Williamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society will host a lecture on needlework samplers at their Coffee Hour, Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 10am. The program is free and open to the public and is held in the Community Room of the museum. The speaker is Gary Parks. Gary’s lecture coincides with the Taber summer exhibit, entitled “Make Much of Precious Time While in your Power”: European and American Needlework Samplers. The exhibit features seventy-seven samplers drawn from the collections of the Lycoming County and Jersey Shore Historical Societies, as well as several private collections. The exhibit runs through September 1, 2019.
Gary is the Executive Director of the Taber Museum, a position he has held since January 2011. He also serves as Editor of the museum’s newsletter, which publishes six times a year, and the museum’s scholarly Journal, which is published on a yearly basis. He was no stranger to the museum when hired, however. From 1992 until 2005, Gary served in various capacities as the Museum’s Archivist, Acting Collections Manager and Guest Curator. In 1994, he curated a very successful exhibit of needlework at the Taber, bringing scholars from Canada, England, Texas, Connecticut and Delaware.
Gary’s research and collecting of needlework samplers was fueled by a family sampler made by his great great great grandmother in 1777-1778. Depicting Adam and Eve, the serpent, and the gates to the Garden of Eden, the sampler was begun in northern Germany and completed in Maryland. Gary’s Master’s thesis focused on a particular genre of samplers which include a luscious pineapple, the symbol of hospitality, stitched on the surface..
Gary is a graduate of Towson University with B.S. degrees in Biology and English and a graduate of the University of North Carolina with a Master’s in History with a concentration in Public History. Gary is the author of numerous articles regarding local history published in Susquehanna Life. Gary is the compiler of a number of genealogical indices published by Genealogical Publishing Company and served as secretary of the Passenger and Immigrations Lists Index, working closely with P. William Filby and Mary K. Meyer. He is a graduate of Leadership Susquehanna Valley and the recipient of the Union County Historical Society Preservation Award for his preservation efforts of the alleged oldest house in Winfield, PA., the site of the Lee Massacre.
During 2019, fourteen lectures at the Taber Museum will focus on craftspeople, collectors and collections of decorative arts. The Lecture Series is underwritten by a generous grant from the Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts.
For further information regarding programming at the museum, please telephone the museum at 570.326.3326.The museum is located at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport. There is ample parking behind the museum or on the street.