Moravian Historical Society
Established in 1857, the Moravian Historical Society preserves, interprets, and celebrates the rich culture of the Moravians. We maintain the 1740-1743 Whitefield House and the 1740 Gray Cottage and we preserve a significant and important museum collection.
John Antes: America’s First Luthier
Join us for a special exhibition of three American firsts—a violin (1759), cello (1763), and viola (1764)—all made by the Pennsylvania-born John Antes (1740-1811). Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the fascinating life of John Antes and discover how the trio of Antes instruments came to be reunited. The exhibition will explore how stringed instruments are made and the legacy of lutherie in the Lehigh Valley from Antes to C.F. Martin.
Until recently, only two of Antes’ instruments were thought to still exist—the Moravian Historical Society’s 1759 violin and the Lititz Moravian Museum and Archives’ 1764 viola. The 1763 cello was recently rediscovered in an attic outside of Pittsburgh and bought at auction in 2018 by Thomas Riddle, a descendent of Antes. Now reunited for this special exhibition, the trio represents the oldest surviving American violin family instruments.
Opening reception for the exhibition
Sunday, February 5, 2023 from 1 pm – 3 pm
The Whitefield House
214 E. Center St. Nazareth, PA 18064
(610) 759-5070 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Antes and the Birth
of American Chamber Music
Talk by Christopher Ogburn, Ph.D.
Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 pm
Join us for a talk about John Antes and the Moravian music-making and instrument-making tradition.
This talk is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is requested.
All are welcome!
Please note that the museum is located on the second floor, which is accessible only by stairs.
Friday, February 3
Special Exhibition: “Heartstrings, John Antes: America’s First Luthier”
Sunday February 5
Opening Reception for “Heartstrings, John Antes: America’s First Luthier”
Saturday February 11, 2:00 p.m.
Historic Walking Tour
Thursday, February 16, 7:00 p.m.
John Antes and the Birth of American Chamber Music
A talk by Dr. Christopher Ogburn
Sing, O Ye Heavens
Moravian Music- & Instrument-Making
This Exhibit was on display May 29, 2018 – Dec 31, 2019
When Moravians settled in Pennsylvania during the 1740s they brought with them
a rich tradition of sacred music that was an essential part of Moravian life.
Besides composing music for their own use,
Moravians were also skilled instrument makers.
This exhibit will feature a 1763 cello, made in Bethlehem by Moravian instrument maker
and composer John Antes. This recently discovered instrument is the oldest known
violoncello made in America; it will be on public display for the first time in its history.
Stop in and see original Moravian musical compositions, the 1763 John Antes cello,
David Tannenberg organ pipes, and dive into the rich history of Moravian music.
41 W. Locust St., Bethlehem, PA
Open Monday- Friday 8:00 am- 4:30 pm (except holidays)