Meeting – October 27, 2015 – FDR: An arsenal of democracy

13 October 2015

The date is December 29, 1940.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt has just been re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office.  But the world is in a crisis.  Nazi Germany has blazed the path of destruction across Europe, and America may soon be drawn into war.

Watch this famous moment come to life, as you meet with the President (portrayed by Neill Hartley) just prior to his delivery of the famous “Arsenal of Democracy” speech. Learn what President Roosevelt was thinking, and listen to his plea for the support of our Allies.  Experience first-hand the history that shaped our nation.

Franklin Delano RooseveltNeill Hartley is Franklin Delano in this fully staged historical presentation that will entertain and educate audiences   Following the presentation, there will be time for comments and questions from one of the most influential presidents of all time.

Actor, Director, Spokesperson and Teacher, Neill Hartley earned a Master of Fine Arts from Temple University in Acting and was a faculty member there 1989-2000.  Since 1994 he has been teaching Speech & Voice at the University of the Arts and is a speech and dialect coach for several professional theaters.  As an actor he has performed with Arden Theater, InterAct Theatre and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, among others.  Mr. Hartley won a Barrymore Award for Ensemble for 1812 Productions’ Batboy, The Musical.  Neill is also a busy director for theaters, which include Philadelphia Young Playwrights, University of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Arcadia University, Isis Productions, the Brick Theater, and the Luna Theater.  He is the Artistic Director of Acting Without Boundaries, which provides large-scale musical opportunities for physically disabled teens and young adults.  Neill also works in commercials, feature films and is a member of AFTRA/SAG/CORE.  Venues that have produced his one-man shows include the Tweeter Center, Academy of Music, Act II Playhouse, Walnut Street Theater Studio 3, Congress Hall, Smithsonian Institution and   the American Glider Council.  Now, thanks to funding by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Neill Hartley will preform as FDR for the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood at our October 27th meeting.

Come to this very special meeting that is open and free to everyone. Hear President Roosevelt plead, “We must be an arsenal of democracy.” This program is extremely timely given the situation with wars in the middle east, eastern Europe and events in the South China Sea as well as the greatest refugee crisis since World War II.

This monthly meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains takes place Tuesday evening October 27th, 2015.  It will be held at the Fanwood Train Station on North and Martine Avenues in Fanwood, NJ. It begins at 8:00PM.  Fellowship and refreshments follow this program, which is produced by the American Historical Theatre and funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

For more information about this event, contact Connie Klock at 908-232-9489.

Tru Vue glazing gives true view to historic portraits

28 August 2015

Aaron Sealed

The portraits of Aaron Miller Osborn (1790-1827) and his wife Harriet Manning Osborn (1791-1829) were donated to the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood by a direct descendent, Professor Bradner W. Coursen.  The donation dictated the portraits be hung in the small Osborn-Cannonball Museum which the Society manages.  The Museum is the home that Jonathon Osborn, Aaron’s grandfather, built in the mid 1700’s.  The portraits were attributed to the now wel

l-known New Jersey itinerant artist Micah Williams (1782-1837).  These portraits were further unusual in that Williams painted them in oils, not his typical pastels, making them further special and valuable.  Both portraits were in need of conservation, which was done by nationally known Paintings Conservator (Dr.) Joyce Hill Stoner at the Winterthur/UD studio.  Indeed she made them “good as old.”

Tru Vue Optium Acrylic glazing is the ultimate glazing product!  With its anti-reflective nature, its filtering out of harmful UV wavelengths, its reduction of glare, its anti-static quality and its abrasion resistant quality, it is no wonder it is used by 75% of museums worldwide.


Tru Vue is also generous.  It teams with the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works to offer two awards per year known as FAIC grants.  One of these grants enabled the small Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood to protect donated and valuable historic portraits.

Harriet Sealed

After painting conservation, a second serious conservation problem emerged:  providing the proper climate for the portraits in the historic museum that does not have any air conditioning.  The humidity fluctuates wildly, which would be very deleterious to the portraits.  Research yielded the answer of microclimate boxes, which totally enclose an artwork and provide a constant protected climate.  The Tru Vue Optium  Conservation Grant provided the museum quality glass and the funding to have the portraits framed at the Conservation Center for Arts and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, PA.

These magnificent Osborn portraits by Micah Williams now hang in the Osborn Cannonball Museum totally protected.  Many for generations will enjoy them.  The museum is open the first Sunday of every month and by appointment.  Please come to see these incredible portraits conserved to their former glory and now protected in sealed packages.  Many thanks are owed to Tru Vue and to the NJ Historical Commission for their grants which made this project possible for a small, all volunteer Historical Society.

Meeting – May 26, 2015 – The stories of two men in the American Civil War

19 May 2015

Captain David C. Pierson and Private Newton Church both served in the American Civil War. However, they have very different memories of those years that reveal untold truths regarding our country and its struggles from 1860 to 1865.  George C. Pierson, a relative of Captain David C. Pierson, will use stories gathered from their diaries and letters home to tell the two men’s point of view at the monthly meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood on Tuesday evening May 26th.  George Pierson is a member of the Historical Society as well as a Professor of Communication Studies at Kean University.  He has long time interests in New Jersey history and genealogy.

This informative program is free. Please join us on May 26th at 8:00PM at the Fanwood Train Station on North & Martine Avenues to “hear” long ago combatants’ stories of the American Civil War. Fellowship and refreshments follow the meeting.

For more information about this event, contact Connie Klock at 908-232-9489.

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