“Customs and Culture Through the Eyes of Dutch Artists”: Dutch-American Heritage Day program at Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum on Nov. 14, 2015
-Listing of museum events through December 2015 also included-
(DOVER, Del.—Nov. 5, 2015)—The Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will celebrate Dutch-American Heritage Day with “Customs and Culture Through the Eyes of Dutch Artists,” a presentation on how art reveals ways of life that were prevalent during the times that the artists were living and working. The presentation will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. In addition, the museum will be featuring Dutch-related activities between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. including crafts, a display of Dutch products, the proclamation of Dutch-American Heritage Day and a Power Point presentation on the “First Salute” to the flag of the United States. Admission to all activities is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.
Dutch-American Heritage Day commemorates Nov. 16, 1776, the day when the American warship Andrew Doria sailed into the harbor of the Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Only four months before, the United States had declared its independence from Great Britain. The American crew was delighted when the governor of the island, Johannes de Graaf, ordered that his fort’s cannons be fired in a friendly salute. This salute, the first ever given by a foreign power to the flag of the United States, was a risky and courageous act. The British, angered by Dutch trade and contraband with the rebellious colonies, seized St. Eustatius a few years later. De Graaf’s welcoming “First Salute” was a sign of respect that continues to symbolize the deep ties of friendship that exist between the United States and the Netherlands.
The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped-facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters.
Following is a schedule of the museum’s special events through December 2015. All programs take place at the Zwaanendael Museum located at 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Del. Museum hours from Nov. 1 to March 31 are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From April 1 to Oct. 31, museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.
Zwaanendael Museum special events through December 2015
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
“Preservation 50: ‘Voices from the Past.’ ” Lecture by Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ National Register of Historic Places coordinator, on the historical events which led to the 1793 transfer of the Sussex County seat from Lewes to Georgetown, and the 1976 restoration of the old court house in Georgetown. 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015
Dutch-American Heritage Day. Activities will include Dutch crafts, historical information and “Customs and Culture Through the Eyes of Dutch Artists,” a presentation on how art reveals ways of life that were prevalent during the artists’ lifetimes. Presentation at 2 p.m. Other Dutch-related programs 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015
“Hospitality Night.” Holiday-themed program in which the museum will be decorated for the season by the Sussex Gardeners. Activities will include music, demonstrations and seasonal refreshments. Presented in partnership with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. 5–8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015
“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Zwaanendael Museum exhibits and displays
“Delaware and the War of 1812.” Exhibit examines the service and sacrifice of Delawareans of 1812 to 1815, and the important role that the state played in a conflict that helped shaped the development of the United States.
“Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Display explores the DeBraak, a shipwrecked 18th-century British warship including a photo of the hull recovery, reproductions of items aboard ship, and a model of the vessel.
“A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798 to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century.