Everhart Museum: A Gem of Scranton Unnoticed
By: James Leonard | Staff Writer
Many students at the university may be unaware that there is a full-fledged museum only a few minutes’ walk from campus.
The Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science and Art is located on the left-hand side upon entering Nay Aug Park via the entrance at the top of Mulberry Street.
The museum has been offering a special admissions rate due to COVID-19. According to the museum’s website, tickets for self-guided tours are $5 per person and $3 for university students.
Gallery Attendant Camille Dantone, who leads tours of the museum, said that because of a recent change in leadership now is one of the best times to visit the Everhart Museum.
“Right now we are trying to focus our efforts on attracting a younger demographic to the museum under the leadership of a new director,” Camille said. “We are starting to bring more interactive programming to the museum which we hope will help bring in more young people particularly between the ages of 20 and 30.”
Camille said that the museum is also constantly bringing in new exhibits from sources ranging from local donors to international ones.
Junior Pre-Law Student Ana Rahman said that the museum exceeded her expectations.
“I’ve been to Nay Aug so many times and seen this place but never thought to go inside,” Rahman said. “Upon entering and touring the place I was pleasantly surprised with how much content there was, from rom local paintings to pieces from the Natural History Museum in New York.”
There are three levels to the museum. Level two, which patrons will find themselves in when first entering the museum, consists of a front desk, a large souvenir shop to the right and the first exhibit on the left.
The first exhibit begins with a display of several pieces from prehistoric times. A fully assembled Stegosaurus skeleton brought in from the Museum of Natural History can be seen towering overhead.
Peering next to the Stegosaurus is a fully intact Tyrannosaurus Rex skull which is a part of the Everhart Museums own collection.
The room adjacent to the prehistoric exhibit contains an enormous collection of bird specimens from around the globe. Taxidermized birds range from ostrich, seagulls, blue jays and peacocks from India all the way to an Emperor Penguin.
After visitors the two exhibits on the first floor, guides standing throughout the museum recommend going to the second floor, which is home to an array of pieces from classical portraits and statues to domestic artifacts from various international and local cultures.
One exhibit on this floor contains a large amount of kitchen tools from the Philippines in the early 20th century and visually demonstrates how the tools were used.
There are also stations containing things like textiles created by women during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Aside from the domestic artifacts there are many international pieces, from native African artworks all the way to East Asia.
This floor is also home to the work of local artists, whose names may sound familiar to some students.
Hope Horn, who has an art gallery named after her in Hyland Hall on campus, has an entire exhibit dedicated to her work.
Much of her work consists of painting everyday objects, from fruits and towels to foam cups, and depicting them in a clean and organized way using color variations and light contrasts.
Another famous Northeast Pennsylvania artist who has a whole exhibit dedicated to them is John Willard Raught, who is very famous for his paintings of Northeast Pennsylvania landscapes from the mid to late 19th century.
One painting from this exhibit actually depicts Ridge Row, which may be familiar to many students, faculty and staff. Although in this depiction it may look unfamiliar without Alumni Memorial Hall and LSC, the iconic view of the mountains remains.
After completing the tour and taking a look through the souvenir shop, one can venture into the park to find a new cafe. The Blackwatch Cafe offers patrons a wide variety of traditional cafe beverages from coffees to teas and also carries various snacks and baked goods in a park setting.
According to an article from PAhomepage the owner, Pat Hinton was always interested in turning the building into a business. “Growing up our family used to always come here, so I have a lot of great memories up here. And I always remembered this building. I was always fascinated with this building. Just the architecture of it.”
The cafe is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.