Maryland Day & Our Spring Events

Maryland Day & Our Spring Events 

From the desk of
Burt Kummerow

Volume 3 Issue 3
March 6, 2014

Dear Reader,

I used to work at Historic St. Mary's City, that wonderful, beautiful spot near the tip of Maryland's western shore. Although the winters in the Free State are rarely terrible (remember Lord Baltimore moved his colony south after spending a miserable winter in Newfoundland in the 1620s), we always looked to a new, welcome season when March arrived. We turned our thoughts to Spring, "LaPrimavera," and Maryland Day.

Unlike other settlers who arrived to found colonies in the fall and even the winter, the Marylanders launched their efforts in St. Mary's City right at the beginning of the planting season. After a long journey across a stormy Atlantic, Governor Calvert and his adventurers made their peace with the local Native Americans and looked forward to a bold success. They had three things to celebrate that March 25, 1634, on St. Clement's Island. It was the Feast of the Annunciation pointing to the beginnings of their Christian faith. The Catholic members of the expedition celebrated a mass free from the persecution that was plaguing their homeland. Finally, it was the first day of the year on their calendar and they were creating a brand new society in a wild land.

Celebrate Maryland Day With Us In Annapolis!

The Ark and Dove
"The Ark and Dove," John Moll, MdHS, M1955.44.1
This Maryland Day, Tuesday, March 25, after an unrelenting winter visit, we again are pointing to new beginnings. As we usher in this Star-Spangled Year of 1812 Bicentennial events, we are partnering with the ship "Pride of Baltimore" and traveling to Annapolis with our recreated Star-Spangled Banner Flag.
We invite you to join us for the display of the Star-Spangled Banner at the Statehouse at 12:30 PM, and an open house on the Pride of Baltimore at the Annapolis City Dock from 2:00-3:00 PM

From the General Assembly to the Ark and Dove Society to the General Public, everyone will be reminded that this is a very special anniversary year for the Old Line State.  Earlier that day, we will join the Society of Colonial Wars in downtown Baltimore to remember our state's pioneering efforts in religious and political toleration during the four centuries of its history. There were many bumps along that long road but we proudly stand on the shoulders of the many generations that built our society.

One of the groups that have played a major role over the centuries is present today in many American families across the nation. Irish Americans have been an essential part of the American and Maryland Experience from the beginning.

March Is "Irish American Heritage Month"

Thomas Ruckle Sr. painting
Assembly of Troops before the Battle of Baltimore,
by Irish-born Thomas Ruckle, Sr., ca. 1814, MdHS, 1879.2.1

Our friends in the state's Irish American community have received special recognition for the heritage that so many of us share. Governor Martin O'Malley, no stranger to his own heritage, has declared March as Irish American Heritage Month.

From Maryland's western frontiers to Baltimore's city docks to the building of the National Road, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal and to fighting America's wars, the Irish are deeply woven into the country's fabric.

This year, as we remember the War of 1812, you'll find a number of prominent Irish immigrants who played important roles in this dramatic story. Baltimore had 50,000 souls, and the majority were Irish immigrants. No friends of the British; recently arrived Irish welcomed a war with the Redcoats. They flocked to Baltimore wharves to build and serve on Maryland's fleet of privateers, determined to prey on British ships. An Irish American captain, known to history as "Wild" Thomas Boyle, made his Baltimore Clipper the "Chasseur" the "Pride of Baltimore" with his famous exploits.

We should remember other Irish immigrant heroes as well. One, John O'Neill, won immortality as a lonely defender of his adopted Havre de Grace in 1813. Another, Thomas Ruckle, a Baltimore house painter, served with the militia at the Battle of North Point and left behind wonderful, accurate paintings of the Battle for Baltimore. Among others, these men, along with Tom Boyle are represented by artifacts and images in the Maryland Historical Society's award-winning 1812 exhibit.

We invite you to visit the Maryland Historical Society this season. We are springing forward from what Lord Baltimore called "the sad face of winter" into the warm weather months of our memorable Star-Spangled Year!

Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial Kick Off Events at The Smithsonian!

Star Spangled Banner Manuscript
"The Star-Spangled Banner," original handwritten manuscript by Francis Scott Key, 1814, MdHS, 54315
Speaking of our Star-Spangled Year, preparations continue to unite our Star-Spangled Banner manuscript, penned in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, with the original Star-Spangled Banner Flag now displayed in a beautiful new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The manuscript will be on display at the National Museum of American History from Flag Day, June 14, through July 6, 2014. There will be many fun events surrounding this occasion, including a Raise it Up! Anthem for America program, which is a call to millions of Americans to simultaneously sing "The Star-Spangled Banner," led by a celebrity artist on the National Mall, steps from the original flag. We will bring you all of the exciting details as they unfold.

