Princess White Deer exhibit at historical society

Opening at Van Kirk Homestead this Sunday, Sept. 24


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  • Esther Deer, "Princess White Deer" Photo courtesy of the Sparta Historical Society



SPARTA — “Princess White Deer: A Woman, A Mohawk and A Legend” will open at the Sparta Historical Society’s Van Kirk Homestead Museum on Sunday, September 24, 2017 from 1-4PM with 2PM talk. Esther Deer, known as Princess White Deer, was the grand-daughter of a hereditary chief and a most successful and talented Mohawk entertainer. With the career that spans from Wild West Shows to the Russian stage to Vaudeville, Ziegfeld, and to the footpaths of Broadway, Esther Deer was a remarkable and fascinating modern career woman for any century.

In addition to many never before seen original professional photographs from Princess White Deer’s personal collection, loaned by her niece Sylvia Goodleaf Trudeau, and guest curator’s Patricia Galperin’s personal collection, there will be additional memorabilia such as playbills, ship manifests, and travel documents; and personal objects ranging from toiletries to performance blankets used by both Princess White Deer and her father, Chief James Deer.

Wonderful examples of Mohawk bead work, that were made by family, and Mohawk baskets will be on display. Mohawk history and the role the Deer family played, as well as their activism for Native and American causes will also be featured.

The Sparta Historical Society is located at The Van Kirk Homestead Museum at 336 Main Street (Rte. 517, use Middle School Driveway), Sparta. It will open Sunday, September 24th with our new Fall Exhibition on “Princess White Deer: A Woman, A Mohawk and A Legend” and will be open every second and fourth Sunday through December 10th from 1-4 pm with 2PM talk. Further details or group reservations, call 973-726-0883 or Email: spartahistoricalsocnj@gmail.com.

Techology Funding has been made available in part by the NJ Historical Commission through the County History Partnership Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council.

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