PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A six-week online campaign to save Pennsylvania's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts launches today. Through midnight of November 1, the public is encouraged to support the preservation of 10 historic objects from every region of the state through voting, sharing and donating at PATop10Artifacts.org. From manuscripts, books and films to 18th-century butterfly specimens and a wig worn by a congressman instrumental in abolishing slavery, each of these artifacts illuminates an important facet of the nation's history.
Pennsylvania's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a statewide initiative created by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) – the largest nonprofit conservation center in the country. An independent review panel of collections care professionals chose the artifacts based on their historical and cultural significance and need for conservation.
"Our goal with this campaign is to showcase the state's historic treasures and the need to preserve and protect our heritage for future generations," says Ingrid Bogel, Executive Director of CCAHA. "We've created this program to give institutions a new platform through which to share their stories and to give people a chance to show their support."
Voting on PATop10Artifacts.org will end on Friday, November 1 at midnight. Institutions that meet their fundraising goals will begin the conservation process, and the artifact garnering the most votes will be named the winner of The People's Choice Award.
Pennsylvania's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts
Oldest Butterfly Specimens in the Americas Display Rare Preservation Technique
Institution: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
Two 18th-century butterfly specimens represent the oldest entomological specimens in the Americas and provide an example of an ingenious early method of preservation.
Earliest known U.S. Free Frank Signed by President George Washington
Institution: American Philatelic Society, Bellefonte, Centre County
Signed by George Washington, this letter is the earliest known instance of a special privilege extended to the head of state of the new nation.
Film Archive Celebrates the Rich History of Pittsburgh's African-American Community
Institution: Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
Footage from African-American photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris chronicles daily life in Pittsburgh's black neighborhoods in the 1930s and '40s, providing rare, intimate glimpses into a bygone world.
Visitors' Book Preserves Support for Heroic Abolitionist Imprisoned in Philadelphia
Institution: Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, Chester County
Passmore Williamson's visitors' book contains the signatures of Frederick Douglass and hundreds of notable supporters of the imprisoned Quaker, a hero of the abolitionist movement.
The Wig of Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, Fierce Opponent of Slavery
Institution: LancasterHistory.org, Lancaster, Lancaster County
Wig worn by Congressman Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868), passionate abolitionist, advocate for the 13th Amendment and recent subject of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.
16th-Century Family Bible Illuminates Pennsylvania Mennonite History and Folk Art
Institution: Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville, Montgomery County
Froschauer Bible from 1536 with rare illuminated Fraktur bookplate and genealogical record that documents the flight from religious persecution by the Bachmans, a family of Mennonite immigrants.
Garments Handmade by Faith Community for Founder Showcase Early American Industry
Institution: Old Economy Village, Ambridge, Beaver County
A ceremonial coat and cap made for George Rapp (1757-1847), leader of the Harmonists, showcases the craftsmanship of this community known for its successful industrial enterprises.
Legendary Sculpto-Pictorama by Contemporary Artist Celebrates Philadelphia's Place in History
Institution: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
The figures from Philadelphia Cornucopia, a mixed media environment created in 1982 by Red Grooms, are a unique celebration of the city's 300-year history.
Bust of Lincoln Carved in Pennsylvania Anthracite by African-American Artist
Institution: Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton, Lackawanna County
Sculpted by noted African-American artist C. Edgar Patience, the bust of President Lincoln is made from anthracite coal, one of Pennsylvania's most valuable natural resources.
One-of-a-Kind Victorian Needlework Provides Glimpse Into Changing Roles of Women
Institution: Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, Pennsburg, Montgomery County
A whimsical fool-the-eye table setting crafted by an unidentified Pennsylvania German woman in the late 1800s illuminates women's changing roles and forms of artistic expression.
Pennsylvania's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from The Beneficial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Beneficial Bank.
To request photos, interviews and more information, please contact:
Canary Promotion 215-690-4065
Rose Mineo, [email protected]
SOURCE Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts