Spain’s Diplomats in Philadelphia

When, on July 2, 1776, the Congress at Philadelphia voted for independence, Spain adopted toward the British Colonies an attitude that could be described today as “recognition of billigerency,” until the Spanish Crown declared war on Great Britain in June, 1779. Although at the beginning of the Revolution there were no formal relations between the two countries, Spain not only...
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You Can Go Home Again: An Interview with James A. Michener

James A Michener is a man of diverse talents, boundless energy, and seemingly countless interests. He is naturally inquisitive, passionately curious. He is fascinated by the world around him and the people who inhabit it. He collects stories about far-away places as effortlessly as one gathers seashells on the shoreline in summer. He is the Ultimate Con­noisseur. Of people. Of places. Of things....
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Currents

Fancy That! “Capricious Fancy: Draping and Curtaining, 1790-1930,” an exhibition tracing the history of design sources for draping and curtaining American and European interiors during the span of nearly one hundred and fifty years, will open at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia on Monday, December 6 [1993]. On view will be a selection of rare books, prints, and trade catalogues drawn...
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Letters to the Editor

Horace Pippin Judith E. Stein’s article, “Pippin,” in the spring 1994 edition prompted me to visit the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ exhibition, which I truly enjoyed. Since I really enjoyed the arti­cle, I have passed around my copy and cannot remember when this traveling exhibit returns to the East Coast. How timely (and clever) for Pennsylvania Heritage to...
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Susquehanna’s Painters

Few Pennsylvanians probably realize that Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Doughty, Frederick Edwin Church and Jasper Francis Cropsey, the leading lights of the Hudson River school, the famous nineteenth century landscape tradition, painted the Susquehanna River or its tributaries. The most important works of Cropsey and Doughty – hailed as the luminar­ies of the Hudson River school...
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Talented, Tragic and Triumphant: The Life and Career of Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones

It was a time in the American art world when young women artists rarely sold their work for what equaled a small fortune. It was a time when women were sepa­rated from men during their artistic training. It was a time when women seldom shared the limelight with men when winning awards. But in the opening years of the twentieth centu­ry, while the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean still hushed...
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Currents

Beaux’s Art Pennsylvania native Cecilia Beaux (1855-1942) was one of the most important and successful portrait painters of her time (see “Artistic Ambitions: Cecilia Beaux in Philadelphia” by Tara Leigh Tappert in the winter 1996 edition). Among the significant commissions she completed in the early twentieth century was a portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt’s...
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Unconventional Patriot: An Interview with Ann Hawkes Hutton

Shadyside, the Bucks County home of Ann Hawkes Hutton, sets the perfect stage for an animated conversation with one of the country’s foremost promoters of patriotism and historic preservation. With its views of the picturesque Delaware River, its collection of fine furnishings, and its hundreds of books, photographs, and documents chronicling American history, Shadyside embodies what many...
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Current and Coming

Mammoth Scale Sometime about 1808, renowned Philadelphia physician Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) – for whom the city’s Wistar Institute is named – asked sculptor William Rush (1756-1833) to create a series of large-scale anatomical models. Rush, known chiefly as a maker of civic statuary and ships’ figureheads, responded with the strangest works of his career: a massive inner...
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Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)

“I took leave of conventional art. I began to live.” Mary Cassatt told her first biographer, Achille Segard, about her invitation in 1877 to join artists she regarded as “true masters.” Before she was accepted as one of America’s most famous im­pressionist artists, Cassatt first had to conquer Paris. Born on May 22, 1844, in Allegheny City, now part of Pittsburgh,...
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