Shorts presents news briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

Francesco Clemente is part of a new generation of painters of the 1980s that have reacted against the reductive and intellectualizing tendencies of minimal and conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s and, in­stead, celebrate the physical, seductive and expressive prop­erties of works of art. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present his works through Sunday, December 23 [1990]. Born in 1952, Clemente worked in three different cities – New York, Madras, and Rome­ – producing a rich and varied oeuvre in many media, includ­ing works on paper. This is the first museum installation to exhibit the great range and quality of the artist’s work on paper – inks, watercolors, charcoals, pastels, gouaches, etchings, aquatints, litho­graphs, drypoints, watercol­ored screens and mono types – and trace the emergence of his mature ex­pressionistic style from its origins in his early conceptual works. For more information, write: Philadelphia Museum of Art 26th Street and the Ben­jamin Franklin Parkway, Phila­delphia, PA 19101; or telephone (215) 787-5431.


“25 Years of Philadelphia Art,” a Philadelphia ArtNow project, will be held through January 1991 at the Institute of Contemporary Art. In this inaugural exhibition, senior artists and younger, emerging artists will be represented, as well as all art forms, including painting, sculpture, video, installation and photography. For more information, write: Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 115 Meyerson Hall, 34th at Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311.


In the 1950s, at the height of abstract expressionism’s popularity, a group of Califor­nia Bay Area artists radically departed from this style and embraced figurative subject matter. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is currently showing “Bay Area Figurative Art: 1950-1965,” through Sunday, December 30 [1990], in its main galleries. The exhibition of ninety paintings, sculptures and drawings fo­cuses on ten of these artistic pioneers: Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Joan Brown, Elmer Bischoff, Theophilus Brown, Bruce McGaw, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira, James Weeks and Paul Wonner. For more information, write: The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Broad and Cherry Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19102; or telephone (215) 972-7642. There is a charge for admis­sion.


“Battles Museums of Rural Life Concert Series” will be conducted by the Erie County Historical Society through mid-May 1991. The concert series emphasizes research of the musical traditions of north­western Pennsylvania. Per­forming groups will share the broad spectrum of rural music popular in the area in the past, as well as the traditions which have survived to the present. For more information, write: Erie County Historical Society, 417 State St., Erie, PA 16501; or telephone (814) 454-1813.


Lehigh University Art Galleries will exhibit drawings by Mark Beyer in the college’s DuBois Gallery through Tues­day, January 1, 1991. “Three Visionary Artists: Hugo Sperger, Mini Atkins, and Howard Finster” will be on view in the Wilson Gallery through Tuesday, January 1. For additional information, write: Lehigh University Art Galleries, Chandler-Ullman Hall, Bethlehem, PA 18015; or telephone (215) 758-3615.


“1790-19901 A Bicentennial Celebration, The U.S. Census: Counting Down To You,” is an exhibit on display through Monday, December 31 [1990], at the National Archives-Mid At­lantic Region. The display consists of old photographs, as well as original manuscripts and artifacts from local institu­tions. For further information, write: National Archives­-Mid- Atlantic Region, Ninth and Market Sts., Room 1350, Philadelphia, PA 19107; or telephone (215) 597-3000. There is no admission charge.


The Roland Curtin Founda­tion will sponsor “Christmas At Curtin Village” on Saturday and Sunday, December 8-9 [1990], during which a holiday open house will be held at the circa 1850 Ironmaster’s Mansion. The historic mansion will be decorated with many holiday greens in a typical mid­-nineteenth century fashion. The Bellefonte Historical Rail­road will offer runs to Curtin Village for the open house events. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Roland Curtin Foundation, P.O. Box 37, Bellefonte, PA 16823; or by telephoning (814) 355-2937.


“Victorian Christmas Week at Wheatland” will be held by the James Buchanan Founda­tion for the Preservation of Wheatland during the week­end of December 15-16 [1990]. Pres. James Buchanan’s handsome mansion, built in 1828, will be decorated for the holidays in mid-nineteenth century style. A Victorian period style Christmas tree will dominate the parlor, and candlelight tours will be given by guides in costume. For additional information, write: Wheat­land, 1120 Marietta, Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603; or tele­phone (717) 392-8721.


