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

American still life painting began in Philadelphia with simple tabletop subjects by members of the prolific Peale family in the early nineteenth century. By the end of the century, the subjects were expanded to include ornate flower pieces, elaborate studies of dead game, and artfully arranged compositions of household objects. In the twentieth century, American still lifes began to reflect the influence of contemporary European art, as well as Amer­ican folk art. More recently, with the resurgence of realism, tabletop still lifes have once again become popular. “On Tabletop and Wall: The Art of the American Still Life” at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts through April 11, 1992, examines two centuries of still life paintings through thirty paintings. For additional information, write: Pennsylva­nia Academy of the Fine Arts, Broad and Cherry Sts., Phila­delphia, PA 19102; or tele­phone (215) 972-7642. Admission is charged.


On Wednesday, December 11 [1991], Dr. Mahlon H. Hellerich, editor of Allentown, 1762-1987: A 225-Year History, will present a talk at the Lehigh County Historical Society entitled “December 7, 1941: Pearl Har­bor Day in Allentown.” For more information, write: Le­high County Historical Soci­ety, Old Courthouse, Hamilton and Fifth Sts., Allen­town, PA 18101; or telephone (215) 435-4664.


The Lehigh County Histori­cal Society will host its annual holiday open house at Trout Hall, Allentown’s oldest resi­dence, on Sunday, December 1 [1991]. Trout Hall was built in 1770 by James Allen, son of the city’s founder, William Allen. Additional details are available by writing: Lehigh County Historical Society, Trout Hall, 414 Walnut St., Allentown, PA 18101; or by telephoning (215) 435-4664. There is no charge for admission.


A special interpretive tour entitled “In the Shadow of the Raven, Glitter the Other Po­ems of Edgar Allan Poe” will be given by the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site during the month of March 1992. This special tour focuses on the less well known poems of the nineteenth century poet, who is noted for the famous tales he wrote while working as an editor and critic in Phila­delphia, such as “The Gold Bug,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” For more informa­tion, write: Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, 532 North Seventh St., Philadel­phia, PA 19123; or telephone (215) 597-8780. Admission is free.


A veritable cornucopia of vintage and unusual toys, including dolls from around the world, more than two hundred Barbie dolls, Ameri­can Flyer and Lionel trains, painted lead soldiers, mechan­ical banks, lithographed tin toys, and hobby horses will be on view at the Westmoreland Museum of Art from Friday, November 29 [1991], through Sun­day, January 19, 1992. The toys date from the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the present. For more information, write: Westmoreland Museum of Art, 221 North Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601; or telephone (412) 837-1500. Ad­mission is free.


On Sunday, December 8 [1991], the Robert Fulton Birthplace will conduct a holiday greens sale. For further information, write Robert Fulton Birthplace, P.O. Box 33, Quarryville, PA 17566; or telephone (717) 786- 3125.


Works by Philadelphia teacher, printmaker, and com­mercial illustrator Herbert Pullinger (1878-1961) are cur­rently featured in an exhibition mounted by the Atwater Kent Museum and entitled “Phila­delphia’s Urban Romantic: Herbert Pullinger.” Best known for his powerful and energetic lithographs of the city’s worksites, Pullinger also cre­ated woodcuts of the Wissa­hickon and picturesque scenes. More than forty etch­ings, lithographs, woodcuts, and drawings drawn from the museum’s collection will be on view through Tuesday, No­vember 19 [1991]. For more informa­tion, write: Atwater Kent Museum, 15 South Seventh St., Philadelphia, PA 19106; or telephone (215) 686-3630. Ad­mission is free.


Opening Saturday, Novem­ber 23 [1991], “Lady Artists in Evi­dence” at the Chester County Historical Society examines the lives and careers of Esther Mathilda Groome, Martha Jackson Cornwell, Ada Clen­denin Williamson, and Helen B. Sharples, all of whom were born in the second half of the nineteenth century and trained in the European tradi­tion of painting during the Gilded Age of American art. Each emerged as an artist of distinction in Chester County, bringing a highly individual vision and a passion of art to the region. “Lady Artists in Evidence” will continue through August 19, 1992. For more information, write: Chester County Historical Society, 225 North High St., West Chester, PA 19380; or telephone (215) 692-4800.


