A new exhibit is scheduled for the Widener University Art Gallery.
The Widener Titanic exhibit, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship. The exhibit, which will focus on the Philadelphia families touched by the tragedy, will even include a section on the dogs that perished on the ship. The exhibit will run from April 10 to May 12.
On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg during a voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City. The ship carried 2,224 people, and 1,514 people died. The sinking of the Titanic was once considered as one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history.
“I think the exhibit at Widener University will definitely bring a lot of people to the art gallery on campus,” said Widener student Aaliyah Williams. “Everybody knows the story of the Titanic and how it’s a part of history, but not too many people know the story behind the people who were actually on the ship.
“The exhibit will not only focus on the Philadelphia residents who were on that ship, but people will get to know them and their story,” she added. “Even though it’s almost 100 years since this tragedy happened, is still resonates with a lot of people. I’m hoping a lot of people will come out to support the exhibit.”
Upon entering the exhibit, visitors will receive a replica boarding pass with the name of a Philadelphia resident who was on the cruise. The last section of the exhibit will include portraits of Philadelphians on the ship.
The exhibit is produced and curated by J. Joseph Edgette, Ph.D., professor emeritus of education and folklorist emeritus at Widener, and an authority on the Titanic. Edgette’s research has primarily focused on Philadelphians who were on the cruise, such as the Widener family for whom Widener University is named.
Edgette said he was touched and intrigued by the dogs that were also on the cruise. He said there were twelve dogs on the Titanic and only three survived.
“There is such a special bond between people and their pets. For many, they are considered to be family members,” Edgette said. “I don’t think any Titanic exhibit has examined that relationship and recognized those loyal family pets that also lost their lives on the cruise.”
The exhibit will also include displays on the impact the Titanic has had on popular culture, the company that built the Titanic, the details about the ship, the Widener family, the recovery efforts following the tragedy, and how families memorialized members who lost their lives.
A reception will be held on April 14 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the art gallery.
The gallery will be open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located on the Main Campus of Widener University in University Center on 14th Street between Walnut Street and Melrose Avenue in Chester, Pa.