Displays at the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover.
The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 59 events between September and December 2012 at the state of Delaware's six museums (The New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum). The vast majority of these activities are free of admission charge. Go to the following for a complete listing of events.
This programming is part of a division initiative begun in January 2012 to significantly increase public activities at the state's museums through simple, low-cost programs designed to not only attract new visitors, but to also offer inducements for people to make return visits to the facilities. Events include repeating programs at multiple sites, themed tours, expanded children's programming including after-school activities and many others. Because the programming is designed to utilize existing resources and personnel, it has a negligible impact on the museums' budgets.
Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the museums of the state of Delaware tell the story of Delaware's contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state's distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place.
Self portrait by Jack Lewis, watercolor, 1988, from the collections of the state of Delaware.
Jack Lewis, an artist whose work captured Delaware's unique history, places and people, died on Aug. 19, 2012 at the age of 99.
A native of Baltimore, Lewis graduated from Rutgers University with an art degree in 1935 at a time when the Great Depression was ravaging artists' careers. In response, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and was stationed in Delaware. From this initial contact, Lewis began a life-long love affair with Delaware that would lead him to take up permanent residence in the state in the 1950s. During service in World War II, he met and married Dorothy Hardin who was serving in the Women's Army Corps as an artist. After the war, Lewis earned a master's degree and taught art in the Kent County public school system, at Delaware Technical and Community College and at the Delaware Correctional Center. He also exhibited and taught at the Rehoboth Art League for many years. In the 1990s, Lewis and his wife moved to Maine where they could be closer to their daughters.
Lewis is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including a Delaware Governor's Award for the Arts (1986) and the Order of the First State (2010), the highest honor for meritorious service that can be conferred by Delaware's governor.
Upon hearing the news of Lewis' passing, Governor Jack Markell issued a statement noting, "Jack Lewis was a great American artist of enormous talent. His work spanned most of a century and painted a vivid story of life in Delaware and the eastern shore. I am sorry to hear of his passing, but feel fortunate that our state was the beneficiary of his talent. His family and friends can find comfort in knowing future generations will be able to see Delaware through his eyes in the great body of work he leaves behind."
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. The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs curates the state's collection of Lewis' works.
Public mausoleum in Riverview Cemetery.
On July 13, 2012, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs received notification from the National Park Service that two additional Delaware properties—the Tunnell-West House in Ocean View and Riverview Cemetery in Wilmington—have been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Tunnell-West House, built between 1868 and 1890, is a significant vernacular-interpretation of the Gothic Revival style and is the oldest known three-bay, two-story frame house with cross gables in Ocean View today. The home retains a high level of integrity represented by its historic plan, materials and interior embellishments such as electroplated hardware, original porcelain door knobs, baseboards, window and door surrounds. Owned by the Town of Ocean View, the building is currently being restored by the Ocean View Historical Society and will function as a museum chronicling the history of coastal towns in the area. The house is located approximately one mile west of Bethany Beach next to Ocean View's John T. West Park.
Located along North Market Street in Wilmington, the 42-acre Riverview Cemetery was founded in 1872 by a coalition of 18 fraternal lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. Now owned and maintained by the Friends of Historic Riverview Cemetery, Inc., the site is the final resting place for 36,000 souls and is still in current use. It was developed in two sections, each with a distinct landscape design. The original southeast side, designed in a formal grid-plan, is the only-known example in the state of Delaware of the work of Hermann J. Schwarzmann, a prominent 19th-century Philadelphia landscape architect associated with the Fairmount Park Commission and the principal architect for the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The northwest side, designed in 1899 by the cemetery's then superintendent, Goldsmith C. Nailor, is laid out in a picturesque serpentine pattern.
The cemetery features a wide range of funerary art made of granite and marble including sculptures of classical figures, obelisks, tablet style markers, draped urns and motifs representing traditional icons of mourning and memorial. The site also features a large public-mausoleum built in 1917 by the Wilmington Mausoleum Company based on the designs created by the American Mausoleum and Construction Company of Clyde, Ohio, an early pioneer in public-mausoleum design. This is not only the first mausoleum erected in the state of Delaware but it is also Delaware's only-known example of the Ohio company's patented mausoleum design. Riverview Cemetery is also historically significant as the recipient of a U.S. patent in 1921 for the manufacture of cement burial-vaults.
