secthead Visit

Currently On Display

Digging Lancaster, 4 West King Street

redware1A shard of redware pottery. A new exhibit, Digging Lancaster, will open on First Friday, August 7, 2015 at's 4 West King Street location, and will run until January 8, 2016. Digging Lancaster looks at the historical archaeology of Lancaster and the various techniques that archaeologists use to learn about the history of our county.

The county has a rich recorded history. Books have been written about the important people and events of Lancaster County's history. But how does anyone get to know what everyday life was like for the people who lived here over 200 years ago? As it turns out, Lancaster's soil holds more than just rich nutrients for growing crops. It often contains objects that give historical archaeologists clues to tell us how ordinary people lived their lives in the past. These objects range from pot shards that show us the amount and quality of dishes a family had - and how wealthy they may have been - to toothbrushes that tell us how people of the past cared for their bodies. Digging Lancaster illustrates the ways in which historical archaeologists examine the past using artifacts that have been buried for centuries.

County, Commonwealth, & Country

shreinereagle tnCounty, Commonwealth, & Country, our newest exhibit on display in the Groff Gallery.

Funded through a grant from the Richard C. von Hess Foundation, County, Commonwealth, & Country begins with the idea that local history provides a lens for viewing the broader American story. By looking closely at the objects from our collections, County, Commonwealth, & Country intertwines the stories of Lancaster, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States of America. In fact, many of America's foundational principles—liberty and freedom, tolerance and diversity, democracy and the political process—were molded and shaped in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

From the county's beginning as a part of William Penn's unique experiment in religious freedom and cultural pluralism, to its critical role in the emergence of national democratic politics in the 19th century, Lancaster County's story chronicles the many ideals that formed and transformed our state and nation. Our county tells stories of varied immigration and migration, tolerance and struggle, slavery and race relations, and the ever-changing saga of democratic politics in a nation that is still, on an international scale, in its political adolescence. The story of the county becomes the story of America.

Be sure to visit the Groff Gallery  and take a close look at the objects in our collection and learn how even the smallest object can tell the story of our nation in County, Commonwealth, & Country. Also, be sure to go to the Lower Level and examine the many objects that are housed in the open storage of the Richard C. von Hess Foundation Decorative Arts Center.


Facebook Slider
Facebook Slider
Facebook Slider