Letters to the Editor

Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

On Target

Pennsylvania Heritage is right on target as far as I am con­cerned. A friend lent me sev­eral copies of back issues during my vacation this sum­mer, and I was amazed to see that your magazine published illustrations of two paintings by my favorite Philadelphia artists, Julius Bloch and Thomas Eakins, long before the national publicity they attracted. As an amateur “art watcher,” all I can say is that your magazine is quite sophis­ticated and that your staff must be clairvoyant. Keep up the outstanding work! Penn­sylvania Heritage is beautiful and great reading.

Claire S. Marchand
Rumson, N. J.

The portrait of banker John Gest by Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), loaned by Fidelity Bank, Philadel­phia, appeared as an illustration for an article by David Pacchioli entitled “And who is Eakins?” in the fall 1989 edition. Painted in 1905, the likeness of the president of the Fidelity Trust Company of Philadelphia is considered one of the artist’s last great paintings. Its recent acquisition by The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas, received national coverage. An oil on canvas by Julius Bloch (1888-1966), The Jester, which illus­trated “Julius Bloch: The Time Has Come” by Margaret Bloch Eisen in the summer 1989 issue, was a highlight of a fine art auction held in Philadelphia in June 1991. The Jester was loaned to Pennsylva­nia Heritage by the artist’s es­tate.


Movie Mania!

I so enjoyed the article about our once palatial movie houses (see “Chin Up! Smile! Keep ’em Happy!” by John L. Marsh in the winter 1991 edition) because I was, many, many years ago, one of those who wouldn’t miss my weekly visit. After reading this lovely ar­ticle, l shed a small tear be­cause things have changed so much and our younger genera­tions will never know how we enjoyed ourselves in the “good old days.” I am nearly ninety years old and still sentimental. I read Pennsylvania Heritage because it helps me remember the past and appreciate those days that I thought would never end. By the way, I al­most married one of those handsome young ushers!

Margaret L. Murray
Radnor, Pa.


Eakins Extra

The fact that Pennsylvania Heri­tage is able to run such an excellent article about Thomas Eakins (see “The Many Faces of Thomas Eakins” by Cheryl Leibold in the spring 1991 issue) is great, but that your staff is able to cover the exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the same issue is a real “extra” for a reader like me who uses your exhibition notices when travel­ing. For me, Pennsylvania (and my own Philadelphia) is a treasure – one that should be savored every day! Your relat­ing stories to current exhibits is very helpful, and I wouldn’t miss an issue of Pennsylvania Heritage.

Ellen Ann Smythe
Philadelphia, Pa.

The article on Thomas Eakins was most enjoyable. I’m glad to see that this great artist is finally receiving all the recog­nition and praise he deserves. Thank you.

Mary B. Bannan
Saylorsville, Pa.


A Joy Forever

Kershaw Burbank couldn’t have used a more fitting quota­tion to conclude his article, “Those Beautiful Bodies of Yesteryear,” in the winter 1991 edition: John Keats’ immortal “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Not only was this story beautifully told, but it was beautifully illustrated! This article, as well as the entire issue, was really enjoyable.

Robert P. Hunter
Greensburg, Pa.

In addition to Kershaw Burbank, the editorial staff is indebted to ALGAR Enterprises, Inc., and the Gilmore Classic Car Club Museums for their generosity in lending vintage photographs to illustrate this article about Joseph J. Derham and the Derham Body Company of Rosemont and Phila­delphia.


Sorry …

Sorry. Lovely little Titusville is – and always has been – in Crawford County (see “Execu­tive Director’s Message,” win­ter 1991). True, the Drake Well is in Venango County. Let’s see more of Pennsylvania’s oil boom in your great magazine.

Warren S. Sellers
Norristown, Pa.

The editor regrets this mistake in geography. The erroneous location of Titusville in Venango County was inserted by the editorial staff in this column. Sorry. Founded in 1796 by pioneer surveyor Jona­than Titus, Titusville is, indeed, in Crawford County.