Current and Coming features detailed information about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania. Originated as “Currents.” Retitled “Current and Coming,” Winter 2003, and then retitled “Out and About,” Fall 2005. Revived as “Current and Coming,” Winter 2013. Ran regularly, Spring 1984 to Spring 2008, and then occasionally, Winter 2013 to Spring 2015.

Anthracite People

The Pennsylvania Anthra­cite Heritage Museum, located in McDade Park in the Taylor area of Scranton, recently installed a major exhibition entitled “Anthracite People: Immigration and Ethnicity in Pennsylvania’s Hard Coal Region.”

Encompassing more than the hard coal industry and its technology, “Anthracite Peo­ple” interprets the contribu­tions of the men, women, and children who immigrated to northeastern Pennsylvania’s anthracite region from more than two dozen foreign coun­tries. The museum’s extensive holdings of artifacts, objects, photographs, documents, works of art, machinery, and equipment was augmented by stories offered by immigrants and local workers to create a portrait of the people. Through the exhibition, the religions, trades and busi­nesses, education, and health care are explored and brought to life.

“Anthracite People: Immi­gration and Ethnicity in Penn­sylvania’s Hard Coal Region” follows a pattern of chronology and themes. The introductory segment discusses the ethnic groups which settled in the area and the reasons why they selected the coal region. One contributor to this introduc­tion, Walter Dutchak of Scran­ton, offered the history of his family’s settlement experience.

My father was destined to go to Providence, Rhode Island. And instead of going to Providence, Rhode Island, he was booked to go to Providence, Pennsylvania. My father was dumped off a street car at the end of the line with his suitcase in October of 1905. He didn’t know he was in Providence, Pennsylvania; he thought he was in Providence, Rhode Island.

The exhibition continues with “A Lifetime of Work,” which addresses the industries of the area, as well as how the workers felt about their jobs. The section also discusses how families were affected by in­dustry. John Scheur, a German immigrant, recounted his experience at finding work.

We finally got back to Buck­tawn [Dunmore] when Louis Engle say, ‘Boys, I got you a job.’ He took us to Selden Scranton, and Mr. Scranton made us show him the palms of our hands to prove that we could work.

The roles of women and children are dramatically ex­amined through the workplace and domestic life. The culture of the anthracite region – religions, traditions, and con­flict and cooperation in diverse ethnic communities – is graphi­cally illustrated through photo­graphs, religious artifacts, and memoirs. A typical turn-of­-the-century kitchen has been re-created to evoke memories of traditional foods and a way of life.

“Anthracite People: Immi­gration and Ethnicity in Penn­sylvania’s Hard Coal Region” is a permanent exhibit.

Administered by the Penn­sylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heri­tage Museum is located in McDade Park. Visiting hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.; and Sunday, Noon to 5 P.M. Admission is charged.

For additional information, write: Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, Bald Mountain Rd., RD. 1, Scran­ton, PA 18504; or telephone (717) 963-4804 or 963-4845.


Sports Legacy

Sports and recreation in Chester County-mirroring sports throughout the United States-have witnessed many changes since the late nine­teenth century. A recently installed exhibition at the Chester County Historical Society, aptly entitled “Sports Legacy,” presents a vivid his­tory of sports through the eyes of photographers. Eighty-six photographic reproductions of striking pictures made from the 1880s through the 1930s capture fascinating moments in high school and college teams sports, minor and major league baseball, and many delightful leisure-time pur­suits. The exhibition also in­cludes early sports equipment, uniforms, and memorabilia.

“Sports Legacy” answers several frequently asked ques­tions: What was recreation like a century ago? How did women participate in sports? Who were the Chester County athletes who played profes­sionally? Not only will viewers enjoy a visually exciting history of sports, as told on the local level, but they will dis­cover how people played and used their leisure hours, how economics and technology influenced sports, and how races and sexes interacted on the playing field.

