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

In recognition of the recent seventy-fifth anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States, the Chester County Historical Society is examining the roles of local women in the social reform movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through an exhibition entitled “‘Do Everything’: Women and Reform in Chester County.” Abolition, temperance, children’s aid, and the right to vote were the subjects of ardent local campaigns and remarkable individual accomplishments. On view through mid-August [1996], “‘Do Everything'” features photographs, posters, banners, buttons and pins, records, cartoons, costumes, and music. Additional details are available by writing: Chester County Historical Society, 225 North High St., West Chester, PA 19380-2691; or by telephoning (610) 692-4800. Admission is charged.


During the months of May and June [1996], more than fifty works by Bucks County artist Frank English (1854-1922) will be shown by the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. Actively involved in Philadelphia’s art circles, English began his art training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1881, studying under Thomas Eakins, Thomas Anschutz, and James Kelly. He is noted for his landscapes which capture the serene and bucolic Bucks County of his day. To obtain more information, write: Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118; or telephone (215) 247-0476.


An exhibit of twenty-five unusual pieces of weather-related folk art is on view at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown. “You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows: Folk Art from the Mercer Collection,” on view through May [1996], analyzes the function of early weathervanes as forecasting tools important to an agrarian economy that depended greatly on the weather. Such period weather­vanes often took on a variety of fanciful shapes and symbolic forms, several of which are included in this show, such as a running rooster, quill pen, seahorse, firefighter’s trumpet, and trotting horse. One of the most elaborate weathervanes – portraying a farmer at work with his plow – once crowned the roof of the old Doylestown Agricultural Works. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Mercer Museum, Bucks County Historical Society, 84 South Pine St., Doylestown, PA 18901; or by telephoning (215) 345-0210. Admission is charged.


In conjunction with its cur­rent exhibition “A Soldier’s Life,” the Lehigh County Historical Society will host a talk by Richard Matthews entitled “Lehigh County in the Civil War” on Wednesday, July 17 [1996]. The presentation is part of the historical society’s popular noontime “brown bag” lunch program. For more details, write: Lehigh County Historical Society, Old Courthouse, Hamilton and Fifth Sts., Allentown, PA 18101; or telephone (610) 435-4664. Admission is free.


Especially staged for young visitors, Children’s Day at Old Economy Village in Ambridge will be held on Sunday, June 16 [1996]. In addition to “hands-on” activities, the festive event includes crafts demonstrations and entertainment. For details, write: Old Economy Village, Fourteenth and Church Sts., Ambridge, PA 15003; or telephone (412) 266-4500 or 266-1803. Admission is charged.


In conjunction with the Palmer Museum of American Art of The Pennsylvania State University, the Centre County Historical Society will present an exhibition entitled “The Art of Warren Mack” from Tuesday, June 11, through Thursday, July 9 [1996]. Warren B. Mack (1896-1952) was internationally known for his finely detailed wood en­gravings. His work was exhibited, beginning in 1931, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress. Additional information is available by writing: Centre County Historical Society, Centre Furnace Mansion, 1001 East College Ave., State College, PA 16801; or by telephoning (814) 234-4779.


To capture both the history and spirit of local ethnic and fraternal organizations, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association has mounted a major exhibition entitled “Down at the Club: A Historical and Cultural Survey of Johnstown’s Ethnic Clubs” at the Johnstown Flood Museum. At their peak, more than one hundred ethnic societies and associations were active in the Cambria County community, serving as links to the past and as bridges to the future, especially for newly arrived immigrants. “Down at the Club,” remaining on view through October [1996], fea­tures photographs, memorabilia, and ephemera. The exhibit is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Johnstown Area Heritage Association, P.O. Box 1889, Johnstown, PA 15907-0889; or by telephoning (814) 539-1889.


The second annual Stahl’s Pottery Festival will be held Saturday, June 15 [1996], in Powder Valley, where visitors will be able to inspect the historic wood-fired kiln and potting sheds used during the 1930s and 1940s to make the distinctive – and highly collectible – redware. In 1934, brothers Thomas and Isaac Stahl revived the art of Pennsylvania German redware potting that they had learned from their father in the nineteenth century. In addition to guided tours, the festival features exhibits of Stahl’s Pottery, lectures, and demonstrations by fifteen contemporary potters. Additional information is available by writing: Stahl’s Pottery Preservation Society, 6826 Coming Rd., Zionsville, PA 18092; or by telephoning (610) 965-5019. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.


On Saturday, May 4 [1996], The State Museum of Pennsylvania will host its sixth annual Space Day, a popular program designed to educate entire families about galaxies, stars, planets, and the solar system. This year’s event will feature lectures, teacher workshops, exhibits, and “hands-on” activities for children. For more information, write: 1996 Space Day, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, PO. Box 1026, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026; or telephone (717) 787-4979. For advance tickets or registration, telephone (717) 787-6590.


Opening Friday, April 19 [1996], at the Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County is “The Ornamental Branches: Needlework and Arts from the Lititz Moravian Girls’ School, 1800-1865,” featuring sixty-five pieces such as silk embroidery, paintings on velvet, samplers, and oil paintings. The Lititz Moravian Girls’ School operates today as the Linden Hall School for Girls. “The Ornamental Branches” has been organized by guest curator Patricia Thomson Herr, a nationally recognized textile historian and author, who has written a catalogue to accompany the exhibition. The exhibit will continue through Saturday, December 28 [1996]. For more information, write: Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County, 13 West King St., Lancaster, PA 17603-3813; or telephone (717) 299-6440. Admission is free.


To celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary, the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, Philadelphia, will open, on Friday, April 12 [1996], an exhibition focusing on the concept of community as reflected through cultural heritage. The installation, “Hidden Treasures: A Community Gathering,” will deal with the transformation and transmission of traditional culture over time – “how” and “why” cultural communities change – and showcase the institution’s vast museum, library, and archival holdings. “Hidden Treasures” will continue through Saturday, December 28 [1996]. For more details, write: Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, 18 South Seventh St., Philadelphia, PA 19106; or telephone (215) 925-8090. Admission is charged.


The Institute of Pennsylvania German Rural Life and Culture will be conducted at the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster from Monday though Friday, June 17-21 [1996]. The weeklong series of classes on traditional skills and crafts – from plowing fields with draft horses to scherenschnitte – will be given by noted experts in their subject areas. For schedules and agenda information, write: 1996 Institute, Landis Valley Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601; or telephone (717) 569-0402. Registration is required.


Continuing through Sunday, May 19 [1996], at the Brandywine River Museum, “W. W. Denslow: The Other Wizard of Oz” offers visitors a look at the magical works of renowned illustrator William Wallace Denslow. Denslow is best remembered today as the original illustrator of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). His illustrations helped establish Baum’s tale as an American classic and his work has influenced a number of illustrators of children’s books and comic strips, including A.B.Frost, Edward Kemble, and Harrison Cady. Fifty original works of art and vintage printed materials borrowed from both private and public collections are featured in “W.W. Denslow: The Other Wizard of Oz.” To obtain additional details, write: Brandywine River Museum, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317; or tele­phone (610) 388-8337. There is a charge for admission.


Pittsburgh will be the site of the 1996 Heritage Partnerships Conference from Thursday through Saturday, April 28-30 [1996]. The fourth annual conference is designed to further an understanding of the Keystone State’s rich and diverse heritage and to explore the possibilities that heritage holds for bolstering the Commonwealth’s economic vitality. The event will feature sessions, workshops, thematic tours, and special events. For registration information, write: Preservation Pennsylvania, 2470 Kissel Hill Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601; or telephone (717) 569-2243.


A driving tour to visit selected historic properties will be conducted by the Historic Preservation Society of Gettysburg-Adams County on Saturday, June 15 [1996]. The historic properties were recently recognized by the society for their historical significance and outstanding restoration. For more information, write: Historic Preservation Society of Gettysburg-Adams County, 12 Lincoln Sq., Gettysburg, PA 17325; or telephone (717) 334-8188. Admission is charged.


A permanent exhibit examining the work of nineteenth-century gunsmith Charles Flowers (1820-1897) of Harmony has been installed at the Harmony Museum. For four decades, Flowers made exceptional percussion rifles in the Pennsylvania tradition which are widely admired for their beauty and craftsmanship. Although he was known to be a coal miner in 1850, he was listed as a gunsmith in a census made ten years Later. Flowers was one of the region’s last makers of classic Pennsylvania flintlock rifles. To obtain more information, write: Harmony Museum, Historic Harmony, P.O. Box 54, Harmony, PA 16037; or telephone (412) 434-2445.


Continuing on exhibit through Sunday, September 29 [1996], at the Afro­-American Historical and Cultural Museum, Philadelphia, is an exhibition of sculpture by Selma Burke, May Howard Jackson, Beulah Woodard, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, Elizabeth Catlett, Augusta Savage, Edmonia Lewis, and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (see “The Protégé Becomes a Prophet: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller” by Eric Ledell Smith in the spring 1996 issue). “Three Generations of African American Sculptors: A Study in Paradox” examines the artists’ creations as works of art and their impact on the art world. To obtain more details, write: Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, 701 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106; or telephone (215) 574-0380.


“African American Arts and Culture in Pennsylvania” is the theme of the nineteenth annual Conference on Black History in Pennsylvania which will be held in Reading on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11 [1996]. Donald Bogle, one of the country’s leading authorities on blacks in popular culture and author of several highly acclaimed books, will serve as keynote speaker. His address is entitled “African American Women in Popular Culture.” During the conference a state historical marker honoring Bethel A.M.E. Church, the first African American church in Berks County, will be dedi­cated. For registration information, write: 1996 Conference on Black History, Division of History, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, P.O. Box 1026, Harrisburg, PA 17108- 1026; or telephone (717) 787-3034.


A presentation entitled “Navigation on America’s Inland Rivers” will be given by Lance E. Metz, historian for the Hugh Moore Historical Park and Museums, on Thursday, May 16 [1996], at the Farinon Center of Lafayette College, Easton. Sponsored by the Canal Museum, the program will explore the nation’s canal system, the largest in the world. The presentation will begin promptly at 8 P.M. Additional information is available by writing: Canal Museum, Hugh Moore Historical Park and Museums, 200 South Delaware Dr., P.O. Box 877, Easton, PA 18044-0877; or by telephoning (610) 250-6700. Admission is free.