On view through Tuesday, December 31 [1991], at the Historical Society of York County, an exhibition entitled “The Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniver­sary of the City of York” traces the history of the community since its founding as a bor­ough in 1741 through its offi­cial recognition as a city by charter. The exhibit features artifacts, objects, documents, and photographs drawn from the historical society’s collec­tions. For more information, write: Historical Society of York County, 250 East Walnut St., York, PA 17403; or tele­phone (717) 848-1587. There is a fee for admission.


Rick Harris, secretary of the Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society, will present a talk, “When There Was only Radio,” which traces the history of broadcasting in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, December 4 [1991], at the Historical Society of West­ern Pennsylvania. In addition to photographs, printed radio programs, and ephemera, the speaker will also use oral his­tories of announcers, techni­cians, and listeners in his discussion. For additional information, write: Historical Society of Western Pennsylva­nia, 4338 Bigelow Blvd., Pitts­burgh, PA 15213; or telephone (412) 281-2465 or 681-5533. There is an admission fee for nonmembers.


“A Brandywine Christmas” is a popular holiday tradition sponsored by the Brandywine River Museum from Friday, November 29 [1991], through Sunday, January 5, 1992. This year’s event features an exhibi­tion of works – all drawn from the museum’s permanent collection – of illustrations for children’s books by Jessie Wilcox Smith, Maxfield Parr­ish, and Howard Pyle. To obtain more information, write: Brandywine River Mu­seum, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317; or telephone (215) 388-7601 or 459-1900. Admission is charged.


During the weekend of December 6-7 [1991], Old Economy Village will welcome visitors to the traditional “Candlelight Christmas.” during which the historic complex is illuminated by candles and decorated for the holiday season with natu­ral materials. For additional details, write: Old Economy Village, Fourteenth and Church Sts., Ambridge, PA 15003; or telephone (412) 266-4500.


Summerseat, the hand­some eighteenth century Georgian style mansion which served as Gen. George Wash­ington’s temporary headquar­ters in December 1776, will host a “Country Holidays Crafts Fair” on Friday and Saturday, November 1-2 [1991]. The Bucks County landmark was later owned by two signers of both the Declaration of Inde­pendence and the United States Constitution, Robert Morris and George Clymer. To obtain more information on the two day event, write: Sum­merseat, Historic Morrisville Society, Hillcrest and Legion Aves., Morrisville, PA 19067; or telephone (215) 295-5518 or 295-3645. Admission is free.


From the stark simplicity of a quiet Quaker Christmas, circa 1750, to the lavish orna­mentation of a Colonial Re­vival style holiday celebration, about 1930, the rooms of Hope Lodge will be decorated to reflect the eighteenth century colonial and the twentieth century Colonial Revival peri­ods from Wednesday, Decem­ber 11 [1991], through Tuesday, December 31 [1991]. Additional infor­mation may be obtained by writing: Hope Lodge, 553 Bethlehem Pk., Fort Washing­ton, PA 19034; or by telephon­ing (215) 646-1595. Admission is charged.


The Bucks County Audu­bon Society will present its tenth annual wildlife art exhi­bition, “A Celebration of Nat­ure in Art,” on Saturday and Sunday, December 7-8 [1991], at the Eagle Fire Company Hall in New Hope. For more details, write: Bucks County Audubon Society, 6324 Upper York Rd., New Hope, PA 18938; or tele­phone (215) 297-5880. There is an admission fee.


The Marshall House, a fine example of a nineteenth cen­tury country house, will be bedecked with Victorian per­iod decorations and opened to the public from Thursday through Sunday, December 5-8 [1991]. Further information may be obtained by writing: Marshall House, Dayton Area Local History Society, Dayton, PA 16222; or by telephoning (814) 257-8260. Admission is free.


In 1844 Thomas Story Kirkbride, physician and su­perintendent of Kirkbride’s Hospital in Philadelphia, intro­duced Magic Lantern shows as a therapeutic measure for psychiatric patients at what is now The Institute of Pennsyl­vania Hospital. Such entertain­ment had already become a popular means of amusement and education in the city’s theaters , schools, and churches, and it quickly be­came an integral part of Kirkbride’s program of patient care. An exhibit at the Atwater Kent Museum entitled “The Magic Lantern and Kirkbride’s Hospital: Moral Amusement in Nineteenth Century Phila­delphia” allows visitors to see the comic scenes and exotic views that delighted many different nineteenth century audiences, and to understand the role that “lantern nights” played in one innovative insti­tution. “The Magic Lantern” continues through August 8, 1992. For more information, write: Atwater Kent Museum, 15 South Seventh St., Philadel­phia, PA 19106; or telephone (215) 922-3031. Admission is free.