Baseball, touted as the “All­-American Sport;’ plays a ma­jor part in “Sports Legacy.” The Kennett Mohicans, Elver­son Highlanders, and Brandy­wine Baseball Club are part of Chester County’s colorful baseball heritage. Years ago the Philadelphia Phillies, De­troit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and other major league teams barn­stormed through the county and played the Parkesburg Iron Company team. Accord­ing to available research, the professionals enjoyed playing on the Parkesburg field be­cause it met league standards, and the local residents enjoyed watching sports legends, in­cluding Ty Cobb. Top Negro League teams, including the Cuban Stars and Philadel­phia’s Hilldale Club, also played in Parkesburg in 1920.

Several countians made their mark in national baseball, including two individuals who went on to successful major league careers: Herb Pennock, the New York Yankees’ pitch­ing star who became a Hall of Famer, and Mike Grady, an infielder who spent twelve years in the majors, playing with Philadelphia, New York, Washington, and St. Louis teams. After retiring in 1906, Grady managed the Brandy­wine Baseball Club and paid Pennock five dollars to pitch for his team. Baseball memora­bilia includes a vintage Parkes­burg team uniform shirt, trophies, watch fobs, hand­bills, score books, and ticket stubs.

In the past, Chester Coun­tians turned to what they called “physical culture” to stay in shape, completing isometric exercises with In­dian clubs, batons, and rings. Hundreds of physical educa­tion teachers trained at the West Chester State Normal School – now West Chester University of Pennsylvania – whose 1890 gymnasium was considered the finest in the Commonwealth and second only to one at Harvard Univer­sity. Scenes of men’s and women’s physical education classes at area high schools, the Westtown School and the Normal School are included in “Sports Legacy.”

Team sports and physical education training are only two of the topics examined in this visual social history of sports and leisure, American style. Images of various recrea­tional activities, such as ice skating, sledding, croquet, tennis, swimming, fishing, and golf, show men and women enjoying what seem to have been simpler, happier times.

The exhibition is comple­mented by “Sports Talk,” a lecture series. On Saturday, October 10 [1992], the historical soci­ety will host a day-long event for families in which partici­pants will learn about sports of the past.

“Sports Legacy” will con­tinue through April 1993.

For additional information, write: Chester County Histori­cal Society, 225 North High St., West Chester, PA 19380-2691; or telephone (215) 692-4800. There is an admission fee.


Silver Celebration

In spring 1967, a dedicated group of concerned southeast­ern Pennsylvania citizens purchased at auction a critical tract of forty acres of flood­plain meadows threatened by industrial development. In June the group organized the Tri-County Conservancy of the Brandywine to protect the Brandywine watershed and endangered natural and his­toric resources in the region. Later that year the organiza­tion purchased Hoffman’s Mill, a mid-nineteenth century grist mill and approximately nine acres of adjacent land along the Brandywine River. This was the ambitious – and auspicious – beginnings of the renowned Brandywine Con­servancy, a leader in the coun­try’s environmental protection and preservation movement.

From those original forty­-nine acres, the Brandywine Conservancy has helped land­owners deed restrict, through conservation easements, more than twenty thousand acres in southeastern Pennsylvania and in northern Delaware. From protecting the Brandy­wine River, the Conservancy has expanded its operations to programs in northern Chester County, eastern Delaware County, and the state of Dela­ware, dealing with issues such as wetlands protection, open space planning, historic pres­ervation, and water-based zoning. The old mill building has become a vital, interna­tionally acclaimed museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the cultural heri­tage of the Brandywine Valley and American art. In addition to the Brandywine River Mu­seum, now in its twenty-first year, the Brandywine Conserv­ancy administers the Environ­mental Management Center.

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Brandywine Conservancy, the Brandywine River Mu­seum has recently opened an exhibition entitled “Early American Silver from the Dietrich American Foundation.”

The twenty-five objects on view to celebrate the Brandy­wine Conservancy’s silver anniversary include rare exam­ples of American silver crafted in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island. The pieces range in date from a New York “hoof handle” spoon, which may have been made as early as 1687, to a Neo-Classical tea and coffee service made in Philadelphia during the clos­ing decade of the eighteenth century. On exhibit will be examples of works by master American silversmiths Richard Humpreys and Joseph Rich­ardson, Jr., of Philadelphia, Paul Revere, Jr., and Jacob Hurd of Boston, Myer Myers and Henricus Boelen of New York, and Samuel Vernon of Newport.

The Dietrich American Foundation maintains a collec­tion of American fine and decorative arts, with an em­phasis on objects and artifacts of the colonial period. The purpose of the collection is to make specimens of outstand­ing American workmanship and artistry available for research by scholars and stu­dents, as well as for apprecia­tion by the general public. Concentration has been given to objects pertaining to, or produced in, eastern Pennsyl­vania, as the Dietrich family has lived in the area since the mid-eighteenth century. Arti­facts from the New York and New England regions have been acquired as examples with which to compare and contrast those made or used in Philadelphia.

The Foundation’s silver collection consists of the vari­ous forms made in the north­eastern colonies and represents major eighteenth century silversmiths. The collection has evolved to sup­port the furniture collection; for example, a two handled punch bowl, circa 1702-1712, by Benjamin Wynkoop of New York and the “hoof handle” spoon by Bartholomew Le Roux of New York complement an important New York maho­gany gateleg table.

“Early American Silver from the Dietrich American Foundation” will continue through Sunday, August 9 [1992].

In addition to the silver exhibit, the Brandywine River Museum will mount an exhibition, “The Land of the Brandywine,” as part of the Brandywine Conservancy’s twenty-fifth anniversary cele­bration. Exploring the Brandy­wine Valley as both a subject of and inspiration for important American artists spanning two centuries, the exhibit will be on view through Monday, September 7 [1992].

The Brandywine River Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehen­sive collections of works of art by N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth, three generations of artists who embody the fami­ly’s distinctive artistic legacy. Many familiar works, as well as many rarely on view for the public, are seen in the muse­um’s changing exhibitions. Works representing the distin­guished artistic heritage of the Brandywine Valley include nineteenth century landscapes by William Trost Richards and Jasper Cropsey; still lifes by George Cope, William Michael Harnett, and John Francis Peto; and interior scenes by Horace Pippin and J.D. Chal­fant. The museum also fea­tures works by important American illustrators Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Dana Gibson, Rockwell Kent, and Rose O’Neill.

The Brandywine River Museum is open daily. Visiting hours are 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. There is a charge for admission.

For additional information, write: Brandywine River Mu­seum, P. O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317; or telephone (215) 388-7601 or 459-1900.


Cassatt and Company

An exhibition of twenty original prints by American artist Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) and her colleagues Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) is on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadel­phia through Sunday, Septem­ber 27 [1992]. The exhibition, “Cassatt, Degas and Pissarro: A State of Revolution;’ ex­plores the unconventional printmaking practices em­ployed by the three artists and their innovative use of pattern­ing, perspective, and color.

In her first solo exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris in 1891, Mary Cassatt included a series of ten large color prints, which today are deemed equal in quality to the best of her paintings and pas­tels. Along with fellow artists Degas and Pissarro, Cassatt experimented with new print­making methods that did not compromise the creativity and spontaneity typically associated with painting. Of the ten color prints in Cassatt’s first exhibition, Camille Pissarro wrote, ” … the result is admira­ble, as beautiful as Japanese work, and it’s done with ink!” The pieces depict her familiar domestic scenes and reflect her interest in colorful Japa­nese woodblocks.

Commemorating the cen­tennial of the 1891 exhibition, “Cassatt, Degas and Pissarro: A State of Revolution” show­cases Cassatt’s ten original works, including Woman Bath­ing, The Letter, Mother’s Kiss, and Afternoon Tea Party, all created in 1891, as well as four additional prints by the artist. To complement the Cassatt prints, the exhibition includes three pieces by Degas: Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Paint­ings Gallery (1879-1880), Leaving the Bath (1879-1880), and The Washbasin (1879-1883). Pissarro is represented by Rain Effects (1879), Woman Emptying a Wheelbarrow (1880), and Mar­chande de marrons (1878).