The staff of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently completed the first draft of Delaware's statewide historic-preservation plan for 2013-2018. Click here to download a copy of the draft.
Public input is now sought in order to help improve the plan. In addition to comments and suggestions, the division is looking for examples of historic-preservation success stories that can be included in the plan's appendix. Comments, suggestions and additions should be sent, via e-mail, to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than September 7, 2012.
Required as part of the state's Historic Preservation Fund grant from the National Park Service, Delaware's historic-preservation plan includes goals and strategies that benefit preservation advocates in both the public and private sectors. The plan provides all Delawareans who are passionate about historic preservation with a framework for effective decision-making, for coordinating statewide preservation activities and for communicating statewide preservation policy, goals and values to the preservation constituency, decision-makers and interested and affected parties across Delaware.
Jacob Tieman, preservation maintenance
Kellie Mullarkey, volunteer-services coordinator
Amanda Goebel, historic-site interpreter
Deanna Rishell, historic-site interpreter
Greg Buchman, preservation maintenance
Michael Cinque, exhibit-arts specialist
Gavin Malone, historic-site interpreter
During the past several months, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has welcomed a number of new members to its staff including two preservation-maintenance professionals, a volunteer-services coordinator, an exhibit-arts specialist and three historic-site interpreters at the state's museums. Following are profiles of these newest members of the division family:
Preservation-maintenance professionals—there's no job that can't be done
With more than 120 years of combined experience in various trades, the members of the division's Preservation-Maintenance Team can handle any challenge that comes their way in order to maintain, repair and preserve the nearly 90 structures administered by the division.
- After returning from military duty with the U.S. Air Force, Jacob Tieman rejoined the division as a physical-plant maintenance-trades mechanic. A life-long Delawarean with over 16 years experience as a general contractor, he has served for the past 13 years as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves, rising to the rank of technical sergeant. Tieman received his professional training at the Naval Command Training Center in Gulfport, Miss. where he attended the Structural Apprentice Technical Course known as the "builder's school." On May 7, 2012, he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received during operations in Afghanistan.
- Maintenance mechanic Greg Buchman, a graduate of Dover High School, has worked for over 15 years in a variety of trades including carpentry, electrical mechanics, plumbing and automobile mechanics. His prior experience includes work for a number of Delaware companies including Del-Mar Appliance in Dover, Middletown Appliances and Shore Line Electrical in Kenton.
Volunteer-services coordinator—getting people involved in Delaware history
The division's volunteer-services coordinator works to recruit, and fully utilize the talents of, a dedicated cadre of volunteers who can help the agency preserve Delaware's historical legacy.
Kellie Mullarkey was born and raised in Milford, Del. and has a love for all things historical. She holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Mary Washington where she spent a semester serving as a docent for the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond. Prior to becoming volunteer-services coordinator, Mullarkey served as a historic-site interpreter at the division's downtown Dover museums.
Exhibit-arts specialist—helping showcase Delaware's historical legacy
As a member of the division's Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team, the exhibit-arts specialist is responsible for graphic and Web design, as well as tasks associated with the design, fabrication and installation of exhibits at the state's six museums and at associated sites.
A resident of Milford, Del., Michael Cinque graduated in 2008 from Delaware Technical and Community College with a degree in multimedia design. For the past three years, he worked for The First State Heritage Park where he created a wide variety of promotional materials including newspaper and magazine advertisements, brochures, posters, commercials and signs.
Historic-site interpreters—the public face of the state's museums Historic-site interpreters are the division's front-line connection with the public, adding a human face to Delaware history. Through tours and special programming, they provide in-depth information about Delaware's historic places and help bring the people and events of the past to life.
- Bridgeville, Del.'s Amanda Goebel is a seamstress and historical-period-clothing aficionado who has created garments for use by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware where she majored in cultural anthropology and minored in fashion history and material culture. Prior to joining the division, Goebel served as an assistant in the University of Delaware's archeology laboratory and worked on the upcoming university exhibit, "Common Threads: History of Fashion Through a Woman's Eyes."
