EMS Museum & Art Gallery hosting conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Wolfe

March 21, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) is hosting a conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe along with other events commemorating the history of coal mining in Pennsylvania, from 4-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, in the EMS Museum & Art Gallery, ground floor of the Deike Building on the University Park campus. The events are free and open to the public.

The EMS Museum & Art Gallery will have on display the exhibit "The Lure of the Mine,” featuring works from the Steidle Collection of American Industrial Art that focus on the history of the coal industry in Pennsylvania. Jonathan Mathews, associate professor of energy and mineral engineering and coal scientist, will be available to discuss the Steidle collection.

From 4:30-5 p.m., Mathews and Amara Solari, associate professor of art history and anthropology, will lead a gallery conversation about the art and science in select panoramic maps from the museum’s collection. They also will discuss lithotype maps.

From 5-5:30 p.m., Mathews will be hosting a conversation with Wolfe about the research she conducted in creating the Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio “Anthracite Fields.” The conversation with Wolfe will be streamed live online at https://www.facebook.com/psuems

Small group tours of the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering’s Mine Ventilation Laboratory will also be available.

The events are being held in conjunction with the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State’s concert featuring Wolfe’s oratorio “Anthracite Fields,” scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Eisenhower Auditorium.

About “Anthracite Fields”

Wolfe's “Anthracite Fields” was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music. It was cited by the Pulitzer committee as "a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th Century." 

"My aim with ‘Anthracite Fields’ is to honor the people who persevered and endured in the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region during a time when the industry fueled the nation, and to reveal a bit about who we are as American workers,” said Wolfe.

Though it is primarily known as a prize awarded to journalists, media organizations and works of literature, the Pulitzer organization honors other mediums, such as music and plays.

According to Wolfe’s website, she extensively researched the coal mining industry in Pennsylvania, an area very near where she grew up. She drew on oral histories, interviews, speeches, geographic descriptions, children’s rhymes and coal advertisements to create a work that gives an intimate look at a particular slice of American life.

“Anthracite Fields” will be performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars, a six-member ensemble co-founded by Wolfe. The Penn State Concert Choir, conducted by Christopher Kiver, director of choral activities for the Penn State School of Music, will accompany Bang on a Can.

For more information about the concert, please visit http://www.cpa.psu.edu/events/anthracite-fields online. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 21, 2017