State Museum of Pennsylvania Invites Artists to Apply for Art of the State: 2016 Juried Exhibition

State Museum of Pennsylvania Invites Artists to Apply for Art of the State: 2016 Juried Exhibition

Harrisburg, PA – The State Museum of Pennsylvania invites artists from across Pennsylvania to apply by Monday, February 29 for an opportunity to showcase their work in Art of the State®: Pennsylvania 2016, a juried art exhibition. The exhibition will run from June 26 to September 11 at The State Museum in Harrisburg. Artists who …

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Border dispute paves way for the Mason-Dixon Line

Border dispute paves way for the Mason-Dixon Line

Originally 5 feet tall and weighing roughly 600 hundred pounds, this stone was cut from a limestone quarry in Portland, England. The stone, and others like it, were shipped to the American colonies and installed every five miles along what is now known as the Mason-Dixon Line. Each stone was inscribed with the Penn family crest …

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Weathered Revolutionary War flag to unfold its story​

Weathered Revolutionary War flag to unfold its story​

After 239 years, this flag has certainly seen better days! The flag belonged to the First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Line between 1776 and 1783. Initially commanded by Carlisle native Col. William Thompson, the regiment was later led by Lt. Col. Thomas Robinson. A March 8, 1776 letter drafted by Lt. Col. Edward Hand …

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Mapping Pennsylvania history, one stitch at a time

Mapping Pennsylvania history, one stitch at a time

Only three 19th century samplers depicting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are believed to still exist and, of those, two are the work of a young Pennsylvania public school girl named Elizabeth Leoser. One of her works was purchased by the State Museum of Pennsylvania in 1989. CAP Curator Amy Frey selected this artifact as this week’s …

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Hunting down an Easter egg mystery: Who is MH?

Hunting down an Easter egg mystery: Who is MH?

The Pennsylvania German tradition known as oier gritzel, or egg scratching, created colorful Easter eggs from chicken, goose or duck eggs. Each member of the family would receive a decorated egg to mark the holiday. This decorated egg is dated “April 16, 1790” and marked “MH,” most likely the initials of the person the artist …

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A traveling tinker, a teapot and its “make-do” handle

A traveling tinker, a teapot and its “make-do” handle

As curators, we see thousands of objects in varying states of condition. Initially, this ceramic ironstone teapot, with its missing and replaced parts, seemed a likely candidate for deaccessioning. The institutional practice of removing objects from a collection, deaccessioning an object may occur for many reasons, the most likely being deteriorated condition. While museums are …

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Game of Gowns: How well do you know Pennsylvania’s former first ladies?

Game of Gowns: How well do you know Pennsylvania’s former first ladies?

While many Inauguration Day events tend to focus on the new governor, the swearing-in ceremony and the gala that follows is often a time for the new first lady to shine. Historically, on that day, the first lady will mark her husband’s inauguration by donning an elegant dress. The gown is often representative of a …

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Victorian-era accessories: Fashion statements peppered in beads and embroidery

Victorian-era accessories: Fashion statements peppered in beads and embroidery

The dawn of a new year serves as a time for celebration and an opportunity to reflect on the past. This New Year’s Eve, imagine what it would have been like to welcome a new beginning during the Victorian era. For one thing, women didn’t have purses at the end of the 18th century. They …

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Annie McCormick’s silver flower bowl: From birthday gift to artifact

Annie McCormick’s silver flower bowl: From birthday gift to artifact

  This silver flower bowl, a birthday gift for the matriarch of the McCormick family, is decorated with elaborate scenes from Rosegarden, the family’s country estate. Collections Advancement Project Curator Amy Frey nominated the bowl for this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure. Made by S. Kirk and Sons of Baltimore, the flower bowl is covered in a …

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Inaugural ball gowns: Pennsylvania’s wearable works of art

Inaugural ball gowns: Pennsylvania’s wearable works of art

Inaugural ball gowns worn by Pennsylvania’s former first ladies are treasured as historic works of art worthy of collection and preservation, as is the case of Mary McAllister. The wife of former Gov. James Beaver, McAllister wore this beige and yellow silk faille gown to the 1887 inaugural ball. CAP Curator Katelyn Adam nominated this …

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