Today, March 6, the Smithsonian will host a ceremony for the new Star-Spangled Banner Forever Stamp in partnership with the United States Postal Service. You will definitely want to check it out!

A Newly Restored Downtown Gem  - 
And A Special Invitation To Our 
Lord & Lady Baltimore Gala

Lord Baltimore Hotel
Courtesy Baltimore Sun 
Step inside the Lord Baltimore Hotel, and you'll feel like you've traveled back to the days of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The 23-story hotel was the largest hotel in Maryland when it was built in 1928. Owner Harry Buswick had commissioned architects to tour the historic cities of Europe to inspire them to create the "most beautiful hotel on the Eastern Seaboard."

Now, after a 7-month, multi-million dollar renovation, new owners Don, Mera and Jason Rubell are restoring the hotel to its former, Art Deco glory. According to Fred Rasmussen of The Baltimore Sun, the 440-room hotel was redesigned by interior decorator Scott Sanders and features original artwork from the Rubell Family Collection.

"The Rubells see hotels as being essential and necessary components of any city's cultural life," writes Mr. Rasmussen, "and they say they intend to make the Lord Baltimore a downtown place where people will want to gather."

That makes the new Lord Baltimore Hotel a fitting place to host the Maryland Historical Society's annual gala, which, this year, will be held on Saturday, April 12.

Lord and Lady Baltimore Gala 

Lord Baltimore Hotel
Workers shine the vintage Baccarat chandeliers
One by one, each facet of the priceless Baccarat chandeliers in the historic Calvert ballroom are being polished in anticipation of our April event.

We invite you to enjoy dinner, cocktails, and dancing beginning at 6pm on Saturday, April 12.

You will also have exclusive access to the rooftop bar and its spectacular views of downtown Baltimore.

The theme of our gala will be "Only a Lord Knows How to Treat a Lady," as we celebrate twofold: 1) the restoration of the Lord Baltimore Hotel and 2) the arrival of the Lady Baltimore statue to its permanent, new home at The Maryland Historical Society.

"Our event features an historic hotel to honor historic Lady Baltimore who now graces the Maryland Historical Society entrance hall," says Burt Kummerow, President of the Maryland Historical Society.

You'll remember how last year, the 8-foot Cararra marble goddess affectionately known as Lady Baltimore was moved from her 200-year old perch atop the Battle Monument to an environmentally friendly location at the Maryland Historical Society.

Proceeds from the Lord & Lady Baltimore Gala will support the stewardship and interpretation of Lady Baltimore at the Maryland Historical Society.

This event is black tie attire. Valet parking will be available at 20 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. To order tickets, click here.

Lord and Lady Baltimore Gala After Party 

And at 9 pm on Saturday, April 12, the Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society will host an After Party featuring live music and dancing, a premium open bar and desserts.

The rooftop bar boasts spectacular views of downtown Baltimore. Lord and Lady Costumes are encouraged!

Black tie attire is optional. Valet parking is included. To order tickets, click here.

The Lord & Lady Baltimore Gala and After Party is sponsored and organized by the Lord Baltimore Hotel and Classic Catering, with additional support from the Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society and the 1844 Society

More Spring Events at
The Maryland Historical Society

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

Alfred Jacob Miller painting
"The Trapper's Bride," Alfred Jacob Miller,
The Walters Art Museum, 37.1940.12
In the 1830s and 1840s, the West was still a place of mystery for most easterners. George Catlin had toured many American cities with his collection of Native American portraits, artifacts, and even some willing Native Americans. But there were few paintings of the Rocky Mountain region - and none depicting fully realized genre scenes of the fur trade. For painter Alfred Jacob Miller, it was an opportunity to develop a niche subject matter on which to build his career.

Tonight, Thursday, March 6 from 6pm-8pm, join Lisa Strong, Manager of Curatorial Affairs, Corcoran Gallery of Art, as she examines the life of Baltimore-born Alfred Jacob Miller, and discusses how his Western paintings actually helped to unify merchant Baltimore. 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.

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte in Europe

Robert Lefevre
Pauline Bonaparte Borghese (1780-1825),  Robert Lefevre (1755-1830), painted 1806, Collection of the Palace of Versailles
Join us on Thursday, March 13 at 6pm as Chief Curator, Alexandra Deutsch, guides visitors through the Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy
exhibition with a special focus on Elizabeth's time spent in Europe.
Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was among the first American women to skillfully navigate the aristocratic circles of European society. After her first ill-fated trip abroad in 1805 when she was abandoned by her husband, Jerome Bonaparte, Elizabeth made seven more journeys to the continent. In Paris, Geneva, Florence and England, Elizabeth moved with social ease among the princesses, princes, dukes and duchesses who wandered through post-Napoleanic Europe. Her wit and intelligence won her spots in the most elite intellectual salons of Paris, a feat few Americans achieved. During this tour, Curator Deutsch will discuss the intrigues, romances, friendships and legal battles Elizabeth pursued an ocean away from Baltimore - including her complicated friendship with Pauline Borghese (pictured).