Born in Pittsburgh, Mary Cassatt received her artistic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She left the United States for Eu­rope in 1866 and soon estab­lished her reputation with France’s leading impression­ists. She began working di­rectly with Edgar Degas in 1877. Two years later she re­turned from a three month tour of the Alps to discover that Degas and Pissarro were planning to publish a new print journal. She was drawn into their discussions about printmaking and their experi­mentation with the art form. “Cassatt, Degas and Pissarro: A State of Revolution” illus­trates the ways in which the trio took printmaking to new, unprecedented levels in terms of design, color, and technique.

To obtain additional infor­mation regarding the exhibi­tion, write: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118 North Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; or telephone (215) 972-7642. There is a charge for admission.

Founded in 1805, the Penn­sylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the country’s oldest art museum and school. The museum, located at Broad and Cherry streets in center-city Philadelphia, collects and exhibits the work of American artists. Visiting hours are Tues­day through Saturday, 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.; and Sunday, 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.


Facing the Past

Philadelphia artist and scientist Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), who hoped to live to be two hundred years old, painted Self-Portrait with Specta­cles about 1804 while in his early sixties. The portrait em­phasized his youthful appear­ance, showing his eyeglasses pushed back on his forehead as if dispensable. Peale, the painter, carefully determined how Peale, the subject, would be remembered. Portraiture is, naturally, a collaboration between the artist and his sitter.

Exploring the artist’s role in portraiture, as well as examin­ing the numerous facets asso­ciated with this genre, is a landmark exhibition at the venerable Pennsylvania Acad­emy of the Fine Arts in Phila­delphia. Entitled “Facing the Past: Nineteenth Century Portraits from the Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,” the exhibition showcases more than fifty portraits that capture the like­nesses of their sitters, as well as their social status and ac­complishments, and how they wished to be remembered. The exhibit also addresses the portrait painters and styles popular at the time. “Facing the Past” will continue through April 11, 1993.

Among the portraits on view is a version of Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington (after 1796), arguably the best known portrait in the history of American art. Martha Wash­ington had commissioned Stuart to paint both her and her husband for portraits she intended to hang at Mount Vernon. During one of several sittings in Gilbert Stuart’s Philadelphia studio, legend has it that the artist deliber­ately irritated the usually seri­ous Washington just to animate his expression. Stuart eventually executed more than sixty copies of the painting, selling the replicas for one hundred dollars each. When­ever he needed money – which was quite often – Stuart would turn out another of his “hun­dred dollar pieces,” as he called them. It made little (if any) difference to nineteenth century viewers whether they saw an original portrait or a replica; the identity of the famous sitter gave the picture its value and meaning. Stuart’s image of the nation’s first president is one of nine por­traits of Washington included in “Facing the Past: Nineteenth Century Portraits from the Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.”

Nineteenth century portrait painters revealed information about their subjects through details of clothing and the setting in which they were depicted. John Frederick Pete’s The First Fire Chief of Philadel­phia: Portrait of the Artist’s Fa­ther (1878) is a portrait of Thomas Hope Peto, chief mar­shal of the Hope Hose Com­pany, which also served as a social club. The elder Peto was an avid musician who led the company’s marching band. In the painting, John Frederick Peto depicts his father in full uniform with fire cap and badge to signify his position.

Cecilia Beaux’s A Little Girl (1887) provides an interesting parallel between artist and sitter. The subject, ten year old Fanny Travis Cochran, was born into a prominent Phila­delphia family. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she be­came an activist for social change, working tirelessly for improved factory conditions. She also used her inheritance to establish a home for work­ing women. Cecilia Beaux, also born into a Philadelphia family of means, led an independent life of achievement, studying art abroad and becoming one of Philadelphia’s leading por­trait painters during the late nineteenth century.

Also on view in “Facing the Past” are Thomas Sully’s strik­ing portrait of a well known British actor, George Frederick Cooke as Richard III (1811-1812), one of the first works acquired by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (in 1812), and Thomas Eakins’ renowned 1888 portrait of poet laureate Walt Whitman (1887-1888), acquired in 1917. Eakins and Whitman were friends who shared a commitment to artis­tic realism and the portrayal of the common man. The portrait was Whitman’s favorite and is considered an excellent depic­tion of old age.

“Facing the Past: Nine­teenth Century Portraits from the Collection of the Pennsyl­vania Academy of the Fine Arts” is divided into three segments: artists’ conceptions of themselves and their fellow artists; portraits of men and their professions; and images of women, marriage and the family. Additional artists fea­tured in the show include Benjamin West (Self Portrait), John Neagle (Matilda Washing­ton Dawson, Pat Lyon at the Forge, The Studious Artist), Jacob Eicholtz (Mrs. Victor Rene Value, Her Daughter Victoria Matilda, and her Stepson Jesse Rene), Henry Inman (Self Por­trait, Thomas Sully), Peter Frederick Rothermel (The Virtuoso), James Lambdin (Self Portrait), John Singer Sargent (Mr. and Mrs. John White Field), Robert Vonnoh (Companion of the Studio), William Merritt Chase (Portrait of Mrs. C.), and Samuel Bell Waugh (Cope Brothers). The exhibition also features portrait miniatures by James Peale, Anna Claypoole Peale, and Joseph Wood, in addition to Civil War daguerre­otypes and late nineteenth century portrait medallions.

To complement “Facing the Past,” the Pennsylvania Acad­emy is sponsoring art history lectures, gallery demonstra­tions, films, and family pro­grams. An exhibition of twentieth century portraits, also drown from the Acad­emy’s collection, runs concur­rently with this show. Included in this exhibition are Arthur B. Carles’ An Actress as Cleopatra (1914), James Orms­bee Chapin’s George Marvin and His Daughter Edith (1926), Violet Oakley’s Self Portrait: The Artist in Mourning for Her Fa­ther (circa 1900), and Self Por­trait (1917-1922) by John Sloan, among others.

Organized by the Pennsyl­vania Academy of the Fine Arts, “Facing the Past” will travel to six museums throughout the country. It is the third and final exhibition in a series designed to feature the strength and depth of the institution’s permanent collec­tion and to highlight its impact on American art history.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, founded in 1805, is the nation’s oldest art museum and art school. Visit­ing hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.; and Sunday, 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. There is a charge for admission.

For additional information, write: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118 Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; or telephone (215) 972-7642.


From Heart and Hand

An intricately sewn, all white quilt completed in 1750 is only one of the highlights of an important quilt exhibit currently on view at the His­torical Society of York County. Riding the crest of the public’s fascination with fine and an­tique American quilts, the exhibition is entitled “From Heart and Hand: York County Quilts, 1750-1950.”

“From Heart and Hand: York County Quilts, 1750-1950,” showcases twenty-nine quilts, ranging from patch­work to signature to crazy quilts. Twenty-four of the pieces featured in this exhibit have been drawn from the extensive textile collection of the historical society, recog­nized as one of the finest small historical organizations in the nation. To complement the quilts, furniture dating from 1710 to 1875 has also been installed in the exhibition.

The title of “From Heart and Hand” was inspired by a quilt completed about 1920. The quilt is emblazoned with a splendid heart and hand motif that not only immediately engages the viewer but satisfies – and exceeds – many of the standards applied to America’s finest quilt-making tradition.

A trapunto quilt was proba­bly made in 1750 by either Ann Innis or a member of her fam­ily prior to her marriage to Abraham Irvin in 1752; the name of Innis, a mid­-eighteenth century York County resident, appears on this piece.

