To Form a More Perfect Union: Violet Oakley’s Murals in the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber

At breakfast tables on Sunday morning, December 3, 1911, readers of The New York Times were confronted with a surprising headline running across the magazine section: “A WOMAN CHOSEN TO COMPLETE THE ABBEY PAINTINGS.” Four months earlier, the news that the American artist Edwin Austin Abbey (1852–1911) had passed away in London raised speculation about who would receive the remainder of his...
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The Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy: Keeping the Brandywine Heritage Alive

One of the most treasured aspects of the artistic heritage of the Commonwealth is the Brandywine Tradition of representational paint­ing, a legacy around which much activity is centered. For years the beauty of southeastern Pennsylvania’s Brandy­wine River Valley has captivated artists and provided them with a natural studio. It seems appropriate, then, that this beautiful river valley...
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Violet Oakley, Lady Mural Painter

When Violet Oak­ley accepted the commission – and challenge – of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to decorate the State Capitol then under con­struction in Harrisburg, she announced that the subject of her mural series would be “The Romance of the Found­ing of the State.” In 1902, the ardent lady mural painter, then twenty-eight years old and the only one of her kind,...
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Into the Woodlands

Rarely does his name enjoy prominence in horticultural history, but William Hamilton (1745-1813), owner of The Woodlands, a picturesque eighteenth-century countryseat on the banks of the Schuylkill River in West Philadelphia, made sev­eral significant contributions that forever changed the landscape of North America. An avid plant collector he filled his English-style garden with as many new...
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Current and Coming

New Heritage Center Founded in 1904, the Lehigh County Historical Society, head­quartered in Allentown, has grown through the past century to administer several historic sites and museums representing the area’s industrial, cultural, agricultural, and political his­tory. On Monday, April 11, the so­ciety will formally open the Lehigh Valley Heritage Center, an advanced, seven-million...
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Bookshelf

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: 200 Years of Excellence Edited by Jane Watkins 2005 (312 pages; cloth, $80.00; paper, $60.00) Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: 200 Years of Excellence is difficult to summarize without relying on superlatives to describe its richness in both text and illustration. The hefty volume is elegantly designed, brimming with color and insightful narrative....
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