Holidays with John Trower

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion invites you to join Becky Diamond via ZOOM as she prepares Victoria sponge cake and chicken croquettes – both often seen on Trower catering menus. Learn about Philadelphia’s most successful 19th-century caterer and philanthropist. Watch Becky’s chicken croquette demo and join her while she makes sponge cake. Attendees will receive the recipes through the mail.

Saturday, December 12, 2020, at 1:00 pm   Cost: $6  Members FREE   MAKE RESERVATIONS ONLINE  Enrollment closes at 10:00 am on December 12. ZOOM sign-in information will be sent via email on Friday, December 11, and again on December 12.

“The House Beautiful” – The Aesthetic Movement and the American Home

Between November and May 1876, ten million people visited the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Some of the most prominent members of the British Aesthetic Movement participated in this international event introducing Aesthetic ideas to the American public. Aestheticism was an artistic movement that originated in Great Britain in the 1850s and 1860s as a reaction against the perceived excesses and deceitfulness of mid-nineteenth-century art and decoration. The artists and designers associated with the movement held strong views about the place of art in everyday life and sought to reform the domestic environment by introducing art in home design and decoration. The decoration of one’s home was the source of much preoccupation in the 1870s and 1880s in England and America. How could the average homeowner be expected to have the artistic sensibility required to recognize and create the beautiful and truthful? In this lecture, we will explore the origin and evolution of the “artistic” interior and identify its main elements, reflecting on evolving notions of taste and beauty and their impact in transforming how people lived and the spaces they called home.

Saturday, January 16, 2021, at 1:00 pm – Cost: $6


Ticket holders will receive the ZOOM sign-in information on Friday, January 15, and then again on Saturday, January 16.


The Institute for Colored Youth

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Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is thrilled to host Dr. Judith Giesberg with an illustrated talk via ZOOM about The Institute for Colored Youth. Opened in 1852, the Institute offered educational opportunities for African American children in Philadelphia. Many graduates and teachers of the Institute became important 19th-century civil rights activists and leaders. Graduates include Octavius Catto (pictured left), Dr. Rebecca Cole, and Caroline LeCount. Want to learn more? Join us on Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 1:30 pm for a truly informative and interesting afternoon.

Dr. Giesberg is an expert on the history of women and gender during the U.S. Civil War. She has focused on African American communities during the war, in particular in the North. Giesberg oversees an ongoing project collecting and digitizing information wanted ads taken out by former slaves looking for loved ones lost in the domestic slave trade. She has recently appeared on CBS Evening News, The Washington Post, and NPR.

Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 1:00 pm


Ticket holders will receive the ZOOM sign-in information on Friday, February 5, and Saturday, February 6.

Henry Ossawa Tanner

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is pleased to host Dr. Anna O. Marley for an illustrated talk about Henry Ossawa Tanner. Tanner was born in Pittsburg but grew up in Philadelphia In 1879, he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was the only African American enrolled at that time. He is known as a realistic painter and became the first African American painter to gain international acclaim.