Visitors can examine the changes through time in Quaker dress at the Chester County Historical Society’s exhibition, “Style and Choice I: Clothing in the Delaware Valley,” which continues through March 1991. Drawing on documented examples of clothing in the society’s collec­tion, the exhibit will display the dresses, shawls, caps, bonnets and neckerchiefs that made up the simple garb worn by members of the Society of Friends. The exhibit, featuring more than twenty mannequins in historic Quaker dress, will illustrate the relationship be­tween plain style and high fashion of the nineteenth cen­tury. “Style and Choice II: Sundry Textiles from the Col­lection,” a companion show highlighting the art of the needle as demonstrated through fine locally crafted textiles, will also be on view through March 1991. For more information, write: Chester County Historical Society, 225 North High St., West Chester, PA 19380; or telephone (215) 692-4800.


The Victorian Era was an age of unprecedented change and technological advances that affected every aspect of life, with innovations that ranged from lumbering steam locomotives to newfangled sewing machines. Among the effects of these changes, at least for the rapidly growing middle class, were general prosperity, greater material comforts and the increase of leisure time. The Bucks County Historical Society is currently showing, through May 1991, an exhibition enti­tled “Picnics and Promenades: Victorian Social Life in Bucks County.” The exhibit explores nineteenth century society, highlighting lifestyles in tradi­tional America, including influences on architecture, magazines and media, eti­quette and the Civil War. Trade and calling cards, furniture, invitations, tea services, games, sports equipment, photographs, fashion plates, Civil War ephemera, Union Academy items, prints of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in nearby Philadelphia, letters and depictions of domestic activities drawn from the vast collections of the Mercer Mu­seum are featured in this exhibit. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Bucks County Historical Soci­ety, Mercer Museum, 84 South Pine St., Doylestown, PA 18901; or by telephoning (215) 345-0210.


From its origins in Philadel­phia in 1732, America’s ethnic press grew steadily in both size and importance. It was­ – and remains – a link with im­migrants’ cultures and heritages and an essential element in their adjustment to life in a new country. Through­out two centuries, the head­lines and stories in the ethnic press recorded the changing interests and concerns of each ethnic group. To the surprise of many, the ethnic press con­tinues to flourish as new waves of immigrants discover a new interest in their ethnic heritage. Sponsored by the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, 11The Ethnic Press in America,” an exhibition honor­ing Benjamin Franklin (see “Benjamin Franklin, Image Maker” by William C. Kashatus III in the fall 1990 issue), will illustrate the history of the ethnic press in America. Opening Tuesday, December 11 [1990], “The Ethnic Press in Amer­ica” will continue through March 30, 1991. The Balch Institute’s research library contains the largest ethnic press collection in the country; it counts 150 titles on six thou­sand reels of microfilm and currently receives eighty di­verse ethnic newspapers. Drawing on the organization’s extensive museum holdings, the exhibition will include not only old newspapers and periodicals, but the personal papers of ethnic editors, an­tique printing presses and related equipment used by ethnic publishers. For more information, write: Balch Insti­tute for Ethnic Studies, 18 South Seventh St., Philadel­phia PA 19106.


In conjunction with the Lewisburg Garden Club, the Packwood House Museum will present “The Trees of Christmas,” from Friday, De­cember 7 [1990], through Sunday, January 12, 1991. This year’s exhibit will feature displays of traditional trees of other coun­tries and cultures. The Garden Club will emphasize the im­portance of recycled materials in association with the nation­wide conservancy program in which it is currently involved. For additional information, write: Packwood Museum House, 15 North Water St., Lewisburg, PA 17837; or tele­phone (717) 524-0323.


In Philadelphia, Girard College presents a permanent exhibition of the Stephen Girard Collection, which is open to the public every Thursday, from 2 to 4 P.M. The collection is housed in Found­er’s Hall, an outstanding ex­ample of Greek Revival style architecture. The collection is virtually unique, containing one of the largest and best­-documented collections of furniture, silver, porcelain and effects owned by the early American citizen Stephen Girard, Philadelphia’s famous mariner, merchant, patriot and banker. For more information, write: Girard College, Girard and Corinthian Aves., Phila­delphia, PA 19121; or tele­phone (215) 787-2600.


The Boyertown Area His­torical Society will sponsor its annual Belsnickel Craft Show on Friday, November 23 [1990], from Noon to 8 P.M. The exhibit will feature display and sale of the works and wares of more than 150 craftsmen. The exhibit will emphasize items made from natural materials without pre­-manufactured details, and stressing the handcraft aspect. For additional information, write: Boyertown Area Histori­cal Society, 341 West Philadel­phia Ave., Boyertown, PA 19512; or telephone (215) 367-9843.


