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March 18: William Blair Gallery Talk

William Blair, Liberal Arts Research Professor of American History and director of the Richards Civil War Era Center, will give a gallery talk titled, The Politics Behind the Art, on Friday, March 18, at 12:10 p.m.
When Mar 18, 2011
from 12:10 PM to 01:10 PM
Where Palmer Lipcon Auditorium
Contact Name
Contact Phone 814-865-7672
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Palmer Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition John Rogers: American Stories on February 22, 2011. The exhibition, organized by the New-York Historical Society and drawn from its comprehensive collection of works by the artist, will be on view through May 15.

John Rogers (1829–1904) was indisputably the most popular American sculptor of the nineteenth century and perhaps the most successful American sculptor ever. A pioneering realist who depicted themes related to the Civil War as well as charming vignettes of daily life, he sold an estimated 80,000 plasters, known as “Rogers Groups,” to middle-class Americans during his lifetime.

An astute and tireless marketer, Rogers wanted to make his sculptures affordable for a broad audience. He advertised widely, established a factory for large-scale production, and shipped his plasters across the country at a time when the average American had little access to original works of art. More than any other artist of his day, Rogers reached Americans en masse, and his new democratic art form addressed the issues that shaped their lives and defined the American experience.

History buffs will no doubt find much of interest in the exhibition, particularly in this year marking the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War. Rogers’ war-related sculptures cover a wide range of subjects from the humorous to the profound. He addressed heroism at the battlefront, scenes of camp life, sensitive questions of race, and the dangers and complexities of life on the home front. Most of his works celebrated the anonymous soldier and the families behind the lines dealing with a changed world.

All lectures and films are held in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium and all gallery talks begin in the Christoffers Lobby. The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is located on Curtin Road and admission is free. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays. Reduced hours over Spring break: March 5–13, 2011, noon to 4:00 p.m. 

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October 27-30: Southern Annual Meeting

The Southern Historical Association annual meeting will be held on October 27-30, 2011, in Baltimore, MD.
When Oct 27, 2011 08:00 PM to
Oct 30, 2011 11:00 AM
Where Sheraton Baltimore City Center
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The Southern Historical Association annual meeting will be held at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center on October 27-30, 2011.  More details can be found on the Association's website.

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Outstanding LA Alumni Awards

Lawrence J. McCabe earned his bachelor's degree in Arts and Letters (1957) from the College of the Liberal Arts.

The College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society selected two Alumni, including Lawrence J. McCabe, for the Outstanding Liberal Arts Alumni Award.

Larry is a retired senior vice president and corporate counsel for H. J. Heinz Company of Pittsburgh.  He and his wife Gretchen help fund the McCabe Greer professorship in the Era of the Civil War and the Lawrence J. and Gretchen McCabe Graduate Scholarship in the Richards Civil War Era Center. Both are members of the Board of Directors for the Center.

The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes Liberal Arts alumni for extraordinary professional accomplishments and success and influence as leaders. Candidates should have a record of significant career achievements and be outstanding role models for current Liberal Arts students.




Distinguished Alumni Awards

George T. Richards earned his bachelor's degree in commerce (1954) from the College of the Liberal Arts.

The Penn State Board of Trustees selected seven Penn State alumni, including George T. Richards, to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's highest award for an individual.  (Penn State Live - January 21, 2011)


Both family history and the love of a liberal arts education ignited George Richards' passion for Penn State and Civil War era history. Two of his great-grandfathers served in the Union Army during the Civil War, a connection that led him to take an active interest in the Civil War Era Center in the College of the Liberal Arts during its formative years.

As an undergraduate student at Penn State, George was manager of the varsity boxing team, served as president of the Sigma Nu fraternity, and chaired the campuswide activities of Spring Week, a week-long series of events that raised scholarship funds.  After graduating in 1954 with a degree in commerce, he served in the U.S. Army before earning an MBA from Harvard University.

