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a coniltican Dulcimers
In the month of March, 1876, by direction of the President of the United States Centennial Commission, an Historical Department was formed, designed to commemorate and illustrate the pre-revolutionary history of the country, by bringing together portraits of Colonial worthies, documents of historical interest, and personal memorials of the past; and Colonel Frank M. Etting was requested to accept the position of Chief. His fitness for promoting and carrying out this object was manifest from his successful services in the restoration of Independence Hall and the formation of a National Museum. A committee was selected with the approval of the DirectorGeneral, and efforts were at once made to gather together, in the brief time afforded, articles desirable for exhibition in the department; appropriate space having been allotted in the Art Building for the purpose. Subsequently, it was found necessary, owing to the large influx of foreign pictures, to cancel the allotment of space to the Historical Department; and thus, at the eleventh hour, the committee found the department at an end, and themselves with a valuable collection on their hands, but without a place to exhibit it. In this dilemma, application was made to the President and Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, who at once liberally offered a portion of their fire-proof building for the purpose; and the committee, consisting of Messrs. Frank M. Etting, James L. Claghorn, Francis S. Hoffman, J. Sergeant
Price, Frederick D. Stone, Charles Henry Hart, Mrs. Anne
The time selected for the opening of the exhibition at the Academy of the Fine Arts was the 7th of June, the one hundredth anniversary of the day on which Richard Henry Lee offered in Congress the Resolution for Independence. On the evening of that day the invited guests, composed of the most eminent of Philadelphia's citizens, and of representatives from the mother country and from each of the thirteen original States, assembled in the lecture room of the Academy; when, after a brief introduction by the Chairman of the committee, a commemorative historical address was delivered by the Hon. William Wirt Henry, of Virginia. At the conclusion of the address, the exhibition was declared by the Chairman as formally opened, and the guests proceeded to view the collection, which occupies the northwest gallery of the building, on the second floor.
A large portion of the exhibition consists of paintings, and there is also an interesting collection of relics of historical personages. The western end of the room is occupied by paintings by American artists, designed to illustrate the history of art in America. It includes works by West, Pratt, Smibert, Copley, Hesselius, Charles Willson Peale, James Peale, Sharpless, Stuart, St. Memin, Malbone, Sully, Allston, Theus, Earle, and Pine.
The northern side of the hall is occupied by exhibits designed to illustrate the early history of the settlements at Plymouth and Salem, made respectively by the Pilgrim Association of Plymouth, and the Essex Institute of Salem. In the Plymouth collection are exhibited a number of interesting relics, including a table and platter which belonged to Miles Standish; a model of the vessel Mayflower; a portrait