Currents

Amish Arts A comprehensive-and colorful-sur­vey of the distinctive decorative arts cre­ated by and for the Amish of Lancaster County is on view at the Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County. About two hundred objects made during a period of two hundred years, from 1790 to 1990, are showcased in “Amish Arts of Lancaster County,” on view through Saturday, Janu­ary 2, 1999. Included...
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“From the Things We Know Best”: The Art of William W. Swallow

Two passions absorbed William W. Swallow (1912-1962) his entire life: art and the teaching of art. During a career that spanned just three decades, Swallow created ceramic sculptures that transformed the people and life of agrarian Pennsylvania into timeless, time­-honored icons. Although he achieved national fame, he continued – with singular devotion – teaching high school students...
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Shorts

“Pennsylvania Regionalism: The Turn of the Century,” on view at the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, through Saturday, October 30 [1999], presents a survey of impressionism and realism spanning the period from 1870 to the 1930s. The exhibit features landscapes, still lifes, and portraits by twenty-four Pennsylvania artists, among them Edward W. Redfield, Daniel Garber,...
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Currents

Quilting Time Lancaster County is associated with many things, among them the “Pennsylvania Dutch,” barn raising, the horse and buggy, Amish and Mennonite farmsteads, shoo fly pie, and, of course, quilts. Quilts made in Lancaster County reflect the diversity of cultures and way of life in the region called – because of its verdant beauty and highly productive agricultural...
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Bookshelf

Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic American Buildings Survey, 1933-1990 By Deborah Stephens Bums and Richard J. Web­ster, with Candace Reed Stem Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2000 (629 pages; cloth, $85.00; paper, $65.00) This hefty volume befits its subject: it is a landmark book devoted to landmark buildings. Copiously illustrated, Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic...
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Currents

Pennsylvania Germans Historians trace the origins of Pennsylvania German settlement to late seventeenth-century Philadelphia and the arrival of the earliest immigrants. These arrivals came from many regions in what are now the countries of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and the Alsace region of France. Lutheran, Reformed, Moravian, Catholic, Jewish, and Anabaptist (including...
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The Value of Pennsylvania History

George W. Bush won the presidential election of 2000 because the fifty states cast more electoral votes for him, even though more people actually voted for his opponent, Albert A. Gore Jr. The election reminded Americans about a curious institution called the Electoral College, and an equally peculiar system known as federalism in which each state conducts elections according to distinct laws...
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Bookshelf

Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth By Randall M. Miller and William Pencak, editors Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002 (688 pages; cloth, $49.95; paper, $24.95) Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth is the first comprehensive history of the Keystone State in thirty years. Nearly a decade in the making, this weighty tome...
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Sowing a Wealth Uncommon

When Pennsylvania’s thirty-seven-year-old founder William Penn (1644-1718) drew plans for Philadelphia, he specified a central park of ten acres and four symmetrically placed squares of eight acres each “for the comfort and recreation of all forever.” In his September 30, 1681, instructions to his commissioners, he also mandated private space. “Let every House be placed,...
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Sacred Places in Pennsylvania: Signs of Religious Freedom and Diversity

When William Penn established Pennsylvania, he did so in part to create a place where his own faith community, the Religious Society of Friends (or Quakers), could worship freely, just as the Puritans did in Massachusetts and the Baptists in Rhode Island. But Penn went further – he established freedom for other faiths and creeds, welcoming one and all, regardless of their beliefs and...
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