmore College, and Drexel University.