January History Alive Newsletter

A Momentous Year Begins!

From the desk of
Burt Kummerow

Volume 3 Issue 1
January 9, 2014

Dear Reader,

The Maryland Historical Society is continuing its busy schedule of events during the ups and down of the Old Line State's winter weather months. We're welcoming a popular Comedy Central TV show to Baltimore that has been selling a very irreverent view of American History. We are also gearing up for a full slate of great Francis Scott Key lectures, mining our first class collections with nationally known curators and other cultural scholars. Other great events will follow.

In the midst of our regular programs here in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, we are launching our Star-Spangled Year with a media blast that is traveling all over the nation. We have been saying for some time that we have a big story to tell. It is a story that cuts to the very fabric of our national identity. As we join our friends at the Maryland 1812 Bicentennial Commission, Star Spangled 200 and Fort McHenry, we are now telling the country that the citizens of our unique democratic republic are in for both a special treat and an important history lesson. Our Star-Spangled Banner manuscript, penned in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, will join the original Star-Spangled Banner Flag now displayed in a beautiful new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

This event, joining two American icons for the first time, will occur in June of 2014. Those couple of weeks on the National Mall will usher in a summer and fall of events long anticipated by those of us preaching the importance of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. We will be sharing more details with you in the coming weeks, and we are looking forward to a great year of commemorations for the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland and the Maryland Historical Society! At 170 years and counting, the Society is looking to the future with a once in a lifetime visit to America's exciting and dramatic past!

'Drunk History' Filming: Tonight!

Here's your casting call! As we mentioned on Tuesday, we are excited to announce that Comedy Central's popular new TV show, 'Drunk History,' will be filming in Baltimore - tonight!

Drunk History logo
Courtesy Comedy Central
The taping will take place from 8pm-1 am at Mother's Grille in Federal Hill, located at 1113 S. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21230. Baltimore native and 'Drunk History' creator Derek Waters will be there, and so will we. We're proud that he's bringing our state's fascinating history to a new, young audience, and to do so in a humorous way.

Arrive early as there's sure to be a crowd, and get ready for some fun - of historic proportions!

Spring 2014 Events Preview 

The Artistic Legacy of the Calverts and Arundells
in England and America

Calvert Detail
Detail of MS174-38 Patent of Nobility. King James I to George Calvert, 1624, MdHS
On Thursday, February 6 from 6-8pm, discover the artistic legacy of Maryland's founding families. Dr. Henry M. Miller, Director of Research and Maryland Heritage Scholar, Historic St. Mary's City, will examine the engagement of the Calvert and Arundell families in art during the 17th century. Among the topics explored are surviving works in architecture, funerary art, portraits, coins and medals, and decorative creations. Where possible, the identities of the artists they employed will be discussed and placed into the context of the time. One subject of special note is a game board believed to be painted by Maryland's foundress, Anne Arundell Calvert.

This event is part of our Francis Scott Key Lecture Series. Tickets are $40/lecture; $175/individual series; $300 couple series. The lecture begins at 6:30pm, and there will be an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. To register, click here.

Bootleggers Bash: Rebooted

The Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society are proudly hosting the Bootleggers Bash: Rebooted on Saturday, February 22! We had so much fun at last year's Baltimore Bootleggers Bash that we had to do it again: REBOOTED! This year, we'll be rocking the night away in the 1840s Plaza. It's a bigger, grander venue so we can share that Young Defenders spark with more of our friends! We're thinking less speak-easy and more Gatsby, so brace yourself for a night of indulgence, spectacle, and dancing. With two bars, a full dance floor, and a stunning view of downtown, you might call it a Caesar's Palace for local flappers.

Guests at last year's Bootleggers Bash
Baltimore's own Full Tilt Brewing will be pouring libations throughout the evening at their very own bar, and we'll see a repeat of last year's top-notch cocktails from small-batch, craft distilleries. To top it off, True Chesapeake Oysters will be shucking their bounty from the Bay. All beverages and appetizers are included with ticket purchase. Live music is provided by hometown hero Bosley! A true entertainer making big band scale music with a funk sensibility, he's sure to keep us dancing till our legs give out.

The evening begins at 9 pm. Tickets are $65 for Maryland Historical Society members and $75 for nonmembers. Order your ticket before February 1, and you will receive $10 off the full ticket price! For complete details and to order tickets, click here.

Bus Trip: The Costumes of Downton Abbey at Winterthur

Excited for the new season of Downton Abbey? Then travel with us to Winterthur as we get a first look at Costumes of Downton Abbey, an original exhibition of exquisite designs from the award-winning television series!

Downton Abbey
Image courtesy P and P Tours
Our trip begins on Saturday, March 1 at 9 am. Approximately 40 historically inspired costumes from the television show will be displayed and supplemented by photographs and vignettes inspired by the fictional program and by real life at Winterthur. You'll have the chance to step into and experience the world of Downton Abbey and the contrasting world of Winterthur founder Henry Francis du Pont and his contemporaries in the first half of the 20th century.

Experience this fabulous exhibition during the premiere weekend with an exclusive tour of the gallery and enjoy a champagne luncheon at the historic Green Room at the Hotel du Pont. We'll return to the Maryland Historical Society at 6pm that day.

