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

Opening Saturday, May 29 [1999], at Allentown’s Liberty Bell Shrine Museum is “‘Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land’: The Liberty Bells of Pennsylvania.” The exhibit, continuing through Tuesday, August 31 [1999], will focus on the eight bells that summoned citizens of Pennsylvania communities to hear the public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776. (Six of these bells were displayed at Independence Hall in 1926 as part of the Sesquicentennial.) For information, write: Liberty Bell Shrine Museum, 622 Hamilton Mall, Allentown, PA 18101; or telephone (610) 435-4232. Donation.


“Mixing It Up: Making Chocolate in Hershey,” featuring a look at circa 1930 working conch machines, the final step in mixing ingredients before the molding process, will open Thursday, April 29 [1999], at the Hershey Museum. “Mixing It Up” will continue through Sunday, October 17 [1999]. For more information, write: Hershey Mu­seum, 170 West Hersheypark Dr., Hershey, PA 17033; or telephone (717) 534-3439. Admission.


Showcasing glamorous evening and formal clothes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, “All That Glitters: A Look at Evening Wear” remains on exhibit at the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives through Thursday, April 22 [1999]. To obtain additional information, write: Ship­pensburg University Fashion Archives, 1871 Old Main Dr., Shippensburg, PA 17257; or telephone (717) 532-1239. Free.


The Allentown Art Museum is currently hosting a major exhibition of later paintings by acclaimed American artist Ben Shahn (1898-1969). Works selected for “Common Man, Mythic Vision: The Paintings of Ben Shahn” relate the artist’s personal history to a broader social, cultural, and art historical context using stories and parables. “Common Man, Mythic Vision,” featuring nearly fifty of Shahn’s allegorical and mythological paintings drawn from collections of international art institutions, continues through Sunday, June 27 [1999]. For more details, write: Allentown Art Museum, Fifth and Court Streets, P.O. Box 388, Allentown, PA 18105-0388; telephone (610) 432-4333; or visit the Allentown Art Museum website. Admission.


This year marks the bicentennial of George Washington’s death, and the Brandywine River Museum will observe the anniversary by opening, on Saturday, June 12 [1999], an exhibition entitled “George Washington, American Symbol.” The exhibition will review the events of Washington’s life, his military and political accomplishments, his status as “the greatest American hero,” and the myths and legends surrounding him. A large collection of diverse objects and artifacts will reveal the changing image of Washington over the course of two centuries. “George Washington, American Symbol,” continuing through Monday, September 6 [1999], will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue. For details, write: Brandywine River Museum, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317; telephone (610) 388-2700; or visit the Brandywine River Museum website. Admission.


Exploring the aesthetics, history, production, and evolution of the American animated film, “Art of the Animated Film” will be on view from Saturday, June 26 [1999], through Sunday, September 26 [1999], at the Erie Art Museum. To obtain information, write: Erie Art Museum, 411 State St., Erie, PA 16501; or telephone (814) 459-5477. Admission.


The Stahl’s Pottery Preservation So­ciety will hold its twelfth annual Pottery Festival on Saturday, June 19 [1999], with tours of historic potting sheds and kiln, an exhibition of pottery made by the Stahl family, and demonstrations by contemporary potters. The festival celebrates a significant example of a twentieth-century rural arts and crafts revival pottery, active from 1933 until 1956. For information, write: Stahl’s Pottery Preservation Society, 6826 Corning Rd., Zionsville, PA 18092; or telephone (610) 965-5019. Admission.


On Sunday, June 20 [1999], the National Canal Museum will host its twenty-first annual Canal Festival, celebrating the life and times of canal workers and their families, as well as the folklore spawned by the historic waterways, at the Hugh Moore Park in Easton. Information is available by writing: National Canal Museum, 30 Centre Sq., Easton, PA 18042-7743; by telephoning (610) 559- 6613; or by visiting the National Canal Museum website. Admission.


Probing the increasingly popular intersection of art and technology, “Digital Traces: Navigating Interactive Domains” will be exhibited at the Pitts­burgh Center for the Arts from Saturday, April 10 [1999], through Sunday, June 20 [1999]. The installation, the largest of its kind ever mounted in Pittsburgh, will explore the latest forms and newest applications of electronic technology. By focusing on the increasingly blurred boundaries between art, technology, science, commerce, and entertainment, “Digital Traces” raises provocative questions about both current and future definitions of art. For information, write: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232; or telephone (412) 361-0873. Free.


Scranton’s Everhart Museum recently reinstalled its permanent collection of American art in an exhibition entitled “Art and Society in America: 1750 – the Present.” The exhibition concentrates on four subject areas: the American landscape, from virgin forest to industrialization; the roles of men in commerce, industry, and hunting; the world of women and children and the cult of domesticity; and the tradition of still-life painting. To learn more, write: Everhart Museum, Nay Aug Park, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton, PA 18510-2390; or telephone (717) 346-7186. Admission.