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

To observe the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its opening in 1848, Girard College will unveil an exhibition entitled “Monument to Philanthropy: The Design and Building of Girard College, 1832-1848,” on Sunday, May 3 [1998]. Financier Stephen Girard (1750-1831) established the school for orphans with a bequest of seven million dollars (see “Girard College: A Story of Change and Continuity” by Michael P. McCarthy in the Summer 1991 issue). Thomas U. Walter, an internationally celebrated architect, designed the Greek Revival-style marble temple, which was visited by Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville. “Monument to Philanthropy,” continuing through Friday, October 2 [1998], will showcase more than seventy-five drawings documenting the design and construction of Girard College, the second most expensive building in America prior to 1850. For more information, write: Girard College, 2101 South College Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19121; or telephone (215) 787-2600. Free.


During the weekend of May 15-16 [1998], The Highlands, an eighteenth-century mansion surrounded by formal gardens in Montgomery County, will host “Dining Designs,” featuring table settings of silver, china, and crystal, highlighted by elaborate floral arrangements. Designers include Bill Blass, who is also serving as honorary chairman of the event, and Renny Reynolds, who acted as table designer at the White House during the administrations of Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. For information, write: The Highlands, 7001 Sheaff Ln., Fort Washington, PA 19034; or telephone (215) 641-2687. Admission.


Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869) was one of Philadelphia’s earliest and most vocal advocates for the poor, as well as a tireless philanthropist who founded the Hebrew Sunday School Society, the Jewish Foster Home, and the Philadelphia Orphan Society. Her life and contributions will be explored in an exhibition mounted by the Rosenbach Museum and Library. “The Life of Rebecca Gratz” features documents, objects, and artifacts, drawn from the institution’s holdings, which relate to Gratz and her family and Philadelphia’s Jewish history. The exhibit runs through Sunday, May 31 [1998]. For more information, write: Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2010 Delancey Pl., Philadelphia, PA 19103; or telephone (215) 732-1600. Admission.


“American Printmakers, 1920-1945,” will remain on view at the Palmer Museum of Art in State College through Sunday, June 14 [1998]. A number of prints by leading early twentieth-century artists have been given to the museum, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The exhibit features works by Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Louis Lozowick, Elizabeth Olds, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, and Pennsylvania natives John Sloan and Benton Spruance. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802; or by telephoning (814) 865-7672. Free.


On exhibit through Sunday, November 8 [1998], at the Lehigh County Historical Society, “Petticoats, Peanuts and Pearls: Doing Business on Hamilton Street” examines the stores and retail concerns that flourished in center-city Allentown during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The exhibit will be accompanied by special programs. Additional information is available by writing: Lehigh County Historical Society, Old Courthouse, 501 Hamilton St., Allentown, PA 18101; or by telephoning (610) 435-4664. Free.


On Saturday, June 6 [1998], the Historic Preservation Society of Gettysburg­-Adams County will host its annual tour of historic properties, most of which are located southwest of Gettysburg. For more information, write: Historic Preservation Society of Gettysburg­-Adams County, 12 Lincoln Sq., Gettysburg, PA 17325; or telephone (717) 334-8188. Admission.


Featuring more than one hundred images from throughout the Commonwealth, including many that have never before been exhibited, “Pennsylvania’s Trolley Neighborhoods,” is on exhibit at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum through Thursday, December 31 [1998]. The exhibit offers visitors a glimpse of what life was like in a “trolley neighbor­hood” during the trolley era of 1890 to 1950 that predated superhighways, shopping malls, and television. The trolley played a key role in the urbanization, suburbaniza­tion, and industrialization of Pennsylvania. More than any other form of transportation, the trolley (or, to many, the streetcar) linked distinct ethnic neighborhoods to the workplace, shopping districts, markets, schools, and recreational areas. Additional information is available by writing. Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, 1 Museum Rd., Washington, PA 15301; by telephoning (724) 228-9256; or by visiting the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum website. Admission.


An exhibit tracing the beginnings of self-help health care literature in America from the colonial period to 1860 will open Friday, April 17 [1998], at the Library Company of Philadelphia. “Every Man His Own Doctor: Popular Medicine in Early America” will explore eight themes: domestic medicine, midwifery, women’s health, mental hygiene and phrenology, botanic medicine, homeopathy, sex, lifestyle, and patent medicine. The exhibit features books, posters, and ephemera. “Every Man His Own Doctor” will contin­ue through Friday, November 13 [1998]. More information may be obtained by writing: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107-5698; or by telephoning (215) 546-3181. Free.


“Portraits of Power: An Artistic View of Industry,” an exhibit exploring industry through the works of members of the Lehigh Art Alliance, is on view at the Kememer Museum of Decorative Arts through Sunday, May 17 [1998]. In the early 1950s, the Lehigh Art Alliance’s members concentrated on depicting local industrial landmarks in their works. For more details, write: Kememer Museum of Decorative Arts, 427 North New St., Bethlehem, PA 18016; or telephone (610) 691-0603. Admission.


Fifty works of art by Walter Emerson Baum (1884-1956) will be shown by the Berman Museum of Art of Ursinus College from Tuesday, May 12, through Sunday, July 26 [1998], in an exhibit entitled “City Streets and Country Byways: The World of Walter E. Baum.” A prolific artist and beloved teacher, Baum portrayed farm­steads, villages, and landscapes of rural southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as highly stylized urban streetscapes (see “Painting a Sense of Place: Walter Emerson Baum and the Lehigh Valley” by Martha Hutson-Saxton in the Spring 1997 edition). For more information, write: Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College, P.O. Box 1000, Collegeville, PA 19426-1000; or telephone (610) 409-3500. Free.