The Charles G. Dorman Memorial Acquisitions Fund was set up in honor of Charles G. Dorman, a curator here at Independence National Historical Park for twenty-three years. Mr. Dorman passed away in January of 2000. He had a long history of researching, acquiring and installing historic furnishings in Independence Hall, the Bishop White House, the Franklin Court print shop and the Declaration House. He was quite dedicated to Independence National Historical Park and devoted to the Friends of Independence.
In memory of the large legacy he left behind, the Friends of Independence along with relatives and friends of Mr. Dorman setup this memorial fund to help future curators here at Independence in their acquisitions of artifacts for our permanent collections. Many times, artifacts will come up to auction very quickly and it is helpful to have additional funds available to make the acquisition of these pieces go smoothly.
To date, the Friends have used the funds for the following:
- Acquisition of the fifth Chippendale chair in a collection of six chairs that were originally located in the second floor study of the Bishop White House
- Restoration of the Germantown Clockworks
- Acquisition of an engraved portrait of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, the explorer for whom Pike’s Peak in Colorado is named. This engraved portrait is a reversed view of the 1808 portrait by Charles Wilson Peale which hangs in Second Bank
- Acquisition of a framed charcoal sketch of a country estate entitled “Brookland.” Bishop White owned a house called Brookland from 1796 to 1815 on the East side of the Schuylkill River
Most recently, through the Dorman Fund we have completed the following projects:
Rising Sun Chair
- The reupholstering of the Rising Sun Chair that sits in the Assembly Room of Independence Hall. Through a generous grant by Globus America via Tourism Cares, the chair in which George Washington sat for nearly three months during the Federal Convention has been historically reupholstered
The Great Essentials Exhibit – re-casing
- Through a partnership with the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution, we are working together to enhance the technology of the cases that hold the three very important documents that gave birth to our nation:
- The Declaration of Independence
- The Constitution
- The Articles of Confederation
- The exhibit was created many years ago through generous support, but as technology changes so too the cases that help to house our treasured documents must change to preserve these documents for future generations.
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