George worked at Alcoa and later, at The Dexter Corporation, before founding Vitex Packaging, a manufacturer of packaging materials for tea and other consumer goods industries. Under his leadership, the company became the leading supplier to the tea industry in the U.S., the company`s largest market, and held a major market share in Asia. He also served as president of the Tea Association of the U.S.A.

In 1998, George sold the company, which eventually diversified to produce flexible packaging products for the food and beverage, health and beauty, and medical industries.  Currently, he serves on the boards of directors of several corporations and is actively involved in commercial real estate investments.

George enjoyed watching Penn State grow into a top public university.  The George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center builds Penn State’s reputation even further as it continues its momentum as a top research center. In 2002, George and Ann, his wife, made a significant gift to the Center, providing critical funding for graduate student and faculty research as well as outreach programs for students and teachers.  George serves on the Center’s advisory board and provides active leadership to the Center and its initiatives. In recognition of their generosity, the University named the Center in the couple's honor. Today, the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center is a national leader in Civil War era research.

The Richards endowed the Bart Richards Award in Media Criticism in the Penn State College of Communications, in honor of George's father. George has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mark Twain House and Museum for some years and served as its Vice-Chairman.



April 1 & 2: Richards Center Graduate Student Conference

Landscapes of Freedom: A graduate student conference presented by The George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, The Pennsylvania State University, April 1-2, 2011
When Apr 01, 2011 05:00 PM to
Apr 02, 2011 05:00 PM
Where Days Inn Penn State
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Friday, April 1

5:00-6:00 PM: Registration and Opening Reception

6:00 PM: Dinner and Keynote Address by Dr. Anthony Kaye

Saturday, April 2

8:30-9:00 AM: Breakfast and Coffee

9:00 AM: Introductory Remarks by Dr. William Blair

9:30-11:30 AM:  Radical Dissent: Citizenships, Identity, and Protest

  • “We Who Are Natives”: Antebellum Black Protest and the Redefining of American Citizenship, Michael D. Lipton, Binghamton University

  • Michael Corcoran, Matthew Murphy, and the Corcoran Irish Legion: The Destruction of the Heart of the Fenian Brotherhood, Christopher Michael Garcia, Old Dominion University

  • “The Right of Americans to Review their National History:”Partisanship, Unionism, and Dissent in Fourth of July Orations in Antebellum America, Evan Rothera, The Pennsylvania State University

12:30-2:30 PM:  Beyond the Emancipation Proclamation: Slavery, Freedom, and Everything in Between

  • Realms of Freedom in Post-Emancipation Barbados, Caree Banton, Vanderbilt University
  • Re-Imagining the Past: Post-Emancipation Cultural Myths in Russian and American Literature, Amanda Brickell, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
  • Practices of Ransoming and Redemption: Two Tropes of Contract Freedom in Antislavery Sierra Leone, Theodore Rose, University of Chicago

2:45-4:45 PM:  Southern Landscapes, Southern Bodies: Freedom and the Environment

  • Dixie’s Dirt, or Cleanliness and the Slave South, 1830-1860, Sean Trainor, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Nature Off the Plantation: African Americans and the Environment in the Post-Reconstruction Fiction of Charles Chestnutt and Alice Dunbar-Nelson, William Woolfitt, The Pennsylvania State University
  • “To Make Another New England”: White Northern Reformers and the Sea Island Landscape During the Civil War, Brian Hamilton, University of Wisconsin—Madison

4:45-5:00 PM: Closing Remarks

5:30 PM: Dinner for all who are interested

Sponsored by the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) We the People Initiative. 

February 2: Department of History Brown Bag Series – Mark E. Neely, Jr.

Mark E. Neely, Jr., "Secession as the De Ratification of the Constitution"
When Feb 02, 2011
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 102 Weaver Building
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Dr. Mark E. Neely, Jr., McCabe Greer Professor in the American Civil War Era, will be presenting, "Secession as the De Ratification of the Constitution" during the Department of History Brown Bag Series February 2.