“Tall Tales and Tattoos” Halloween Program at Zwaanendael Museum Oct. 30

by Dave on September 25, 2010

Halloween weekend revelers will have an opportunity to experience the program “Tall Tales and Tattoos” that will take place on Saturday, October 30, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway, in Lewes, Delaware. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

The program will feature Andrew “Spider” Miller who will spin tall tales and share his collection of “gaffs”— bizarre make-believe creatures that have been hand-crafted by skilled artisans. They are similar in style to the 19th century oddities known as “Fiji Mermen” which often featured animal heads crafted onto the bodies of fish. Such creations were conceived as pranks or side show curiosities at a time when sea captains were returning from the newly opened ports of East Asia with tall tales of exotic, never-before-seen creatures. An example is the Zwaanendael Merman which can be seen at the museum in conjunction with Miller’s presentation.

The program will also feature tattoo artist Peggi Hurley of Ancient Art Tattoo studio in Lewes who will discuss the art and history of tattoos. Hurley, a native of Rehoboth Beach, was named the 1986 National Tattoo Association’s “Best Tattooed Woman.” She studied the art of tattooing with Don Nolan, Gill Montie, and Bill Hannong, among others, and has operated a tattoo studio in Delaware since 1994.

The Zwaanendael Museum (http://history.delaware.gov/museums/zm/zm_main.shtml) was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters.

Zwaanendael Museum exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military, and social history. Current exhibits include “Maritime History on the Delaware” which explores over 11,000 years of Lewes history and culture supported by an array of artifacts, maps, sketches, lithographs, and photographs; and “Rediscovery Through Recovery” which displays artifacts from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck. In addition to “Tall Tales and Tattoos,” The following special events will also be taking place through the end of 2010. All Zwaanendael Museum programs are free and open to the public:

November 6, 2010

Lighthouse Lecture Series: Lightship Overfalls. Featuring Bob Gibson of the Lightship Overfalls Foundation. 2 p.m. Seating is limited due to space restrictions.

November 13, 2010

“Dutch American Heritage Day.” Learn about the contributions that the Dutch have made to the economic, social, political, and cultural life of Delaware and the United States.10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

December 2, 2010

“Hospitality Night at the Museum.” Holiday-themed activities including music, demonstrations, and refreshments.6–9 p.m.

December 4, 2010

“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Tour the Zwaanendael Museum which was modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and learn about Delaware’s Dutch heritage. Demonstrations and craft activities will also be part of this event which is being held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Holiday House Tour.10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Zwaanendael Museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA), an agency of the State of Delaware. HCA enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality, and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. HCA’s diverse array of services includes administration of the state’s historic preservation office, operation of museums and a conference center, and management of historic properties across Delaware. Primary funding for HCA’s programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, a federal agency.

release from the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs

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