Light refreshments will be served. To register, click here.

Other Maryland Historical Society News

The Young Defenders Bootleggers Bash Was A Smash Hit!

Bootleggers Bash
Image © Anastasia Tantaros l

The Bootleggers Bash: Rebooted was a smash success! The Young Defenders of The Maryland Historical Society want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the Maryland Historical Society.

Check out these amazing shots from the photo booth on our Facebook page! We would like to thank Side A Photography for capturing all the fun!

The Baltimore Sun also covered the event with photos and a video.

We don't want the good times to end and hope you don't either! Consider becoming a Young Defender today. A Young Defender membership is just $50.00 and provides you with special discounts on all our events.

Have You Been Reading The 'Underbelly' Library Blog?

Mount Vernon Place
Mount Vernon Place, (Detail) E. Sachse & Co.'s Bird's Eye View of Baltimore, 1869, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, CB 5457, MdHS.
If not - check it out! Every Thursday, The Maryland Historical Society's library staff posts a new article to their acclaimed blog, called Underbelly.

Underbelly began Black History Month with a post that featured MS 2700, The Astronomical Journal of Benjamin Banneker, a free African American scientist and mathematician who lived near Ellicott City during the turn of the 18th century. This post investigated the mysterious dreams and riddles that are interspersed among the mathematical formulas in the ledger. The blog stayed topical with a Valentine's Day themed post the following week that presented a love poem written for a young Baltimorean named Nannie Frick. Notably this poem was illustrated by famed Civil War artist Adalbert Volck.

In conjunction with the Bootleggers Bash, the library crew assembled a variety of photographs, ephemera, and manuscripts which reminded us of that sad era in history known as Prohibition. Our most popular post of the month revisited the most fantastic map of Baltimore, the Sachse map which took four artists over three years to produce. Reproductions of both the Sachse map and Adalbert Volck's artwork can be seen in the Maryland Historical Society right now along with the original Banneker journal which is currently on display in our "Inventing a Nation" exhibit. Click here to view the complete archive of Underbelly posts.

Have Your Next Event at The Maryland Historical Society!

Event at MdHS
Raise the standard for getting out of the office - host your meeting or corporate event at the Maryland Historical Society! Our inspiring setting comes with all the amenities and efficiencies you'd expect for a productive board meeting, staff retreat, or VIP reception. We have a variety of space options and add-on curatorial talks and docent, we have free parking! Contact Laura Maguire for more information - or 410-812-2337.

Your weekend getaway has just expanded beyond a three-block radius!

The Maryland Historical Society is teaming up with Zipcar.

Get 24/7 access to Zipcars! Simply reserve online, let yourself in with your Zipcard and drive. Members have access to thousands of Zipcars in a bunch of cities. No matter where you drive, gas and insurance are always included in the low hourly and daily rates. Join under the MD Historical Society for just $30 your first year (that's 50% off) and also get $30 in driving credit! Just enter promotional code BALMDHS at signup.

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Speaking of Trivia...

Trivia Time!

Congratulations to everyone who correctly answered last month's question! The Western Maryland city that grew in population and became the second largest city in Maryland in the 1880s was beautiful Cumberland, Maryland.

The main line of the B&O Railroad reached Cumberland in 1842. Along with its ample supply of natural resources such as coal, iron ore, and timber, the railroad's arrival signaled dramatic growth for the town, as it welcomed many new manufacturing businesses. By the 1880s it had become the state's second-largest city.

Ready for this month's question?

Question: The steel mill at Sparrows Point in Baltimore County closed in 2012. In recent decades, the mill has been mired in controversy and experienced changes in ownership in addition to declines in output. However from the 1890s to the middle of the 20th century, Sparrows Point led the world in steel technology and production, primarily under the ownership of Bethlehem Steel. During WWII, Sparrows Point helped meet America's voracious demand for steel for the construction of military vehicles, equipment, and boats. The mill reached its peak 1950s, when it was the world's largest complex of its kind and employed approximately 31,000 workers. The mill's wares make up some of America's most resonant icons from the Empire State Building to Aircraft Carriers. One West Coast landmark in particular highlights its medium in a stunning way that cuts through its notoriously fogging surroundings. Name that landmark!

Email us your answer, and you, too, could win a prize! Best of luck.

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.