Connect with others and learn about our Commonwealth by joining The State Museum of Pennsylvania for our 2021 virtual Learn at Lunchtime programs every Friday at 12:15 pm. Learn at Lunchtime features a variety of captivating presentations and live conversations with educators, curators, colleagues, and friends about various Pennsylvania topics.
The State Museum of Pennsylvania remains closed to the public. Sessions will be presented over Zoom and are free, but registration is required. Follow the link in the program title to sign up. Once registration is complete, attendees will receive an attendance link and password.
Learn how you can get a behind-the-scenes look at The State Museum’s and PHMC’s treasures from your own computer. State Museum director Beth Hager will talk with museum collections managers Mary Jane Miller and Lauren Stark and archivist Aaron McWilliams from the State Archives about exploring thousands of historic objects and documents online.
April 30 Treasures from the Vault: Pennsylvania’s Last Mountain Lion
The State Museum’s vast zoological collection contains a mountain lion alleged to be the last documented specimen collected in Pennsylvania. Join the State Museum of Pennsylvania’s Senior Curator of Zoology and Botany, Dr. Walter Meshaka, and Program Director Bradley Smith for a talk about this curious specimen.
May 7 Artists Conversations: Conservation of Violet Oakley’s Drawing
In the spring of 2019, a collection of Violet Oakley’s drawings was conserved at the Conservation Center for Art and Historical Artifacts in Philadelphia. This monumental undertaking was the first time in over a century that the drawings were examined and preserved. Join Heather Hendry, Senior Paper Conservator, and Fine Arts Curator Amy Hammond to hear about this important project.
May 14 Adventures in Nature Lab: Native PA Flowers for Your Garden
Are you planning to plant a flower garden this spring? Join Botanist, Andrew Rohrbaugh from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry for a talk about the value of planting native Pennsylvania plants and flowers to beautify and improve your landscaping.
May 21 Curator’s Choice: Highlights from Game Changers: PA Women who Made History
In March 2020, the State Museum of Pennsylvania premiered a new exhibit featuring portraits of women from across the state, representing fields including education, science, business, human rights advocacy and the arts. Join Dr. Cynthia Little, the exhibit curator, for a discussion highlighting selected game changers.
Past Event Recordings – Click the link in the title.
Join fine arts curator Amy Hammond and photographer Ron Tarver for a discussion of Vented Stream, a cityscape showing Callowhill Street in Philadelphia on a cold winter’s night. While Tarver dedicated decades to capturing Philadelphia’s people, he created Vented Steam during a time when his work focused on isolation and urban remoteness.
February 12 Adventures in Nature Lab How Do Reptiles and Amphibians Survive During Winter in Pennsylvania?
When it gets cold outside, animals have to adapt to survive. Join The State Museum of Pennsylvania’s Senior Curator of Zoology and Botany, Dr. Walter Meshaka and Nature Educator Beth Erikson for a talk about how Pennsylvania frogs and snakes survive during the winter season.
February 19 Curator’s Choice A Spirited Republic: Whiskey Distilling in Pennsylvania
In the 18th and early 19th century, many Central-Pennsylvania farmers distilled whiskey. Join The State Museum of Pennsylvania’s Program Director, Bradley Smith, for a discussion about the prevalence of small farm distilleries and their importance to our region’s economy.
February 26 State Museum Perspectives Exploring Virtual Group Programs
Join Museum Director Beth Hager and our museum educators to find out more about our plans for virtual group programs coming up this spring.
March 5 Artists Conversations Violet Oakley’s William Penn Murals at the PA Capitol
In honor of Charter Day, Historian Jason Wilson of the Capitol Preservation Committee and Fine Arts Curator Amy Hammond will discuss Violet Oakley’s tribute to William Penn in The Founding of the State of Liberty Spiritual, a mural in the Governor’s Reception Room at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Herself a pacifist, Oakley was drawn to Penn’s approach to religious freedom and tolerance. Oakley carefully chose her theme to ensure that Penn’s principles of tolerance and justice would influence future Pennsylvanians.
March 12 Adventures in Nature Lab Songbirds of Pennsylvania
What’s the sound? From warblers to chickadees, songbirds are often heard before they are seen. Join retired PA Game Commission Conservation Officer Scott Bills, as we talk about native songbirds of Pennsylvania and how you can create a safe and inviting habitat for them in your backyard.
March 19 Curator’s Choice Deadly Contact: Europeans, Native Americans, and Pandemics
Across the North American continent, we know that millions of Native Americans died as a result of diseases introduced by the invading Europeans. Join The State Museum of Pennsylvania’s Senior Archaeology Curator, Dr. Kurt Carr, for a presentation about the pandemics which affected Native American populations in Pennsylvania and the surrounding regions.
March 26 State Museum Perspectives Archaeology at Fort Hunter
State Museum Archaeologists chat with State Museum Director Beth Hager about their long-time project discovering the 18th century at Fort Hunter.
Artist and educator Tina Williams Brewer will discuss Yo Bloodline with Fine Arts Curator Amy Hammond. Brewer uses vision, design and textiles to represent African American history and culture in this story quilt.
April 9 Adventures in Nature Lab Vernal Ponds and the animals and plants that need them
April showers don’t just bring rain, they also produce vernal ponds! Join The State Museum’s Nature Educator Beth Erikson and Ryan Reed from the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry for a talk about these seasonal ponds in Pennsylvania and the plants and animals that need them to survive.
Recording Coming Soon
April 16 Curator’s Choice Flyover Pennsylvania: T.M. Fowler’s Bird’s-Eye Views of Pennsylvania Cities and Towns, 1885-1905
Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler – who signed as “T.M. Fowler” — was part of a small group of itinerant artists who made their living by sketching and publishing panoramic views of American cities and towns in the decades after the Civil War. Over 170 of these views are preserved in the permanent collections of the State Museum and the Pennsylvania State Archives. Join The State Museum of Pennsylvania’s Senior History Curator, Dr. Curt Miner, for a discussion about Fowler’s work and legacy.