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Art in the law library, two portraits of Dean Arthur Weeks

Portrait of Dean Arthur Weeks by Diane Keller

Many of the portraits hanging in the law library are of former Deans or local judges and let’s face it, sometimes they do start to look alike. But if you’ve ever thought that there are two different portraits of the same person hanging in the library, you are not imagining things. But why does the law library have two portraits of Dean Weeks?

Arthur Weeks was Widener’s second Dean. Serving from 1974 to 1980, he was responsible for Widener Law’s successful accreditation by the ABA. In recognition of his service, the first graduating class commissioned a portrait of him in 1980. The portrait was done by artist Diane Keller. Unfortunately, it did not prove to be a popular success. Weeks was posed in front of a colorful oriental rug and students started referring to it as the “shower curtain portrait.” At one point it was stolen as a student prank.

Portrait of Dean Arthur Weeks by Edward Lis

So a second portrait was commissioned, this one by Edward Lis. The second portrait was hung at the law school and the first was quietly forgotten. No one was certain what had happened to it until one of our librarians discovered that Arthur Weeks had it in his home. Dean Weeks and his wife donated the portrait back to the law school and now both portraits hang proudly in the law library.

You can see more of Diane Keller’s work at her website and on the streets of Philadelphia where she has painted several of the city’s famous murals, including Italian-American icons Frank Sinatra, Frank Rizzo, and Mario Lanza.

Edward Lis died in December 2011. He painted portraits of many prominent people in the Philadelphia area as well as landscapes and taught at the Norristown Art League. You can see several of his portraits of PolishAmericans on the Poles in America Foundation’s website.

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