Pennypacker Mills, the Colonial Revival style mansion of former Gov. and Mrs. Sam­uel W. Pennypacker, will host “A Victorian Christmas” from Sunday, December 15 [1991], through Friday, January 3, 1992. The event will illustrate how the residence was decorated dur­ing the Pennypacker family’s occupancy, from 1900 to 1916. Additional information is available by writing: Penny­packer Mills, 5 Haldeman Rd., Schwenksville, PA 19473; or by telephoning (215) 287-9349. Admission is free, but dona­tions are welcome.


“Home for the Holidays,” featuring special tours of the world renowned passenger car fleet of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, will be held on Saturday, December 7 [1991]. Tour guides will discuss how rail­roads carried individuals “home for the holidays” from the mid-nineteenth century through the 1950s. Special hours are 7 to 10 P.M. For more details, write: Railroad Mu­seum of Pennsylvania, Box 15, Strasburg, PA 17579; or tele­phone (717) 687-8628. Regular admission will be charged.


An important exhibition contrasting the romantic pic­tures of photographers Ansel Adams and Elliot Porter with the works of a younger group of photographers who see the landscape as a source of fear and threat because of global pollution, “Changing Visions of the American Landscape” will be on view at the James A. Michener Art Museum from Saturday, November 16 [1991], through March 24, 1992. Addi­tional information may be obtained by writing: James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, PA 18901-4626; or by telephon­ing (215) 340-9800. Admission is charged.


Continuing through Febru­ary 1992, “Quilts and Coverlets from the Collection” of the Chester County Historical Society features outstanding examples of regional needle­work. On view are rare and unusual pieces – many of which have not been publicly displayed for years – drawn from the society’s collection of nearly two hundred quilts and more than ninety coverlets. Additional information is available by writing: Chester County Historical Society, 225 North High St., West Chester, PA 19380; or by telephoning (215) 692-4800.


“Perfect Little Ladies: Fash­ion Dolls and the Art of Dress in the 1870s,” on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, showcases three fashion dolls from the museum’s permanent collection, along with a dozen of their elaborate outfits, which include hats, gloves, shoes, jewelry, parasols and related accoutrements. The dolls are organized to depict the various activities and con­cerns perceived at the time as proper for women, as well as the emphasis which was placed on the “feminine” arts of dress and etiquette. Life-­sized fashions from the same period are also on display. “Perfect Little Ladies” doses on Sunday, November 17 [1991]. For more information, write: Phil­adelphia Museum of Art, Parkway at Twenty-Sixth St., Philadelphia, PA 19101; or telephone (215) 763-8100. Ad­mission is charged.


The seventh annual “Work­shops in Archaeology” will be offered on Saturday, Novem­ber 16 [1991], at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. The pro­gram, designed to provide professional instruction in aspects of archaeology, fea­tures several classes, including “Exploring the Archaeo­Botanical Record,” “How to Date Archaeological Finds,” “Artifact Identification,” and “Caring for Archaeological Collections.” For registration information, write: “Work­shops in Archaeology,” Friends of The State Museum, P.O. Box 1026, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026; or telephone (717) 787-6590.


“The Carlisle Indian School: Its Origins, Purposes, and Progress” is the title of an illustrated talk which will be given by Linda Franklin Smith, director of the Cum­berland County Historical Society, at the Hershey Mu­seum of American Life on Monday, November 18 [1991]. Addi­tional information is available by writing: Hershey Museum of American Life, 170 West HersheyPark Dr., Hershey, PA 17033; or by telephoning (717) 534-3439.


Fort Hunter Mansion and Park will host “A Victorian Tea” on Sunday, December 8 [1991], and outdoor holiday caroling on Saturday, December 14 [1991]. The mansion will be festooned with traditional decorations of fresh greens and trimmings that may have been used in the household of John and Helen Reily, the last occupants of Fort Hunter. Additional details are available by writing: Fort Hunter Mansion and Park, 5300 North Front St., Harrisburg, PA 17UO; or by telephoning (717) 599-5751. Admission is charged.