Currents

Famous Faces John W. Mosley (1907-1969), characterized by an admirer as “our most magnificent and beloved photographer,” was Philadelphia’s leading black photographer, whose images appeared in nearly every African American newspaper on the East Coast (see “His Eye Was On The Positive” by Richard D. Beards in the winter 1990 edition of Pennsylvania Heritage)....
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Bookshelf

J. Horace McFarland: A Thorn for Beauty by Ernest Morrison Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1995 (393 pages, cloth, $19.95) Three-quarters of a century ago, his was a name known throughout the na­tion. To some, he was ordained the “High Priest of the Rose.” To others, he was christened the “Father of the National Park Service.” And to even more, he was...
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Presence from the Past: A Gift to the Future Through Historic Preservation

The United States is a nation and a people on the move. It is in an era of mobility and change … The result is a feeling of rootlessness combined with a longing for those land­marks of the past which give us a sense of stability and belonging … If the preservation movement is to be successful, it must go beyond saving bricks and mortar. It must go beyond saving occasional historic...
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Currents

Journey in Time Prom the first interior scenes of Pennsbury Manor, in which light seems to caress each object-pewter bowl, chair, blanket chest-viewers of “Historic Pennsylvania: A Journey to America’s Past” will know this is masterful cinematography. As the camera moves a short distance from the mansion’s front door to the lush banks of the Delaware River, a dazzling...
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Preserving Philadelphia: A Conversation with Charles E. Peterson, F.A.I.A.

Those who know Philadelphia realize that it is an enormously important city with an illustrious, prestigious past. By many it is called the birthplace of a nation, by others the cra­dle of liberty. The United States was cre­ated in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Indepen­dence. The principles of the American Revolution were...
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Executive Director’s Message

Pennsylvania’s archaeological and architectural heritage offer an extraordinary meld of buildings, sites, structures, districts, neighborhoods, villages, and landscapes representing every period of our prehistory and history. Public and private efforts to protect this legacy date to the nineteenth century at places such as Independence Hall, the Gettysburg Battlefield, Valley Forge, and...
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Bookshelf

The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love By Alice A. Carter Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000 (216 pages, cloth, $39.95) Highly successful and immensely unconventional Philadelphia artists Jessie Wilcox Smith (1863-1935), Eliza­beth Shippen Green (1871-1954), and Violet Oakley (1874-1961) captivated early twentieth-century society with their brilliant careers and uncommon lifestyle. At a...
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Executive Director’s Message

If you want to see examples of Pennsylvania’s collections in the future, you may be forced to travel to New York, Richmond – maybe even Las Vegas. At least three proposals to move valuable art, archives, and artifacts are prompting strong public reaction and litigation. None of these cases have been resolved at the time of this writing and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum...
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The Lincoln Train is Coming!

On Saturday morning, April 15, 1865, news of President Abraham Lincoln’s assas­sination reached Philadelphia. The treacher­ousness of the crime created a mix of feel­ings surging from fear and horror to inconsolable grief. A galvanized nation began mourning immediately. Printer cranked out broadside that were posted throughout Philadelphia lamenting the “Martyred Father.”...
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To Forge History for the Future

Not infrequently, the history of how an object, artifact, or even building or structure has been preserved for the future is every bit at least as interesting as the reasons for which it was saved. Historical organizations and cultural institutions – from large city museums to county historical societies – brim with compelling “behind-the-scenes” stories that provide...
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