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

On Friday and Saturday, July 26-27 [2002], the Slate Belt Heritage Center, in Bangor, will host “Slate Belt Heritage Days,” replete with walking tours, local history talks, horse-drawn carriage rides, story­tellers, crafts demonstrations, and a guid­ed tour of an operating slate quarry. The history of the slate industry in Northampton County is traced to the mid-nineteenth century, when slate was discovered and a number of quarries opened. Slate quarried in the region was used for roofing shingles, tiles, black­boards, tombstones, sidewalks, fireplace surrounds and mantles, as well as for clocks, boxes, and similar decorative accessories. For more details, write: Slate Belt Heritage Center, 30 North First St., Bangor, PA 18013; telephone (610) 588-8615 or 588-3434. Free.


An exhibition of more than sixty paintings and sculptures showcasing the exhilaration of the Roaring Twenties, the despair of the Great Depression, the com­mon cause of the World War II era, and the country’s new confidence of the fifties will open on Sunday, August 4, at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. Scenes of American Life: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum will feature works by Paul Cadmus, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Grant Wood, John Sloan, Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, and Paul Manship. The exhibit will run through Sunday, October 13 [2002]. For more informa­tion, write: Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 North Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601; telephone (724) 837-1500. Admission.


Continuing through Saturday, August 31 [2002], at the Historical Society of Berks County in Reading is Fashion Through the Years, an exhibit of clothing drawn from the society’s collections. Featured in the exhibit is a late eighteenth-century frock coat, one of the oldest articles of clothing held by the historical society. Also included are a Civil War era surgeon’s uniform and a complete vintage wedding ensemble. An early schoolroom has been re-created to display children’s clothing. Undergarments, accessories, and hats are also showcased in Fashion Through the Years. For more information, write: Historical Society of Berks County, 940 Centre Ave., Reading, PA 19601; telephone (610) 375-4375. Admission.


Decorative arts blend with the culinary arts in What’s In Your Tureen: Soup, Stew, or Ragout?, on view through Sun­day, August 11 [2002], at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Addressing the delights of dining from 1700 to the present, objects on display range from an elegant early eighteenth-century Meissen tureen to a utilitarian 1975 Rival Crock­Pot. The tureens are matched with the soups, stews, chowders, bisques, and ragouts they might have held. Recipes created for the aristocracy by renowned French master chefs Pierre de La Varenne, creator of béchamel sauce, and George Auguste Escoffier, hotelier, restaurateur, and originator of Peach Melba, are featured alongside the practical household cookery of England’s Han­nah Glasse, notable cookbook author, and New England’s Amelia Simmons, author of the first American cookbook written by a woman and published in the United States. Additional information is available by writing: Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080; by telephoning (412) 622- 3131. Admission.


Geography comes to life in a highly interactive exhibit for families installed at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center. Visitors walk through a giant globe, have their passports stamped at each activity station, and discover what triggers a tornado, cyclone, hurricane, and earthquake. They also learn about the unusual geography of western Pennsylvania and how geog­raphy plays an important role in the evo­lution of an area’s population. Earth 2 U: Exploring Geography, a traveling exhibit created by the Smithsonian Institution, continues through Sunday, November 3. To obtain additional information, write: Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Pitts­burgh, PA 15222-4200; telephone (412) 454-6000. Admission.


Biodiversity 911: Saving Life on Earth, on view at the Academy of Natural Sciences through Tuesday, September 3, has transformed the Philadelphia institution into a bustling “environmental hospital,” and offers visitors the opportunity to “make the rounds” as doctors. The theme addresses the critical issues facing the health of the environment and explains the reasons for the continuing loss of bio­diversity and what individuals can do to help slow it. Since its founding in 1812, the Academy has been a world leader in biodiversity research and this exhibit makes its work relevant to everyday lives. For more information, write: Acad­emy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19103- 1195; telephone (215) 299-1000. Admission.