Currents

Moore Is More As early as 1915, acclaimed American poet Marianne Moore (1887-1972) had discovered the artists and writers who were shaping what was coming to be known as the “new art.” Comments contained in her notebooks indicate her early grasp of the significance of the New York Armory Show of 1913, a benchmark in the American Modernist movement. In several lengthy letters to her...
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Letters to the Editor

From Here to Hollywood I am so glad that you featured an article about Jimmy Stewart before he died [see “Keystone Born, Hollywood Bred: ‘Movie Buff’ David Mallery Reviews the Acting Careers of James Stewart and Grace Kelly” by William C. Kashatus in the Winter 1997 edition]. In his inter­view, Mr. Mallery touched on so many things that later appeared in the actor’s...
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Tom Mix (1880-1940)

Even before Hollywood producers glamorized the silver screen image of the American cowboy, huge audiences were mesmerized by touring cowboy shows, the most popular of which was William F. (“Buffalo Bill”) Cody (1846-1917) and his Wild West Show, which traveled the country for more than thirty years, from 1883 to 1916. With authentic Native Americans, skilled riders, sharpshooters,...
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George Gordon Meade (1815-1872)

General George Gordon Meade (1815–1872) may be best known as the commander of the victorious Army of the Potomac that defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Meade was born in Cadiz, Spain, the eighth of eleven children. His father, Richard Worsam Meade (1778–1828), a native of Chester County, was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant serving the...
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Philadelphia’s Sainted Katharine Drexel: “Mother and Servant of the Indian and Negro Races”

On Thursday morning, January 27, 1887, the Drexel sisters of Philadelphia attended a private mass conducted by Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903) in Rome’s fabled Vatican. As members of one of the wealthiest and most devout Catholic families in the United States, the three young women — Elizabeth, age 31, Katharine, age 28, and Louise, age 23 — were also given a rare audience with the pontiff. The...
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Barbara T. Zolli on “A Drop of Oil”

Crude oil, found in abundance in northwestern Pennsylvania, held out many possibilities by the mid-nineteenth century. It burned when ignited, served as a practical lubricant, was thought to have medicinal properties, and had been used for various purposes by generations of Native Americans. That it might be in ample supply became apparent to many locals when it oozed from the ground and...
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