Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Presents: Apothecary in Bloom

May 3rd, 2016Press Release from Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites

Bethlehem, PA, May 2, 2016, Step into spring at the Apothecary in Bloom exhibition, running from May 7 until August 31, 2016 at Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ 1752 Apothecary.

At Apothecary in Bloom, your senses will be drawn to bright, floral patterned pieces that accent the austere shop’s shelves and walls. Florals have long been in the veins of medicine and design, with flowers both inside the medicine bottle and on its label. Visitors will have the opportunity to see how flowers are used to decorate objects that were designed to improve wellness throughout history, such as fans, perfume bottles and faux flower arrangements. 

The exhibit features a wide variety of pieces from Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites’ collections, including the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts and the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem. The artifacts on display were all selected for the ways they spoke both to the world of design and the development of medicine and wellness in Bethlehem.

Visitors will see items like a delicate fontage-style purple posy fan, with silk “leaves” that were constructed to cool the user down while giving the appearance that she is holding a small bouquet.

Another intriguing featured piece is an English Daisy Plate Print, hand-drawn and colored by Elizabeth Blackwell of the Chelsea Physic Garden in England to identify the flower by its medical properties in a vibrant manner. English Daisies were ground into a fine powder and mixed with oil to create an edible tincture for use as a diuretic and tonic, which is one way apothecaries turned flowers into prescriptions.

Apothecary in Bloom was curated by Katelyn Winter, an intern working under Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Curator, Lindsey Jancay.  Winter is a sophomore Dana Scholar majoring in English at Muhlenberg College. Of the exhibit, she says, “I am so grateful to have been able to grow along with Apothecary in Bloom and learn what it takes to design and operate a successful exhibit… I hope every patron who views the exhibit is just as inspired by the finished product as I am.”

Guests will have the chance to view this exhibition during Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ 24th Annual Rooms to View House Tour on Saturday, June 4, 2016. Discover the incredible history these floral artifacts share with medicine and wellness while enjoying a colonial-inspired menu at the wine and cheese Apothecary Garden Reception, included in the House Tour ticket.

Visitors can also schedule tours of the Apothecary Monday – Thursday and leave on the hour from Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, Friday – Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tours of the Apothecary are offered as part of Pass Into History, which costs $15 for adults and is free for members.

For more information, please visit HistoricBethlehem.org or contact Adelle Mantle at gro.mehelhtebcirotsihnull@eltnama or 610-882-0450 ext. 10.

All proceeds from this exhibit help Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites to maintain 20 historic landmarks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is a not-for-profit institution that brings to life three centuries of American history.  Historic Bethlehem tells the story of a small town of great influence, home to some of our nation’s earliest settlers, to America’s first municipal water pumping system, and to one of the world’s greatest industrial companies.  Historic Bethlehem is located in eastern Pennsylvania, only a 1.5 hour drive from Philadelphia to the North and 2 hours west of New York City.  Historic Bethlehem is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and a National Historic Landmark District.


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