Geraldine Gebbie Bellinger bought Chautauqua’s Amphitheater in 1935. Well, to be precise, she joined her daughter, Janet, and sister, Marion Bertram Gebbie, and made a $5,000 sentimental purchase of the Amp. It was a donation to the “Save Chautauqua Fund” and was one of the larger single contributions to the three-year effort to rescue the Institution from its creditors.
Anna J. Hardwicke Pennybacker signed her 1936 letter to John D. Rockefeller Jr., “I am, most faithfully yours, Anna J. H. Pennybacker.”
Memorials do work. In 1966, Nina Terrill Wensley gave the Windsor Boarding House to the Institution to be used as a guest cottage.
What Alfreda Locke Irwin thought when she read the Aug. 26, 1961 issue of The Chautauquan Daily “Chautauquaquade” column that described her as Daily Editor Virgil Freed’s “right hand man” is not recorded.
The Chautauqua Women’s Club’s 125th celebration this season offers the opportunity to illuminate and celebrate the remarkable women who have made Chautauqua what it is.
This week, 21st-century Chautauquans explore “Health Care: Reform and Innovation.” Health concerns were also very much on the minds of Chautauquans near the end of the 19th century. Today’s discussion is one of a complex, sophisticated health care system; in the 19th century, it was a discussion of water purification and sewage systems. Today, it’s asking how to organize an effective, affordable health care system; in the 19th century, it was asking how to eliminate contagious disease and treat Chautauquans who may be far from home.
Chautauquan Nancy Richards is a woman of many facets: minister’s wife, mother, former president of the United Methodist House and accomplished stained glass artist.
Conversations with her reveal a woman of character, wit, intelligence, directness and profound Christian faith. Her life and art are linked, each reflecting the other — a biography in glass. [w/ SLIDESHOW]
The spare, white board and batten Methodist Chapel — or the Old Chapel as it quickly came to be called — is gone. Even in its heyday it was a modest structure. One of only two Chapel Park buildings marked on the 1877 Map of Grounds of the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, the chapel’s only decorations were the scalloped edging along its eaves and the slender gothic style windows.
Last summer, Chautauquan Mary Khosh planned the annual group art project for her 10 visiting grandchildren. They would illustrate the poems, rhymes and limericks that their great-grandmother Mattie Paul Sivert — Khosh’s mother — wrote many years ago. Their illustrations would be incorporated into a publication, a sort of conversation across generations and a way of preserving family history. The 10 children, ranging in age from 3 to 20, would meet their great-grandmother’s wit and humor for the first time; their illustrations would be their understanding of those traits.
Let’s be candid. How Chautauqua Institution will lasso “The American West,” the theme for 2014’s Week Five, is, from the vantage of this season’s fifth week, a work in progress. But this sprawling theme — which will pursue the nation’s artistic, cultural, political and economic gains from Westward expansion — presents many possibilities.