for Immediate Release
Corbett Unveils Portrait of Hannah Callowhill Penn to be Placed in the
Portrait Unveiling Coincides with Women’s History
Harrisburg – Governor Tom
Corbett, along with First Lady Susan Corbett today unveiled a portrait of
Hannah Callowhill Penn that will be placed in the Governor’s Office. This is
the first time a portrait of a woman will be displayed among the portraits of
Pennsylvania’s founders and former governors.
Callowhill Penn was William Penn’s second wife. She played an instrumental role
in the development of Pennsylvania.
to believe that men and women were created equal, Hannah Callowhill Penn governed
the Pennsylvania colony for six years after her husband was incapacitated by a
stroke in 1712.
William Penn died, she governed for another eight years in her own name. She
governed from England with the help of agents, such as her friend James Logan,
who lived in Pennsylvania.
that time, no other woman in Britain, aside from Queen Mary II and Queen Anne held
direct political power of this kind. Although Hannah managed Pennsylvania with the
help of her agents, she had the final word on all decisions.
William Keith served as deputy governor during the period when Hannah governed.
His portrait has been hanging in the Governor’s Office since the capitol was
dedicated in 1906. Now, Hannah Callowhill Penn will be in the Governor’s Office
we are correcting history by giving Hannah Penn her proper place within the
Governor’s Office, she deserves this honor.” said Gov. Tom Corbett. “Now our
daughters and granddaughters will know about Hannah Penn’s legacy and that
women were leading the way and making a difference at a time in history when
women lacked full rights.”
the Governor’s Office walls are lined with the portraits of every governor and
founder from William Penn and Ben Franklin up to Governor Mark Schweiker.
the fall of 2012, First Lady Susan Corbett has
led a team to examine Hannah Penn’s legacy. The team includes The State Museum
of Pennsylvania, The Capitol Preservation Committee, Historical Society of
Pennsylvania, Pennsbury Manor, the Pennsylvania Commission for Women and the Pennsylvania
Historical and Museum Commission.
researching Hannah Penn’s legacy, it was quickly determined that she deserved
her rightful place in the Governor’s Office with all the men who came before
and after her,” said First Lady Susan Corbett. “I am proud to see this day
become a reality for Hannah Penn and all of the women of Pennsylvania who can
learn and be inspired by her hard work, perseverance and dedication.”
and Mrs. Corbett learned of Hannah’s Penn’s legacy through their work with Kim
Sajet, former president of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Sajet is now
the director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Penn’s untold story, until this moment, is one that clearly demonstrates how portrayal
can play a part to reframe our understanding of history,” said Sajet. “Telling
history through people’s stories and art is exactly at the intersection where the
portrait gallery sits; I am proud to be part of this day.”
portrait was painted by Philadelphia artist Ellen Cooper and was paid for with
private dollars. Great attention was paid to the portrait’s details to ensure
it matched the artistry of the time and the other portraits currently hanging
in the Governor’s Office.
a great honor to have been asked to paint such an important figure, a woman
whose leadership has gone largely unrecognized for centuries. Using my
talent to help bring this significant piece of Pennsylvania history into the
light has been the thrill of a lifetime and a unique educational experience,”
said artist Ellen Cooper
Penn’s portrait will be on display for the public in the Governor’s Reception
Room until the summer 2014. It will then be placed in the Governor’s Office.
For more information visit www.pa.gov
Kirsten Page, 717-433-5249