After All: Charles Demuth, a Modernist in Lancaster

Charles Demuth was an artist of wide reputation, represented in some of the most eminent art museums in the country. It would take some time, however, for his work to be appreciated in his own hometown of Lancaster, where the majority of his most significant paintings were created. Many of his works featured Lancaster settings and architecture. His acclaimed masterpiece, My Egypt, depicted one...
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Into the Dark World of Catching Crooks, Culprits and Convicts: An Interview with Robert K. Wittman

by Michael J. O’Malley III Robert King “Bob” Wittman in no way resembles the highly romanticized portrayals of FBI agents made famous over the decades by movie studios and television series. He is not the heavy-hitting, gang-busting, chain-smoking G-man, replete with fedora rakishly angled atop his head. Instead, he embodies the old-school preppy style – looking as though...
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City in a Park by James McClelland and Lynn Miller

City in a Park: A History of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System by James McClelland and Lynn Miller Temple University Press, 392 pp., cloth $39.50 A substantial, richly illustrated book highlighting the significance of Fairmount Park and its place in the larger urban parks movement has been long overdue. City in a Park has finally arrived to fill that void. Augmented with 150...
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The Pennsylvania Germans: A Celebration of their Arts, 1683-1850, An Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The art of the Pennsylvania Germans is showy and elusive, reflective and new, easy and difficult; showy because it is boldly colorful; elusive because there is more to it than decoration; reflective because one can see the Old World in details; new because Pennsylvania Germans add­ed to the European vocabulary of designs and form; easy because it is familiar; and difficult because marks, like...
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Samuel Yellin: With a Hammer for a Pencil

When Samuel Yellin opened his Arch Street Metal worker’s Studio in Philadelphia in 1920, most who shared his ancient craft had abandoned their tools in favor of other pursuits. Yellin was a blacksmith – he insisted on calling himself that, although clients flocked to him for his sculptural and artistic skill, rather than to have horses shod or plows mended. From his shop poured the...
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A Flowering for the Ages

Botanists who classify and name plants are called plant taxono­mists, plant systema­tists, or systematic botanists, most of whom work in her­baria, a name first applied by Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), the great Swedish systematist. A herbarium, the plant taxono­mist’s basic reference source, is a collection of preserved plant specimens, mostly pressed and dried (although certain specimens...
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Black Cultural Development in Pennsylvania Since 1900

The cultural history of Blacks in America is varied and diverse. At the same time, it is deeply inter­woven into the whole of America’s cultural fabric. Yet, the significant cultural contributions of Black Amer­icans have been overlooked. Because of this omission, it was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that the art of Afro-Americans began to receive the recognition it so...
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Ben Solowey: The Thing Speaks for Itself

In a career that spanned more than six decades, Ben Solowey (1900-1978), painted, sculpted and created exactly as he wanted. He paid no attention to what was fashionable or lucrative at the moment, cultivated no distinguished patrons, sought little publicity and asked for no exhibitions; unsolicited, the work nevertheless came to him. Although he gained renown for his portraits of the American...
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The Many Faces of Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins, one of the country’s foremost painters, was probably photographed more often – and in more ways­ – than any other nineteenth century American artist. In 1985, the Pennsylvania Acad­emy of the Fine Arts, founded in Philadelphia in 1805, ac­quired a large collection of photographs, manuscripts, and works of art relating to Thomas Eakins. Saved first by his wife,...
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Philadelphia – As They See It

Interpreting a city through the eyes of its artists offers unusual – if not unique­ – perspectives and insights. As these artists choose a wide variety of styles and media, so, too, they select landmarks, people, and special moments not only to convey a portrait of their city, but to capture its spirit and collective psyche as well. Their resulting images prove diverse; they are...
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