Titanic Exhibit To Feature Widener Family

April 3, 2012

George Dunton Widener

When the Titanic went down almost 100 years ago — the centennial of the epic maritime disaster is April 14 — two members of the family for whom Widener was later named perished with it. The bodies of George Dunton Widener, and his son, Harry Elkins Widener, were never recovered (the body of their valet, Edwin Keeping, was recovered and was buried at sea). George’s wife and Harry’s mother, Eleanor Elkins Widener, was also on the ship but survived, as did her maid.

The prominent family’s photos and many replicas of the their belongings, including a pearl necklace that was insured for $100,000, as well as George’s and Harry’s cenotaphs — memorials erected at a gravesite when the remains are elsewhere — will be part of an exhibit opening April 10 at the Widener University Art Gallery.

The exhibit,  curated by J. Joseph Edgette, PhD, professor emeritus of education and folklorist emeritus at Widener, also includes information on other Philadelphians who perished, as well as dogs on the ship.  The exhibit also explores the impact the Titanic has had on popular culture, the company that built the Titanic, the details about the ship, the recovery efforts following the tragedy, and how families memorialized members who lost their lives.

The exhibit will run through May 12.  A reception will be held on April 14, the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the gallery. For more information, see the press release, and for more on the Widener family, visit the Widener Family History page in the Wolfgram Memorial Library Digital Collections.


One comment

  1. This exhibit was fantastic. I HIGHLY recommend everyone going to see it. What fun!

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