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

Offering a comprehensive view of the emergence and influence of French impressionism on American artists of the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, “American Impressionism from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery” will be on view at the Southern Alleghe­nies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley from Friday, March 2, through Sunday, April 22, 2001. For more information, write: Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley, 1 Boucher Ln., Ligonier, PA 15658; telephone (724) 238-6015; or visit the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art website. Free.


The Brandywine River Museum is showing “Frame in America,” an exhibition of more than one hundred picture frames made in America during an exceptionally prolific and creative period of frame design. While many examples are based on European precedents, others represent a radical departure in aesthetic conception. “Frame in America,” organized by the International Institute for Frame Study, continues through Friday, March 16, 2001. To obtain more 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.


“Citizen Soldiers of the Civil War: The Hecker Brothers of Lehigh County” will open at the Liberty Bell Shrine Museum, Allentown, on Sunday, February 11, 2001. The exhibit offers an intimate glimpse into life in the Lehigh Valley from the 1840s through the 1920s. Anecdotes and artifacts chronicle the sibling rivalry of brothers Captain Lewis Peter Hecker and Lieutenant William F. Hecker from their early years on the farm, through service in the Civil War, and to their involvement in the community following the war. “Citizen Soldiers of the Civil War” will continue through Saturday, April 14 [2001]. Additional information is available by writing: Liberty Bell Shrine Museum, 622 Hamilton Mall, Allentown, PA 18101; by telephoning (610) 435-4232. Free.


Continuing through Sunday, June 17, 2001, at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center is an exhibition of photographs of the Beatles, augmented by memorabilia and ephemera by the center from the group’s visit to Pittsburgh on September 14, 1964. “The Beatles: Now and Then” features more than sixty photographs taken by photojournalist Harry Benson during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour in 1964-1965 and during the following three decades. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4200; by telephoning (412) 454-6000; or by visiting the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center website. Admission.


Inventor and owner of Pennsylvania’s largest radio factory, A. Atwater Kent (1873-1949) provided fundamental support for the founding Philadelphia’s Atwater Kent Museum, the city’s official history museum. Kent purchased an 1826 building designed by architect John Havi­land, which originally housed the Franklin Institute, for the museum. On view through Sunday, June 10, 2001, “A Legacy for Philadelphia” explores Havi­land’s architectural design, describes the role of A. Atwater Kent in the founding of the museum, and showcases exceptional artifacts and objects selected from its vast holdings. For more information, write: Atwater Kent Museum, 15 South Seventh St., Philadelphia, PA 19106; telephone (215) 922-3031; or visit the Atwater Kent Museum website. Admission.


“Folds, Blobs, and Boxes: Architecture in the Digital Era” will be exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art from Thursday, March 1, through Sunday, May 27, 2001. The exhibit illustrates the evolution of architecture in the digital age with sketches, computer-generated drawings, models, and CD-ROMs. For more information, write: Carnegie Muse­um of Art, 4400 Forbes, Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080; telephone (412) 622-3131; or visit the Carnegie Muse­um of Art website. Admission.


A selection of works of art drawn from the permanent collection of the Art Association of Harrisburg will be on view from Saturday, February 17, through Thursday, March 22, 2001. The association’s holdings include works by current and former members, as well as older pieces donated by area collectors. The association’s galleries are housed in the historic Governor William Findlay Mansion overlooking the Susquehanna River. To obtain more in.formation, write: Art Association of Harrisburg, 21 North Front St., Harrisburg, PA 17101; or telephone (717) 236-1432. Free.


Visitors to Independence Seaport Museum on Saturday, February 3, 2001, will be introduced to the history of African American sailors with exhibits, interpretive tours, and films. Museumgo­ers will be able to step back in time to see how African American whalers conquered the high seas in an exhibition entitled “The African Mariner.” The museum will also present a film about the USS Mason, the only World War II ship manned entirely by an African American crew. Tours will also be offered of the 1892 cruiser Olympia, which had an ethnically diverse crew more than a century ago. To obtain more details, write: Independence Seaport Museum, Penn’s Land­ing, 211 South Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106-3199; telephone (215) 925-5439; or visit the Inde­pendence Seaport Museum website. Admission.


From Saturday through Monday, April 28-30, the Hugh Moore Historical Park and Museums will host the Ironmasters Conference 2001, which addresses Ule question, “How did the production of iron and steel contribute to the inception and the evolution of America’s Industrial Revolution?” In the period between 1840 and 1880, areas such as eastern Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley led U1e way in the use of anthracite (or hard coal) to replace charcoal as a blast furnace fuel. This technological evolution led to the development of large iron furnaces in urban environments, replacing the earlier charcoal-fired furnaces erected in remote rural areas. For more details, write: Hugh Moore Historical Park and Museums, National Canal Museum, 30 Centre Sq., Easton, PA 18042- 7743; telephone (610) 559-6613; or visit the National Canal Museum website. Registration.


“Spirit of a Community: The Pho­tographs of Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris,” on view at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art from Sunday, February 25, through Sunday, June 10, 2001, highlights the achievements of this African American photographer who, for more than forty years, traveled the alleys, workplaces, nightclubs, and ballparks of his native Pittsburgh with a Speed Graphic camera in hand. Harris documented black Pittsburgh with his well-crafted and hauntingly honest photographs. Nicknamed “One Shot” by Mayor David L. Lawrence because he habitually snapped only one shot of any subject, Harris was principal photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, a black weekly newspaper, from 1931 until his retirement in 1975. For more information, write: Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 North Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601; telephone (724) 837-1500; or visit the Westmoreland Museum of American Art website. Admission.


On Saturday, April 28, 2001, Mill Grove, the first American home of John James Audubon, will celebrate the birthday of the naturalist and artist with a day of specially guided nature walks, story­telling, and family activities. Audubon lived at Mill Grove for three years, beginning in 1803. For more information, write: Mill Grove, Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, Audubon and Pawlings Rds., Audubon, PA 19407-7125; telephone (610) 666-5593. Free.


Among the first important bodies of photographs taken in Ule Orient, “John Thomson Photographs of China and the Par East” is on view through Friday, April 6, 2001, at the Erie Art Museum. The exhibition is augmented by porcelains and textiles of the period, which are part of the museum’s permanent collection. Additional information is available by writing: Erie Art Museum, 411 State St., Erie, PA 16501-1106; by telephoning (814) 459-5477; or by visiting the Erie Art Museum website. Admission.


The first-ever retrospective of portraitist Alice Neel will be exhibited by the Philadelphia Museum of Art from Sun­day, February 18, through Sunday, April 15, 2001. Neel’s daring portraits of people and places are among the most insightful images in twentieth-century American art. The exhibition is being mounted to celebrate the centennial of Neel’s birth. Born in 1900 in Merion Square (now Gladwyne), Montgomery County, Neel graduated in 1925 from the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art and Design), spent a year in Havana, Cuba, and moved with her husband to New York. She was employed by the W.P.A., a period during which she painted scenes of city street life that reflected her trenchant concern for the dispossessed: striking workers, impoverished families, and the homeless. For more details, write: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7646; telephone (215) 763-8100; or visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art website. Admission.