Presentations & Workshops

In an effort to do our part in keeping our community safe and healthy during the coronavirus situation, Renfrew Museum and Park has adopted an institutional COVID Pandemic Reopening Plan which may affect our program and events schedule. Check back often for updates, call us (717) 762-4723, or email us at info@renfrewmuseum.org for additional information.

PRESENTATION: The American "Housewife" Goes to War - Sewing Kits that Accompanied Soldiers to the Front, 1776-1918.

Image: Every soldier his own sewing society. Stereoview published by Griffith & Griffith, c.1898. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division #LOT 11524-1.

Presented by Steve LaBarre

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 7:00pm


TWO WAYS TO ATTEND

1. In-Person

Wagon Shed Room – Visitors Center

1010 E. Main Street, Waynesboro, PA 17268

Limit 25. Advance registration required.

We will be at 50% of our normal capacity for this room. Physical seating will be spaced 6′-0″ apart per CDC and DOH guidelines for social distancing. Masks are required.

AVAILABILITY: 25 seats remaining

2. Online via Zoom

Link and password will be provided via email prior to the event.

AVAILABILITY: 100 spots remaining


$5 per person / FREE for Renfrew Members

Reservations required. Registration will close at 12:00pm on Tuesday, August 25, 2020. 

Please complete the web form provided. Non-members may then purchase admission via “Add to Cart” PayPal button below or by phone at (717) 762-4723.

Bunglesome. Inept. Awkward. When it comes to sewing and textile management the American public has been none too kind to males, especially its soldiers. And yet, throughout the centuries, it has seen fit to continually equip its fighting men with one essential tool – the “housewife” sewing kit. Join historian Steve LaBarre for a fascinating look at the use of sewing kits or “housewives” – as American soldiers often referred to them – as a means to both investigate and uncover an aspect of American military service throughout the centuries. Using multiple extant examples in his own personal collection as well as in museum institutions, LaBarre will draw upon soldiers’ diaries, letters, and newspapers to explore the intersection between sewing kits and larger historical themes. More specifically, he’ll examine the creation, distribution and commercialization of “housewives” – what they are, how they are made, and the materials used in their production – to survey their use by soldiers from a period roughly spanning 1776 to 1918.

Housewives, needlebooks, and comfort kits – in their many iterations – provide a lens into the impact of military service on generations of American soldiers, particularly on issues related to gender roles in society and domesticity in American culture. Soldiers’ use of “housewives” and sewing in general allows for a greater understanding of the role textile management tools play in revealing life in America’s military ranks from the Revolution to the Great War. This thought-provoking presentation brings an added and nuanced perspective to material culture studies by focusing on men – specifically American military men – and textiles, effectively overturning the traditional stance most historians take in pointing to the influence and dominance of women in textile management.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Steve LaBarre is an American military and material culture historian who holds a Masters in History with concentration in Public History from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Steve’s periods of research are the American Civil War and early-to-mid-19th century, with special focus on African-American history of the same period.

As an educator, researcher, lecturer and long-time collector of American military artifacts, LaBarre has published in the academic journal Gettysburg Magazine, along with being a guest blogger for both the Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn, MI) and Clarke House Museum (Chicago, IL). In 2016, he published his first book, The Fifth Massachusetts Colored Cavalry in the Civil War (McFarland & Company). In addition, he has provided lectures at numerous historic site and museum symposia, libraries, Civil War roundtables, the National Park Service, and for local news and radio outlets across the country, including American History TV on C-SPAN 3.

PRESENTATION: Divided Loyalties

Image: Unidentified young women in dresses in front of American flag. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division #LC-DIG-ppmsca-37513.

 

Presented by Annette Bethke

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 7:00pm


TWO WAYS TO ATTEND

1. In-Person

Wagon Shed Room – Visitors Center

1010 E. Main Street, Waynesboro, PA 17268

Limit 25. Advance registration required.

We will be at 50% of our normal capacity for this room. Physical seating will be spaced 6′-0″ apart per CDC and DOH guidelines for social distancing. Masks are required.

AVAILABILITY: 25 seats remaining

2. Online via Zoom

Link and password will be provided via email prior to the event.

AVAILABILITY: 98 spots remaining


$5 per person / FREE for Renfrew Members

Reservations required. Registration will close at 12:00pm on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. 

Please complete the web form provided. Non-members may then purchase admission via “Add to Cart” PayPal button below or by phone at (717) 762-4723.

The American Civil War did not just divide the country, but families, friends, and communities were also divided by political beliefs. Being so close to the state line with Maryland, communities in Franklin and Adams counties were likely to witness and experience these divided loyalties first-hand. Join historian Annette Bethke for a timely, relevant, and thought-provoking presentation that will examine the effect these political differences had on individuals, social relationships, and family dynamics during the Civil War period. Richly documented with primary source accounts, discover how everyday people navigated their divided loyalties amidst an unprecedented time of uncertainty and social turbulence – a time not unlike our own.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:

Originally from a small town in the Mother Lode region of California, Annette Bethke now lives in Gettysburg, PA after 20 years in Texas. She has been involved in Civil War living history since 1989. While it was the love of the clothes that first brought her to the hobby, her interest has expanded to include the everyday life of the mid-19th century. She has given presentations through informal classes for the University of Texas in Austin; the Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums annual conference; the Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference; the Texas Living History Association’s conference; and numerous school presentations. She has also published papers in the Citizen’s Companion and the ALHFAM “Bulletin.” Annette works at Seminary Ridge Museum in Gettysburg.

PRESENTATION: The Bell Family - A Pottery Making Dynasty

POSTPONED – New Date TBD

Presented by Nick Powers, Curator of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

Offered as TWO SESSIONS 


MORNING from 10:30am to 12:00pm

AVAILABILITY: 0 seats remaining


AFTERNOON from 1:30pm to 3:00pm

AVAILABILITY: 0 seats remaining


Free Admission. Advance reservations required.

This program is currently SOLD OUT, with registrants form the original date of March 28, 2020 receiving first right of refusal when a new date is announced. We apologize for any inconvenience. Additional sessions may be added in the future based on speaker availability.

Waynesboro’s John Bell was one of the most accomplished potters of nineteenth century America. But he was also one member of a multi-generational pottery making dynasty that stretched from Pennsylvania through Maryland and into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Join us as we place John Bell’s career into the context of his larger family, including his father Peter and brothers Solomon and Samuel, among others.

Following the lecture will be an in-depth look at sherds, kiln furniture, and other artifacts recovered from the John Bell Pottery in Waynesboro, part of the collection of the Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Studies (NCSS). Guests will also be able to view an extensive collection of original Bell Family pieces in the Renfrew Visitors Center gallery and purchase a chance to win fine reproductions handcrafted by ceramicists including Lynette King, Jack Handshaw, James Smith (previous NCCS Executive Director), Mike McIntyre, and Anne Aden. Additional Bell reproductions will be for sale in the Renfrew gift shop.

About the Speaker: Nick Powers is Curator of Collections at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia. A native of the Shenandoah Valley, he graduated from James Madison University in 2011 with a degree in History. In 2014, he graduated from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware. At the MSV, Powers researches, exhibits, and lectures on the museum’s collection of Valley fine, decorative, and folk art, as well as the comprehensive collection of museum benefactor Julian Wood Glass Jr. (1910-1992). Powers is the author of several articles on Shenandoah Valley and Southern decorative arts and material culture.

This special program is made possible through partnership by: