2015 Spring Speaker Series
On the last Sunday of the month, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum presents a series of speakers relating to the current exhibits on display. Programs begin at 4:30 pm.
Sunday, February 22: “The Work of Thomas Nast” Ryan Hyman
Sunday, March 29: “Writing & Fighting the Civil War – Soldier Letters to the New York Sunday Mercury 1861-1865″ Bill Styple
Sunday, April 26: “The Morris Canal & the Morris Canal Greenway” Joe Macasek
Sunday, May 31: “Nast the Homebody” Nancy and Ken Miller
Sunday, June 28: “Currier & Ives: More than a Christmas Card” Steve Miller
Speaker tickets for sale on program days beginning at 1:00 pm, no advance sales, and include admission to museum exhibits during the afternoon and a guided tour of period rooms. Adults $8, Seniors & Students $6, Children 6-12 $4. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. Last tour ticket is sold at 3:00 pm, speaker tickets will remain on sale until 4:30 pm.
On March 29th author Bill Styple will present “Writing & Fighting the Civil War – Soldier Letters to the New York Sunday Mercury 1861-1865”. Eager for the first-hand news from the battlefront, the editors of the Mercury asked the departing volunteers to write and “inform us of any events of interest.” This simple request for news generated the largest and most impressively detailed collection of journalistic correspondence ever written during the Civil War. Bill edited a book about these 3,000 letters after discovering and researching the extensive collection and will discuss this first-hand account of the war and unique collection of Civil War journalism. Visitors can also view the exhibit “The Civil War Through the Eyes of Thomas Nast” which shows a selection of images by Nast of battles, Union and Confederate troop movements, and their activities throughout the Civil War. Like the newspaper letters Bill will discuss, Nast’s illustrations in publications like “Harper’s Weekly” brought the information about what was happening into the homes of the American public. Bill is an author of several books about the American Civil War and was the co-curator the 2012- 13 MHHM “American Heroes in Bronze” exhibit and presented three popular and engaging Civil War presentations.
On April 26th President of the Canal Society of New Jersey Joe Macasek will present “The Morris Canal & the Morris Canal Greenway”. This important infrastructure connected New York Harbor at Jersey City with the Delaware River at Phillipsburg and is subject of the upstairs gallery exhibit (opening March 15th) “Canals of New Jersey”. In this presentation Joe will discuss the Morris Canal’s history and operation and how the Morris Canal Greenway Project is bringing the canal back to life as a History/Recreation Corridor. Joe has had a lifelong interest in New Jersey history and industrial archaeology and offers lectures on local history topics and industrial archaeology.
“Nast the Homebody” is the title of the May 31st presentation. Join Ken and Nancy Miller for a peek into the home of Thomas Nast. Political cartoonist and Morristown resident from 1872 – 1902, Nast loved his home of 30 years and filled it with beautiful objects of the Victorian era. A large collection of photographs that are part of the collection at MHHM show what the house looked like when Nast purchased it, how he changed it and moments from the family life that occurred there. Ken and Nancy Miller, current owners/caretakers of the house, will talk about Nast’s home and life there using pictures from his time and today, the changes that have occurred to the house since it was sold by Sarah Nast in 1908 and the challenges of restoring and caring for an old house that is a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can view some of the features discussed in the program in the exhibit “Thomas Nast: Unknown Works and American Icons” immediately prior to or following the presentation. This gallery closes 3:30 – 4 pm for program set up.
The final presentation in the series on June 28th, “Currier & Ives: More Than A Christmas Card, is presented by Steve Miller. The 19th century lithography firms of N. Currier and Currier & Ives produced images of America that remain as popular today as when they were made. Creatively marketing to a new consumer group – the middle class created by the burgeoning Industrial Revolution – Nathanial Currier and James Merritt Ives brilliantly tapped into an enthusiastic desire for affordable art for a myriad of applications. Steve will present an illustrated history of the sequential firms showing the wide range of pictures they produced that go beyond their well-known winter scenes. Visitors who arrive prior to the program can view the MHHM’s collection of seven of these prints on display throughout the second floor of the Museum. Steve is the Executive Director of Boscobel Restoration, Inc., Garrison, NY and past Executive Director of the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ. He works as a museum consultant, writer, educator and worked on the Currier & Ives Print Collection Project at the Museum of the City of New York.
For more information and details, please Find us on Facebook