Shorts presents news briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

“From Ft. Wagner to Verdun: African Americans in the U.S. Military, 1863-1918,” is on view at the Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia. The exhibition, continuing through August 30, 1998, showcases artifacts, objects, and documents chronicling the experience of African Americans in mili­tary service from the Civil War through World War I. The Civil War Library and Museum is the nation’s oldest chartered Civil War institution. For more details, write: Civil War Library and Museum, 1805 Pine St., Philadelphia, PA 19103; or telephone (215) 735-8196. Admission.

 

The most well known styles of white­work, embroidery worked in white thread on white ground fabric, are Ayrshire, originating in Scotland, and Dresden, stitched in Germany. White has often been chosen for garments, acces­sories, and textiles because the color reflects light, keeps the human body cool, calls attention to itself, and is of symbolic value in certain cultures. An exhibition exploring the popularity of whitework in North and South America, Europe, and Africa, “Refined Finery: Whitework Embroidery from the Collection,” will open at the Allentown Art Museum on Tuesday, November 25 [1997]. The exhibition will continue through Sunday, March 15, 1998. For more infor­mation, write: Allentown Art Museum, Fifth and Court Sts., Allentown, PA 18101; or telephone (610) 432-4333. Admission.

 

Continuing through Thursday, December 4 [1997], an exhibition recently opened by Shippensburg University Fashion Archives, “Civil War Fashion: From the 1860s to the 1990s” features both authentic period clothing and repro­ductions and reenactment uniforms. Renewed interest in the Civil War period has led to a desire to create more accu­rate reproductions of the clothing of the era. By exhibiting original and reproduction clothing, visitors are able to see the similarities and differences. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Shippensburg University Fashion Archives, Harley Hall, Shippensburg, PA 17257; or by telephoning (717) 532-1239. Free.

 

“Stephen Collins Foster, Cultural Ambassador to the World,” is the title of a presentation that will be given on Tuesday, December 2 [1997], at the Crescent­-Shousetown Area Historical Association by Dean Root, curator of the Stephen Foster Memorial Center for American Music, Pittsburgh. For more information and traveling directions, write: Crescent­-Shousetown Area Historical Association, P.O. Box 253, Glenwillard, PA 15046; or telephone (412) 457-8472. Free.

 

The annual “March-In” at Valley Forge National Historical Park will take place on Friday, December 19 [1997]. This reenactment depicting the arrival of George Washington’s troops at Valley Forge commemorates the beginning of the bitter winter 1777-1778 encampment which tested the soldiers’ spirit and forged them into a fighting force. For more details, write: Valley Forge National Historical Park, P.O. Box 953, Valley Forge, PA 19482; or telephone (610) 783-1000. Free.

 

Original works of art, letters, and books (including his chemistry note­book) will be featured in “World­-Renowned Artist: Maxfield Parrish, Haverford Class of 1892,” opening at Haverford College on Thursday, October 16 [1997]. Pieces in this exhibit, drawn from the college’s special collections, will remain on view through Sunday, February 1, 1998. Additional information is available by writing: Special Collections, Haver­ford College, Haverford, PA 19041; or by telephoning (610) 896-1161. Free.

 

Robert Stuart, historian for the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), will give a talk entitled “The USS Olympia Through the Photographic Lens of a Woman” at Independence Seaport Museum on Wednesday, November 5. The program, which begins at 6:30 P.M., showcases images made by Frances Benjamin Johnson, a photogra­pher sent to Admiral George Dewey by Theodore Roosevelt, who was then gov­ernor of New York Johnson lived aboard the USS Olympia for six months in 1899 while it was in Italy, and her beautiful images depict what life was like aboard this Victorian era vessel. For more infor­mation, write: Independence Seaport Museum, Penn’s Landing, 211 South Columbus Blvd. and Walnut St., Phila­delphia, PA 19106-3199; or telephone (215)925-5439 or 413-8631. Admission.

 

More than two hundred costumes
and accessories spanning two and a half centuries comprise “Best Dressed: A Celebration of Style,” the most compre­hensive costume exhibition ever mounted by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibition, which opens Tuesday, October 21 [1997], features clothing and acces­sories from the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Highlights will include European high style pieces from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; a selection of important late nineteenth-century gowns designed by the great Parisian couturiers, among them Charles Frederick Worth; works by the renowned twentieth-century fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who bequeathed a significant collection of seventy-one pieces to the museum; and one of the most popular items in the museum’s collection, the wedding dress worn in 1956 by Princess Grace of Monaco, the former Grace Kelly (1929-1982) of Phila­delphia (see “Keystone Born, Hollywood Bred: ‘Movie Buff’ David Mallery Reviews the Acting Careers of James Stewart and Grace Kelly” by William C. Kashatus in the Winter 1997 edition). “Best Dressed” will run through Sunday, January 4, 1997. For more information, write: Philadelphia Museum of Art, P.O. Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101; or tele­phone (215) 763-8100. Admission.

 

Since the advent of the medium in 1839, photographers have invented numerous techniques to create color and surface in their images. Contemporary artists have continued this tradition by applying oil paint, acrylics, and three­-dimensional objects to their work, blur­ring the fine line between photography and the other visual arts. “New Realities: Hand-Colored Photography, 1839 to the Present,” opening Saturday, November 22 [1997], at the James A. Michener Art Museum, is a comprehensive look at this innova­tive art form. On exhibit through Sunday, February 8, 1998, “New Realities” con­tains more than eighty images that span the entire history of hand-altered photo­graphs. Additional information may be obtained by writing: James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine St., Doyles­town, PA 18901; or by telephoning (215) 340-9800. Admission.

 

fine art, objects, and artifacts chroni­cling the development of firefighting in colonial-era Philadelphia are on view at the Susquehanna Art Museum in an exhibit entitled “Art and Fire.” Continu­ing through Monday, December 1 [1997], the exhibition is on loan from CIGNA, Philadelphia, which has built an exten­sive corporate collection. For more details, write: Susquehanna Art Museum, 511 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17101; or telephone (717) 233-8668. Free.

 

“Threads of Tradition: Northwestern Pennsylvania Quilts,” highlighting out­standing and artistically significant quilts made in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren Counties before 1940, will open Saturday, October 11 [1997], at the Erie Art Museum. Pieces in this exhibit were identified by the Northwestern Pennsylvania Quilt Documentation Project, a regional collab­orative effort involving local and county historical organizations. “Threads of Tradition” will be on view through Wednesday, December 17 [1997]. For more information, write: Erie Art Museum, 411 State St., Erie, PA 16501; or telephone (814)459-5477. Admission.

 

With the Carnegie Science Center’s traveling exhibit, “Liquid Vision,” visitors can create a computer-animated cartoon, star in a music video, and trigger a bril­liant display of fireworks. Beginning Wednesday, October 1 [1997], “Liquid Vision” focuses on lasers, holograms, and virtual reality in this six thousand square foot exhibition space. The exhibit continues through March 1, 1998. To obtain more details, write: Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5850. Admission.