This special trip is sure to sell out! Tickets are $175-get yours now while you can by clicking here.

Alfred Jacob Miller and His Painting
in Baltimore During the Civil War

Horse Painting
MA2113 "Shoshone Indian and his pet Horse," Oil on Canvas by Alfred Jacob Miller, MdHS
The next lecture in our Francis Scott Key Lecture Series will focus on painter Alfred Jacob Miller, and will be held on Thursday, March 6 from 6pm-8pm.

In 1837, Alfred Jacob Miller became one of the first artists to travel to the Rocky Mountains and paint scenes of trappers and Native Americans in the fur trade. Miller produced a series of field sketches from the trip that he re-worked into finished watercolors and oils for a variety of patrons in Baltimore over the following thirty years.

Although Miller's paintings of the western landscape may seem far removed from life in Baltimore during the Civil War years, Miller sold more of his western scenes during the war than at any other period. Presented by Lisa Strong, Manager of Curatorial Affairs, Corcoran Gallery of Art, this talk will examine some of Miller's most popular paintings helped to unify merchant Baltimore and create an image of a future disconnected from sectional strife. Tickets are $40/lecture; $175/individual series; $300 couple series. The lecture begins at 6:30pm, and there will be an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Click here to register.

Special Curator's Tour
Hopping the Pond: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte in Europe

"Matilla, black lace. Ca. 1805,"
Maryland Historical Society, XX.5.162.
Please join us Thursday, March 13 at 6pm, as Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch guides visitors through the exhibition Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy.

This special tour will focus on Elizabeth's time spent in Europe and traversing the Atlantic. Light refreshments will be served. This event is FREE for MdHS members; $20/nonmembers. Click here to register.

A Tale of Two Cities: New Perspectives on
Baltimore and Philadelphia Furniture

1992.8.1 Baltimore Empire Painted Settee, c. 1815, MdHS
Distinguishing between furniture made in Philadelphia and Baltimore during the period 1780 to 1820 has confounded many a collector, curator, and dealer. Building on work by esteemed colleagues, recent research has shown that the lines are blurry because of a wonderfully active give and take of designs, artists, and patrons that existed between the two cities beginning in the colonial period and continuing into the early national period.

On Thursday, April 3 from 6pm-8pm, Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, The Montgomery-Garvan Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, will examine the relationship of Philadelphia with its southern neighbor, illustrate furniture documented to each city in hopes of recognizing characteristics, and celebrate the furniture making traditions of both cities.

This event is part of our Francis Scott Key Lecture Series. Tickets are $40/lecture; $175/individual series; $300 couple series. The lecture begins at 6:30pm, and there will be an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. For more details and to register, click here.

Calling All Teachers! Free Professional Development Seminars at MdHS

Does the introduction of the Common Core and the new C3 social studies curriculum have you scratching your head? Just how are you supposed to address ALL these new standards and cover the content, too?

A continuing series of professional development workshops will be offered by the Maryland Historical Society this winter & spring. They will reveal the secrets to using historical investigations to blend Common Core literacy, the social studies skills outlined in C3, and content standards. Participants will receive primary sources CDs, lesson plans, and information regarding available school programs.

Male Protestors
Protest demonstration. Paul Robeson (left) and Dr. John E.T. Camper (right) protesting Ford's Theatre Jim Crow admission policy. Paul Henderson Photograph Collection. Circa 1948
On Saturday, February 8 from 9am-1pm: Teaching the Civil Rights Movement Through Historical Investigations. This seminar will be for Teachers Grades 9-12. Using the rich resources in the MdHS archives related to the Civil Rights Movement, this workshop will introduce teachers to the historical investigations model as an effective way to exercise the critical thinking skills outlined in the new C3 social studies curriculum while delving deeply into content.

And... keep your calendars open in June 2014. We will feature a Middle School Teacher Institute on the War of 1812. Participants in this free, week-long summer institute will learn how to craft their own effective historical investigations using archival sources while building their content knowledge of the War of 1812 through scholarly lectures and field trips! Teachers will earn 2 MSDE credits. More information will be forthcoming, so keep an eye out in future issues of History Alive.

To register for these seminars, teachers may contact David Armenti at darmenti@mdhs.org.

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I hope you're enjoying our monthly History Alive! E-newsletter. If you have a friend or family member who might enjoy receiving up-to-the-minute news and information about our events and exhibitions (and, of course, our trivia questions), simply send them this link: www.mdhs.org/signup

And they can sign up!

Speaking of Trivia...

Trivia Time!

This month, instead of our regular trivia game, we invite you to step away from your computer screens and join us tonight at Mother's! The filming of 'Drunk History' should be a lot of fun; but just remember, it is quite irreverent, and the language is not for modest sensibilities.

Here's to bringing history alive - right here, right now, in Maryland!

Until next month,

Burton Kummerow
President, The Maryland Historical Society

Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society's mission is to "collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland's diverse cultural heritage." The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled "Maryland Historical Magazine." The Society is located at 201 W. Monument Street and open to the public Wednesday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday (library only) 12 pm-5pm.