Of three signature quilts on view, one is dated 1840 and contains names elegantly penned by master engraver William Wagner (1800-1869), best known for his designs and engravings of official seals for cities and states, as well as for private and public organi­zations. Wagner is also known for a recently unveiled series of thirty-eight drawings depict­ing York as a small frontier town in 1830. A circa 1930 signature quilt was a project of a local Sunday School class. Members sold names to be sewn in a wheel pattern on the quilt to raise money for the church. The center of each wheel was reserved for the signature of a class member, while the spokes were dedi­cated to signatures of non­-class members who made contributions to the church.

A Broderie Perse quilt, constructed about 1800, is the focal point of an early nine­teenth century exhibition vi­gnette. The chintz fabric in the center medallion was made by the country’s most famous textile printer; John Hewson. In 1893, a textile historian wrote that, “President Wash­ington was accustomed to point with patriotic pride to domestic fabrics worn by Mrs. Washington and printed at the Hewson.” This segment also showcases the bed in which the Marquis de Lafayette slept while visiting York in 1825.

Dated 1805, a nine patch quilt bears an old tag which documents its provenance: “A present from Aunt Beckie to Minni E. Illig. Made A.D. 1805 by her mother, the thread she spun herself. The calico cost 35 cents per yard.”

“From Heart and Hand: York County Quilts, 1750-1950,” will remain on view through March 1993.

To obtain additional infor­mation, write: Historical Soci­ety of York County, 250 East Market St., York, PA 17043; or telephone (717) 848-1587.


Da Vinci Drawings

Of all the men of genius who played a part in the Ital­ian Renaissance, none is more remarkable than Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). His accom­plishments in architecture, painting, drawing, sculpture, engineering, and scientific studies are legendary. Master of any discipline to which he set his hand, da Vinci exempli­fied the spirit of enquiry to which so much modern knowledge owes it origin. Universally recognized as one of the pivotal figures in the development of Western art, he was also one of the most original and perceptive anatomists of his own or any other time. Although his paintings were widely known, with copies circulated throughout Italy and beyond, only a few friends and associates pos­sessed any intimations of the extent of his medical research. Leonardo da Vinci never worked as a professional anat­omist, never taught the sub­ject, and never published any of his discoveries.

An exhibition entitled “Leonardo da Vinci: The Anat­omy of Man, Drawings from the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” opening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday, September 20 [1992], showcases the drawings con­sidered to be the prime exam­ples of the artist’s studies during a twenty-five year period. The selection illus­trates his great powers of ob­servation and intellectual capabilities. Although con­ceived by da Vinci primarily as scientific studies, these draw­ings are consummate works of art in their own right.

Upon Leonardo da Vinci’s death in 1519, the contents of his studio, including several thousand drawings, passed to his favorite pupil. Many of the drawings were later bound into volumes, which were actively sought for the collec­tions of the courts of Europe. Exactly when the anatomical drawings entered England’s royal collection is uncertain, but a volume containing all six hundred sheets now in the Royal Library of Windsor Cas­tle is clearly recorded as being in the possession of Queen Mary II in 1690, one year after she and her husband, King William III, ascended the throne as joint monarchs. In the 1970s, the Royal Library’s drawings restorers devised a technique by which the sheets could be publicly exhibited without endangering them, making a traveling exhibit possible.

“Leonardo da Vinci: The Anatomy of Man, Drawings from the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” includes twenty-three sheets, many of which are double­-sided, comprising forty-one drawings that incorporate hundreds of studies and com­mentaries by the artist. The drawings, dating from be­tween 1485 and 1515, are some of the most beautiful and mov­ing anatomical studies ever drawn. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II possesses some six hundred drawings of various subjects by da Vinci, the finest such collection in the world. The exhibition, which is accompanied by a fully illus­trated catalogue, will remain on view through Sunday, November 29 [1992].

Visiting hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. There is a charge for admission.

To obtain additional infor­mation, write: Philadelphia Museum of Art, P.O. Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101; or telephone (215) 787-5431.