- Dover, Del. resident Gavin Malone holds a bachelor's degree in history and English from the University of Delaware, a master's degree in history from Salisbury University and a master's degree in teaching from Wesley College. In 2007, during a break in his studies, Malone served as a historic-site interpreter for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs' downtown Dover museums, a position he returned to in June 2012.
- Deanna Rishell, a lifelong resident of Bear, Del., is a 2012 graduate of Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa. where she earned a bachelor's degree in history and secondary education. Passionate about history, Rishell's position as historic-site interpreter for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is her first job working in her chosen field.
Graphophone that was examined in the "America's Lost Treasures" television segment.
The segment of the "America's Lost Treasures" television program that was filmed at Dover, Del.'s Johnson Victrola Museum may be viewed by going to the following link. The program aired on the National Geographic Channel on July 25, 2012.
"America's Lost Treasures" seeks individuals from across the country who own items of historical interest, significance or mystery. It then films interviews with subject-matter experts who can help authenticate, appraise for value and tell a story for these items. Ann Horsey, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs' curator of collections and a subject-matter expert in sound-reproduction machines, was interviewed for the program regarding a Graphophone machine manufactured by Columbia Phonograph in the late 1890s. The museum was selected as the filming venue because of its focus on the life and achievements of Delaware's native son, Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company and a pioneer in the development of the sound-recording industry.
Street scene in the Lewes Historic District.
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be conducting a presentation on tax credits that are available to property owners to help offset costs associated with the rehabilitation and preservation of historic buildings in Delaware. Sponsored by the Lewes Historic Preservation Commission, the presentation will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 at the Lewes City Hall, 114 E. Third St., in Lewes, Del. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-7777.
The presentation will be conducted by Joan N. Larrivee, an architectural historian, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs staff member and coordinator of Delaware's Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. Larrivee has been advising property owners of the tax benefits of preserving historic properties since the inception of the federal preservation-tax-incentive program in 1976, and currently advises applicants seeking credits under both the state and federal programs.
Delaware's Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program assists property owners in the preservation of historic buildings and encourages reinvestment in existing communities by providing Delaware income-tax credits for the substantial rehabilitation of National Register of Historic Places-listed properties. The program provides for a reduction in state income tax equal to a percentage of the monies expended in rehabilitating historic properties.
Delaware historic-preservation tax credits are available to both investors in income-producing properties and to individual homeowners. Properties need not be listed individually in the National Register but may be contributing buildings in a National Register-listed district such as the Lewes Historic District. For additional information on the program, contact Joan Larrivee, manager, Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program at 302-736-7400 or email@example.com.
Volunteers cataloging a quilt at the Quilt Harvest Day that took place in Dover, Del. on July 23, 2011.
The Delaware Quilt Documentation Project will hold a Quilt Harvest Day on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Blue Ball Barn located in Alapocas Run State Park, 1914 W. Park Drive, in Wilmington, Del. The project is designed to record the rich tradition of quilt-making in the state of Delaware and to help preserve its legacy for future generations. Owners of quilts made before 1950 are encouraged to bring their quilts to this informative documentation process which involves photographing each quilt, recording its physical characteristics and gathering historical information about the quilt and/or the quilt-maker. Admission to the session is free and there is no cost for the documentation of quilts made in Delaware. However, a donation is requested for the documentation of quilts without a Delaware provenance.
After the documentation process has been completed, data related to Delaware-made quilts will be compiled and analyzed; and a book featuring the most representative and historically important quilts will be developed. The project plans to mount a traveling exhibition of selected quilts which will be displayed in each of Delaware's three counties.
The Delaware Quilt Documentation Project is a collaborative effort between the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and the University of Delaware. Information about Delaware quilts will be submitted to The Quilt Index, a national data base maintained by The Alliance for American Quilts. The project is supported, in part, by grants from the Delaware Humanities Forum and the National Quilting Association, as well as individual contributions. For additional information, contact project co-coordinators Ann Baker Horsey of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs at 302-739-6402 or Fran Mayhew of the University of Delaware at 302-368-8423.