From Wilkes-Barre to the Wild West: George Catlin, Indian Painter

His early exposure to American Indians indelibly impressed northeastern Pennsylvania native George Catlin (1796–1872). His mother Mary “Polly” Sutton Catlin (1770–1844), married in 1789 to Putnam Catlin (1764–1842), formed his earliest impressions of Native Americans. With her mother Sarah Smith Sutton (1747–1834) she was captured and held captive at the age of seven by Iroquois. The day was...
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The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: An Ideal and a Symbol

By 1805, the year the Pennsylvania Acad­emy of the Fine Arts was founded, Phila­delphia had achieved a large measure of political, social and economic stability. It had been the nation’s capital and contin­ued to thrive as a center of banking and commerce. The largest city in the United States at the opening of the nineteenth century, it was arguably the center of culture, with Boston its...
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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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Out and About

Shooting Modernism Luke Swank (1890-1944) was one of the pioneers of Modernism in photography. He was born in Johnstown, Cambria County, just eight months after the Flood of 1889 roared down South Creek Fork to the Little Cone­maugh River. The thundering wall of water, which reached a height of forty feet, destroyed everything in its path, including the Swank family’s hardware store. The...
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