Exhibit at Unity gallery revisit the 1800s
“The Coverlet Casualty” and “The Civil War in Pennsylvania” at the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery at St. Vincent College in Unity do Pennsylvania proud.
“The Coverlet Casualty” exhibit is on display through May 20. It was curated by St. Vincent senior Emily Davis, a history and theology major who used bed weavings, which date from 1820 to 1840, to tell the story of the demise of hand weaving by the end of the Civil War. Family Heirloom Weavers, located in Red Lion, York County, is one of the last textile mills in operation in the United States. They use 40 antique looms to create pieces used at historic sites and museums all over the country.
“The Civil War in Pennsylvania,” a traveling exhibit by the Senator John Heinz History Center, is on display through March 17. It uses realistic figures, artifacts, photographs and panels to depict Pennsylvania's role in the war.
One panel describes how, in 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state in the fledgling nation to address slavery by passing the Gradual Abolition Act. There's a figure of abolitionist Maj. Martin Delany, a Pittsburgh resident and Harvard-educated physician who became the highest-ranking black man to serve in the Civil War.
There's a photograph of the Rev. Emmeran Bliemel, a priest from St. Vincent who volunteered to serve, although the abbey was granted exemption by President Abraham Lincoln. Bliemel was hit by cannonball fire while giving last rites to an officer, and was the only Roman Catholic chaplain killed in the war. There's a figure of Tillie Pierce, a 15-year-old witness to the bloodshed at Gettysburg. She and other women from the town helped save the lives of Confederate and Union wounded by assisting doctors, hauling water and providing clean bandages.
The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery opened in 2004 in the Fred M. Rogers Center on campus. An opening for both exhibits was held Feb. 6.
Seen at the event: Gallery director Lauren Churilla, Alice Kaylor, Luci Cutrell, with her daughter,Meaghan, Emma Hamling, FatherRene Kollar, Melissa Oreski and Jim and Mary Ann Keenan, with their daughter, Mary Adele.