december 2019

08dec12:00 pm4:00 pmCelebrate Hess’s on Free Fun Sunday


Event Details

Sundays at the Allentown Art Museum are full of free family fun.

Celebrating the Legacy of Hess’s Department Store

This event is expected to reach maximum capacity. Please be advised, programming is on a first come, first served basis.

Take a walk down memory lane and learn how Hess’s influenced retail and fashion in the twentieth century. Hess’s was a beloved department store that brought the finest fashions, goods, and food to the heart of downtown Allentown. Headquartered right on Hamilton Street, the Hess empire exemplified the best in retail shopping experiences. From their famous Patio Restaurant, exotic flower shows, and the latest fashions shipped directly from Paris, it was a treat for anyone who walked through the doors. Hess’s was one of the first to create the buzz of celebrity influence through their regularly scheduled appearances of famous actors and actresses.


12:30PM: Documentary Screening
Screening of PBS39’s documentary Hollywood on Hamilton: Remembering Hess’s.

12:30PM: ArtVentures for Families

1:30PM: Hess’s Famous Strawberry Pie
Bring in your own Hess’s memories and memorabilia and share with others over a cup tea and slice of that famous strawberry pie.

1:30PM: Festive Music & Dancing
Harken back to simpler times with festive music in the Kress Gallery featuring the Moravian College Early Music Ensembles, performing on recorders, krummhorns, lute, harp, and voices, performing Renaissance dances as well as songs from Shakespeare’s plays.

2PM: Guided Tour of Designing Hollywood

2:30PM: Dynamic Conversation: Celebrating Hess’s
Well-known historian Frank Whelan tells the story of Hess’s in the Lehigh Valley during our Dynamic Conversation: Celebrating Hess’s: The Golden Age of Retail.

Frank Whelan is the author of WFMZ.com’s weekly History’s Headlines feature. He was a feature writer with the Morning Call newspaper in Allentown from 1981 to 2006, where he wrote more than two thousand articles, many on local history. He was the historian in residence, and director of community outreach and special projects at the Lehigh County Historical Society from 2006 to 2009. Whelan has written five books on Lehigh Valley history, including  Harry C. Trexler: His Life and Legacy. He is the co-author with Kurt D. Zwikl of Hess’s Department Store. The book, currently in its fourth printing, is a part of Arcadia Press’s Images of America series.

3PM: The Allentown Art Museum’s Collection of Hess’s Garments
View Hess’s garments from our collection! Assistant curator Claire McRee will be on hand to answer questions.

Admission to the Museum and all exhibitions and programs is free every Sunday thanks to generous support from the Society of the Arts (SOTA), City Center Allentown, the Gadomski Foundation, the Ruth P. Seruga Trust, and the Sylvia Perkin Perpetual Charitable Trust.


(Sunday) 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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