“N.C. Wyeth’s West” will be on display through Sunday, November 18 [1990], at the Brandy­wine River Museum. The romantic Old West – as seen through the eyes of famous illustrator and patriarch of one of America’s greatest artistic dynasties, Nathaniel Convers Wyeth – will feature detailed characterizations of Indians and large, colorful, action­-filled canvases of ruddy cattle­men at work and play. For further information, write: Brandywine River Museum, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317; or telephone (215) 388-7601 or (215) 459-1900.


Scranton’s Everhart Mu­seum will open an exhibition entitled “Oils and Watercolors by Edward D. Boit (1840-1915)” on Sunday, November 18 [1990]. The exhibit will continue through Monday, December 31. Addi­tional information may be obtained by writing: Everhart Museum, Nay Aug Park, Scranton PA 18510; or by tele­phoning (717) 346-7186.


“Tramp Art: The Cutting Edge” is currently showing at the Historical Society of York County through January 31, 1991. Tramp art was done by men with usually more time than money – and more pa­tience than talent. The material with which they worked was usually wood from old cigar boxes or fruit crates and was embellished with flat strips, glued or nailed together to create designs with a three­-dimensional effect. For addi­tional information, write: Historical Society of York County, 250 East Market St., York, PA 17403; or telephone (717) 848-1587.


The Historical Society of Montgomery County will show “Early Montgomery County Photographers” through the season. The county’s first daguerreotypist set up business in Horsham Town­ship, followed by a number of individuals who established studios in Norristown and Pottstown. This exhibit dis­plays daguerreotypes, ambro­types, tintypes, cartes de visite, as well as later family photographs, landscapes, trading cards, and stereo­scopes. For additional informa­tion, write: The Historical Society of Montgomery County, 1654 DeKalb St., Nor­ristown, PA 19401.


“Bionics and Transplants” is an exhibit at The Franklin Institute on view through Monday, December 31 [1990]. The exhibit, produced by the Sci­ence Museum of Minnesota, investigates the science behind the miracles of organ trans­plantation, reconstructive surgery, sense enhancers and movement devices, and closely examines the ethical and eco­nomic controversies surround­ing developing technologies. For more information, write: The Franklin Institute Science Museum, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 20th St., Philadel­phia, PA 19103-1194; or tele­phone (215) 448-1175 or (215) 448-1176.


The Landis Valley Museum will host “Days of the Bels­nickel,” from Thursday through Saturday, December 6-8 [1990]. The event features a free antiques exhibit, gift gallery and crafts demonstrations in the museum’s gift shop. Bels­nickel holiday meal and tour are by reservation only. For additional information, write: Landis Valley Associates, 2451 Kissel Hill Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601; or telephone (717) 569-0401.


The Brandywine River Museum will hold “A Brandy­wine Christmas” through January 6, 1991. This well­-known holiday tradition will display the museum’s huge O-gauge model train and famous “critters” made from natural materials. Ann Wyeth McCoy’s antique doll collection will also return this year. For additional information, write: Brandy­wine River Museum, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317; or telephone (215) 459-1900. There is a fee for admission.


The Friends of Graeme Park will sponsor an exhibit entitled “Eighteenth Century Holiday Decorations” through Sunday, January 6, 1991, at the Montgomery County historic site. Graeme Park will be deco­rated with fresh fruits and greens, as it would have been for the holiday season in the eighteenth century. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Graeme Park, 859 County Line Rd., Horsham, PA 19044; or by telephoning (215) 343-0965.


“Christmas at Hope Lodge” will be celebrated from Wednesday, December 12, through Sunday, December 30 [1990]. The elegant eighteenth century Georgian style man­sion will be decorated to reflect the colonial (circa 1750) and colonial revival (circa 1930) periods at the Montgomery County historic site. Although the colonial period had been over for a century, the last private owners of the house, William and Alice Degn, deco­rated with colonial objects in a style of decorating which has become known as colonial revival. Visitors will learn the difference between the actual colonial and the colonial re­vival periods. For more infor­mation, write: Hope Lodge, 553 Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA 19034; or telephone (215) 646-1595.


Nazareth Heritage, Inc., will sponsor candlelight holi­day tours during the weekend of December 8-9 [1990]. The walking tours through the historic Northampton County commu­nity will include six locations. Each tour runs approximately three hours. Additional infor­mation may be obtained by writing: Nazareth Heritage, Inc., P.O. Box 68, Nazareth, PA 18064; or by telephoning (215) 759-4263.