(DOVER, Del.—July 19, 2017)—The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 11 special events during the month of August at the museums of the State of Delaware. A full schedule is included below. With the exception of DeBraak tours, all programs are free and open to the public.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, August 2017
Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017
National Night Out in Historic New Castle. Annual community-building, family friendly event that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. Activities at Battery Park include New Castle City Police and Good Will Fire Co. activities, K-9 demonstrations, music, food and more. Activities at the New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., include historical interpreters in period clothing, colonial children’s games, coloring activities and photo opportunities in the colonial stock. 6–8 p.m. 302-323-4453.
Wednesdays, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2017
“Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Special tour explores the 18th-century history, artifacts and the surviving hull section of this shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 9 a.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-645-1148.
Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017
“Who Done It: A Historic Murder Mystery.” Fictionalized historical play in which museum guests assist Delaware’s Dr. James Sykes in questioning suspects in the death of Samuel Bedford, III. Based on a real 18th-century medical mystery solved by Dr. Sykes. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performances at 1 and 3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5054.
Saturdays, Aug. 5 and 19, 2017
“Johnson Victrola Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: An Inventor’s Tale.” Guided tours, entitled “From Tinfoil to the 78,” explore the origins of recorded music from the earliest tinfoil phonographs of Thomas Edison to the Victrola of Eldridge Reeves Johnson’s Victor Talking Machine Company while discovering the brilliant inventors and engineers who took recorded music from a novelty to a daily part of life. Accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Part of a series of programs celebrating the museum’s creation in 1967. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.
Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017
“Doctor Who and William Penn.” Theatrical performance in which the Time Lord once again visits Dover, this time bringing his newest companion, William Penn, all the way from 1704 England. Mr. Penn will soon discover that no journey through time and space ever goes smoothly. Presented in coordination with Dover Comic Con. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but visitors are encouraged to arrive early to ensure seating. 302-744-5054.
Exhibits and displays, August 2017
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays:
Thru Dec. 31, 2017
“Rose Color to Gold to Glowing Red: Orville and Ethel Peets in Paris 1913-1914.” Exhibit featuring paintings and painting materials used by the noted Delaware artists Orville Houghton Peets and Ethel Canby Peets. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
“Drawing America to Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts in World War I.” Online exhibit revolves around 27 World War I posters from the collections of the State of Delaware.
“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. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
“Five Stories.” Display explores the varied lives of people who lived on the plantation including Dickinson family members, tenant farmers, tradesmen, free blacks, indentured servants and enslaved individuals. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
“The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first state capitol building was restored to its original appearance in 1976. From the collections of the State of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
“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. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.
“Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’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. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.
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