Currents

Hello, History! The former Chautauqua Lake Ice Company warehouse in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District will come to life on Sunday, April 28 [1996], when it officially opens to the public as the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center. Renovated by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, which has been protecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of the...
read more

Currents

Brush with Conflict On September 11, 1777, on and near the banks of the Brandywine River where the Brandywine River Museum now stands, the American army led by General George Washington attempted to halt a larger force of British troops intent on capturing Philadelphia (see “British Images of War at Brandywine and the Tredyffrin Encampment” by Thomas J. McGuire in the fall 2002...
read more

William Wagner Portrait by Thomas Sully

In 1836, eminent Ameri­can artist Thomas Sully (1783-1872) painted a por­trait of William Wagner (1796-1885), Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist, which had, until last year, remained in private hands. More than a century after its creation, the likeness has virtually returned “home” to the Wagner Free Institute of Science, founded by Wagn­er and his wife Louisa Bin­ney...
read more

Current and Coming

Titanic Science When launched in 1912, he was the grandest, most luxurious moving object ever built, and few stories in history have captured the world’s imagination like hers. The saga of the RMS Ti­tanic actually began five years earlier, in 1907, at a dinner party at Downshire House, the residence of Lord James Pirrie in the fashionable Belgravia section of London. A guest of Lord...
read more

A Centennial, A Celebration, A Cache of Treasures

While Philadelphians in 1905 observed the centennial of the nation’s first art museum and school, the venerable Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Pittsburghers flocked to Harry Davis’s Nickelodeon, the first motion picture theater opened in the United States. In Harrisburg that year, on Tuesday, March 28, Governor Samuel W. Penny­packer (1843-1916) signed legislation creating...
read more

Out and About

Ben’s Big Birthday Bash To mark the three hundredth anniversary of Benjamin’s Franklin’s birth on January 17, 2006, the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, a private, non-profit alliance, is spearheading a year-long observance dedicated to educating the public about the senior states­man’s enduring legacy and inspiring renewed appreciation for the values he embodied. Projects...
read more

Bookshelf

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: 200 Years of Excellence Edited by Jane Watkins 2005 (312 pages; cloth, $80.00; paper, $60.00) Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: 200 Years of Excellence is difficult to summarize without relying on superlatives to describe its richness in both text and illustration. The hefty volume is elegantly designed, brimming with color and insightful narrative....
read more

Extreme Makeover: History Edition

Extreme might be a hyperbole but the current restoration of the interior of the Rapp House at Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Beaver County, is a significant undertaking nevertheless. The project will provide a substantive update to the initial restoration work in the 1960s. Old Economy Village presents the remarkable story of the Harmony Society, a Christian communal group with roots in what...
read more

Lloyd Mifflin: Artist of the Susquehanna

While many artists have painted the majestic Susquehanna River, none were as devoted to studying, rhapsodizing about its beauty and, ultimately, painting it in its many moods as was Pennsylvania native Lloyd Mifflin (1846–1921). In many ways, Mifflin typified the romantic, if often improbable, late nineteenth-century image of the artist as an attractive, highly sensitive, elitist dandy who...
read more