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Exhibitions at Moravian Historical Society  

Permanent Exhibition

The Moravian Historical Society permanent exhibition features an outstanding collection of objects connected to the establishment of the 18th-century Moravian settlements and the significant contributions Moravians made to music, art, education and culture in early America.

Highlights include: 

  • Six oil paintings by John Valentine Haidt (1700–1780), the first artist in colonial America to portray chiefly religious topics.

  • The Antes violin: the earliest-known violin made in the American Colonies.

  • A 1776 pipe organ made by David Tannenberg, the most important organ-builder of his time.

  • A rare 18th-century rifle made by Andreas Albrecht at the Moravian settlement of Christian's Spring.

These items are shown together with textiles, furniture, photographs, maps, early American made firearms, tile and iron stoves, case clocks, and much, much more!

Moravian Historical Society Ettwein

Special Exhibitions at Moravian Historical Society 

March 10, 2024, through
February 16, 2025

Pleasure gardens were deliberately planned and cultivated landscapes within a Moravian settlement. In the mid-18th to early 19th centuries, an era when Moravians lived and worked communally, these green spaces provided a place for rest, contemplation of nature, and mental solitude.

This special exhibit explores the international influences which the Moravians brought together to create their own distinct landscapes and pleasure gardens in Europe and Pennsylvania. Through collected reminiscences and first-hand observations made by visitors to these early American parks, the exhibit describes varied historic landscapes that are no longer possible to see and experience.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the County of Northampton Hotel Tax Grant Program.

Past Exhibitions at Moravian Historical Society 

November 19, 2023 through
February 25, 2024

This special exhibition features a display of needle arts work by members of the Lehigh Valley Embroiderers' Guild of America (LVEGA). The LVEGA was established in 1977 to share their love of needle arts. 

During the exhibition, the LVEGA will offer a variety of needle arts learning opportunities. Members will be stitching in the Museum every Sunday, and will be available to answer questions about the Guild, embroidery techniques, and items in the exhibit every Sunday (except December 3 and holidays) from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. 

On January 20, 2024, the LVEGA will offer a children's embroidery workshop, and on February 3, 2024, members will host a workshop for adults. 

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the County of Northampton Hotel Tax Grant Program.

This exhibition brought together three American firsts—a violin (1759), cello (1763), and viola (1764)—all made by the Pennsylvania-born John Antes (1740-1811). The exhibition examined the fascinating life of John Antes and how the trio of Antes instruments came to be reunited. The exhibition also explored how stringed instruments are made and the legacy of lutherie in the Lehigh Valley from Antes to C.F. Martin. Visitors can also hear recordings of chamber music composed by John Antes while viewing the trio.

As a luthier, John Antes made seven instruments, only two of which were thought to still exist—the Moravian Historical Society’s 1759 violin and the Lititz Historical Society’s 1764 viola. The Antes 1763 cello was recently discovered in an attic outside of Pittsburgh and bought at auction in 2018 by Thomas Riddle, a descendent of Antes. Now reunited for this special exhibition, the trio represents the oldest surviving American violin family instruments. 

Online Exhibitions at Moravian Historical Society 

View our online exhibitions on our Digital Collections site:

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