Learning as a PEM Guide

Henry M. Frechette, Jr.

Thomas Hart Benton painting a section of the mural A Social History of the State of Missouri, 1936. Courtesy of Missouri State Archives.

I’m a research guide for PEM. While I don’t have specific art history or a fine arts background, I do like visiting museums and have really enjoyed researching a bibliography for other PEM Guides as they’ve prepared for the exhibition American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood. Read more

Paste Papers

Modern American Printed Paste Paper by Veronica Ruzicka

In the 16th century books were usually bound in leather or vellum.  Kill the animals and harvest their pelts.  Process the pelts by removing the flesh from one side and the hair from the other.  Scrape them so that they are uniformly thin throughout their surface.  Then tan them so that they can be used for shoes and belts and hats and other things . . . like bookbindings.  Then, if you have the money, decorate the covers with gold or in other ways.  Read more

Thomas Perkins Pingree and the Alabama Claims


Thomas Perkins Pingree (1830-1876) carte de visite, undated

Previously, I wrote about the difficulty in distinguishing family members that have the same name.  The family tree in that post showed four Asas, three Davids, three Thomas Perkins, and 3 Annars.  The recently processed papers of Thomas Perkins Pingree (1830-1876) highlight the problems of distinction not only for me looking back from 2015, but also the confusion it caused among their contemporaries.

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