Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

Over the years — thirty-five to be precise — Pennsylvania Heritage has enjoyed the distinct pleasure — and great privilege — of presenting readers a veritable treasure trove of works of art held by historical organizations and cultural institutions throughout the Keystone State and beyond. From museums, colleges and universities, galleries, and libraries, we borrowed exceptional artworks in a variety of media — oil and watercolor paintings, sculpture, architecture, ceramic, glass, and wood — to illustrate feature articles. Some may be familiar (but never prosaic) and several are traditional (but never pedestrian). Each was carefully selected by the editorial staff because it speaks to a particular facet of Pennsylvania’s history and culture — in addition to being an outstanding original work of art.

Everyone knows the old adage, “every picture tells a story” — it’s been used as the title of a film (directed by James Scott), a music album (by Rod Stewart), dozens of books (from local history to self-help), as well as countless newspaper articles, magazine features, museum exhibitions, and television shows — and these images are no different. Artworks are also revealing. Shoe Shop (circa 1912) by Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones (1885–1968), a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, from 1902 to 1909, records early twentieth-century commerce, women’s fashions, and interior decoration. The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake (1873) by Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) documents the first American pair-oared scull race, held in Philadelphia on the Schuylkill River in 1872. And The Battle of Lake Erie (1887) by Julian O. Davidson (1853–1894) celebrates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s stunning defeat of the British, after he commandeered the U.S. Brig Niagara during the War of 1812.

With this, our 137th issue, we celebrate our thirty-fifth anniversary by treating you, our loyal readers, to a visual celebration by revisiting these iconic, important, and impressive artworks. Please enjoy this exhibition of “the best of the past” with our compliments. Your support has contributed mightily to the continuing success of Pennsylvania Heritage and enabled us to reach this milestone.