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  Archived Posts From: 2013


2013 exhibits featured nearly 60 works of art from the state’s collections

Written on: July 23rd, 2013 in ExhibitsNews

EXHIBITS CLOSED on Aug. 25, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013 respectively

During 2013 the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team loaned nearly 60 works of art from the state’s collections to two of Delaware’s most prominent arts organizations—the Rehoboth Art League and the Schwartz Center for the Arts.

Working in partnership with the Rehoboth Art League, located at 12 Dodds Lane in Rehoboth Beach, the CARE Team helped to create the exhibit “Memories of Jack Lewis,” a career retrospective on the beloved artist whose work captured Delaware’s unique history, places and people. Lewis died on Aug. 19, 2012 at the age of 99. The exhibit was on display from July 19 to Aug. 25, 2013.

Hearns Mill by Jack Lewis 1954

Hearns Mill by Jack Lewis 1954

The state of Delaware owns more than 400 of Lewis’ works from every period in his career including a set of monumental murals which adorn the upper walls of both the Senate and the House of Representatives chambers in Legislative Hall, and numerous paintings which grace the walls of public buildings across the state including Buena Vista, the Carvel State Office Building and the Townsend Building. In addition to the loan of more than 30 of Lewis’ works for the Art League’s exhibit, the CARE team matted and framed each of the paintings and created the descriptive labels that accompany each work.

The partnership with the Rehoboth Art League is one of several in which the division has participated in recent years as part of its Affiliates Program which utilizes professionals from the division staff—including exhibit designers, curators, editors, museum managers, archaeologists and historians—who work with history- and heritage-based organizations throughout Delaware to develop joint programs and exhibits, including potential display of items from the state’s collections. The program has had great success in creating new opportunities for the division to serve the public in communities where it has not previously had a presence. Other organizations that are participating in the Affiliates Program include the Historic Odessa Foundation, Middletown Historical Society, Laurel Historical Society, Seaford Historical Society, Bethel Historical Society, the Rehoboth Beach Museum and the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware.

The Flamboyant Tree by Dr. Juan LaComba

The Flamboyant Tree by Dr. Juan LaComba

Print by unknown Puerto Rican artist will be on display at the Schwartz Center for the Arts beginning Aug. 5, 2013

Print by unknown Puerto Rican artist will be on display at the Schwartz Center for the Arts beginning Aug. 5, 2013

At the Schwartz Center for the Arts, located at 226 S. State St. in Dover, the CARE Team created an exhibit of works by Hispanic artists from the Norma Varisco de García Collection which was donated to the state of Delaware in 2012. The exhibit featured 17 paintings by American, Puerto Rican, Argentinean and Mexican artists including five works by Juan Perez, a Guatemalan native who now lives in Georgetown, Del. The exhibit was on display from Aug. 5 to Dec. 31, 2013.

Cockfight by René V. Herrera

Cockfight by René V. Herrera

About the collections of the state of Delaware…

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs conserves a significant collection of historic materials owned by the state of Delaware including museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art, library and archival materials and oral histories which are utilized in developing exhibits and educational programs that illuminate the state’s historical and cultural legacies for the benefit of present and future generations.

Although the state’s collections are featured prominently in division-sponsored exhibits, the sheer number of items makes it impossible for all of the materials to be formally displayed at one time. In order to maximize public access to the collections, the division loans items to museums across Delaware and the nation, and manages a program that places collections objects in government offices and public buildings across the state. Examples of this partnership include the display of murals at the Delaware Veterans Home and Delaware Public Archives; the placement of historical furnishings at Woodburn, the Governor’s House and at the Buena Vista Conference Center; and the display of various paintings and furnishings in Legislative Hall, at the Governor’s three offices and in courthouses across the state. The division hopes to make even more items from the collections available for public viewing in coming years.


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Watch C-SPAN Segments Filmed in Dover, Del.

Written on: July 19th, 2013 in EducationHistoric SitesMultimediaNews

Masthead for C-SPAN's television segments filmed in Dover, Del.

Beginning on July 20, 2013, C-SPAN, the public-affairs television network, will be posting 13 television segments on its website featuring the literary life and history of Delaware’s capital city of Dover. The segments can be viewed at the following Web address: www.c-span.org/LocalContent/Dover.

C-SPAN will also be broadcasting the segments on non-fiction book channel BookTV (on C-SPAN2) and history channel American History TV (on C-SPAN3) during the weekend of July 20 and 21, 2013. In addition to having the segments sprinkled in throughout the weekend on the respective networks, both American History TV and Book TV will broadcast the following block programming where all of their respective Dover pieces will air.

American History TV segments to be broadcast on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 5 p.m. ET

  • See the Johnson Victrola Museum which salutes one-time Dover resident Eldridge Reeves Johnson. Johnson founded the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901. Hear Ann Baker Horsey, curator of collections for the Delaware Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs, talk about Johnson’s early years in Dover and how his innovations changed “talking machines.” See and hear the machines that are on display in the museum.
  • Tour Delaware‘s historic Old State House and learn about the history of the first capitol building in Dover. Located on the historic Green, The Old State House has served as a focal point in the state’s civic life for over two centuries. Hear the stories of some of the people who once walked the halls of this historic building.
  •  Explore the Air Mobility Command Museum where museum director Mike Leister shows some of the aircraft once used in the airlift and air refueling mission of the U.S. Air Force. Follow Leister inside a retired C-47 that was used in D-Day operations and a C-133 once used to haul strategic missiles, and venture up into the old control tower that once sat on the Dover Air Force Base grounds.
  • Hear about the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations—Dignified Transfer which receives the remains of America’s fallen at Dover Air Force Base. Its mission is to fulfill the nation’s sacred commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen; and providing care, service and support for their families. One of its responsibilities is that of a solemn dignified transfer of the remains upon arrival at the base. In March 2009, the U.S. Secretary of Defense announced a change in policy which now permits media access to cover dignified transfers—with the consent of the families. Hear Colonel John Devillier, Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations commander, talk about the Port Mortuary and the importance of the dignified transfer.
  • Learn about Delaware and the state’s political history with Governor Jack Markell (D-Del.).
  • Investigate John Dickinson, an American lawyer and politician who made many contributions to the founding of the United States. While serving as president (governor) of Delaware, Dickinson drafted a manual to ready the state’s militia for battle. Filmed during a meeting of the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion, hear Chuck Fithian, archaeologist with the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, talk about Dickinson’s efforts to develop the manual and maintain the state’s defenses.

Book TV segments to be broadcast on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. ET

  • Jane Calvert, author of “Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson,” discusses the life and impact of Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution,” through a series of his writings.
  • Explore the Delaware Public Archives rare-book collections as Archives director Stephen Marz takes us through some of the rare collections and shows the unique process of preparing and storing these historical books.
  • Hear author, Vincent DePaul Gisriel talk about his book “Hearts Away, Bombs Away.”
  • Listen to Dr. Bradley Skelcher, author of “African American Education in Delaware,” as he explores the history of African Americans’ struggles in the post-Civil War era. Skelcher shares his stories through photos of African Americans who fought to provide an education for their children.
  • Learn about the Delaware Heritage Commission from its chairman Richard Carter as he talks about the importance of the commission and the impact it has had on Delaware’s history.
  • John Alstadt, author of “With Love to Yourself and Baby: The Story of the Poison Candy Murders,” discusses the first murder-by-mail case in Dover which occurred in August 1898.
  • Visit Marie Shane, co-owner of Acorn Books—the only bookstore within 40 miles of Dover—to hear about the challenges of owning an independent bookstore.

All of the video segments were filmed during June 2013 as part of C-SPAN’s 2013 Cities Tour, a partnership with Comcast Cable that takes the network’s Book TV and American History TV on the road. From its debut in 2011 to date, the C-SPAN Cities Tour has visited 31 cities across the nation. The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with C-SPAN, Comcast and the City of Dover, helped organize the many logistics associated with filming at the respective sites around the city.

Created by the cable TV industry and now serving 100 million TV households, C-SPAN programs three public-affairs television networks in both standard-definition and high-definition video; C-SPAN Radio, heard in Washington D.C. and nationwide via XM Satellite Radio; and a video-rich website which hosts the C-SPAN Video Library.

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Changes Coming to the Division’s E-newsletter

Written on: July 18th, 2013 in News

Beginning in July 2013, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs began the process of simplifying the design of its e-newsletter to make it more compatible with hand-held computing devices such as smart phones and tablets.

During the first phase of the transition process which will begin with the August 2013 edition, newsletter articles will be created using WordPress, an interactive blogging tool that utilizes plug-in architecture and a template system to simplify and standardize the graphic design of text and photos. Go to the following to subscribe directly to the Delaware Historical and Cultural Affairs Blog.

In future issues, the division will phase-out the multi-pane template that has been used since 2008 to distribute the newsletter as an e-mail. Due to the complexity of this template, the design of the newsletter often appears scrambled on a variety of computing devices including smart phones. The new, greatly simplified, design will help standardize the appearance of the newsletter no matter which computing device is being used. Future improvements to the newsletter will include an on-line calendar of events and use of enhanced mailing list software.

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Free Black Communities of the 19th Century

Written on: July 18th, 2013 in EducationEvents

On Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware will present “Free Black Communities of the 19th Century,” a dual lecture conducted by cultural-heritage consultant Janet L. Sheridan who will discuss Marshalltown which was established circa 1830 in Salem County, N.J., and Dr. Rebecca Sheppard, associate director of the Center for Historic Architecture and Design at the University of Delaware, who will discuss Polktown, a cultural community within, and adjacent to, Delaware City, Del. which was studied as part of a 2008-2010 grant from the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Former one-room schoolhouse, constructed circa 1880, in Marshalltown, Mannington Township, Salem County, N.J. Historically a school for black children, it may have become racially integrated in the late 1940s. In 1951 it was closed as a school and converted into a residence before falling into disuse.

Former one-room schoolhouse, constructed circa 1880, in Marshalltown, Mannington Township, Salem County, N.J. Historically a school for black children, it may have become racially integrated in the late 1940s. In 1951 it was closed as a school and converted into a residence before falling into disuse.

“Free Black Communities of the 19th Century” will take place at the Delaware City Public Library, located at 250 Fifth St., in Delaware City, Del. Sponsored by the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware, the lecture is one of four program meetings that the coalition presents annually throughout the state. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information about the program, call Debra Martin of the coalition at 302-576-3107. Call 302-834-4148 to contact the Delaware City Public Library.

The Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware is a group of private and government organizations and individuals dedicated to sharing the profound stories of the people who escaped from slavery and those in Delaware who assisted them in seeking freedom. To this end, the group provides a forum for gathering and encouraging research; linking local, regional and national resources; and sharing information with the public. The coalition also promotes the preservation of Underground Railroad sites in the state so that future generations may experience the power of these genuine historic places. Staff members of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs serve as members of the coalition.

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