Stolen,Smuggled, Sold: On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures

Who owns the world’s cultural treasures– is it the artist,the society or the museum a work comes from? That is the premise of Stolen, Smuggled, Sold-On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures, published in 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield a book by Nancy Moses, who will speak at an upcoming Springfield Township Historical Society program.

“I look at the law from the perspective of history and ethical issues. The ethical issues are the most interesting—people with power vs. the powerless. It has happened with Native American and even little old ladies,” said Nancy, pointing out that one chapter is about author Pearl Buck.

When Pearl Buck was in her 70s, she developed a relationship with a young man who she put in charge of her foundation. “Her entourage was stunned. Did the young man take advantage of her? I am not sure,” said Nancy. The manuscript for Buck’s most famous book is in a safe owned by her oldest son rather than a library, Nancy said.

A writer who is the author of another book, Lost in the Museum: Hidden Treasures and the Stories They Tell (AltaMira Press 2008), Nancy was appointed by Governor Wolf as chair of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission,which works in partnership with others to preserve the Commonwealth’s natural and cultural heritage as a steward, teacher and advocate for the people of Pennsylvania and the nation.

A resident of Philadelphia since 1976, she began her career as a Program Chief at the National Endowment for the Humanities and then went on to top management positions at WQED-Pittsburgh Public Broadcasting, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Philadelphia Studies, and the City of Philadelphia.As an independent consultant, and through her firm, Collaborations, Inc. she has helped clients create heritage tourism entities and digital learning labs; launch international, environmental and civic initiatives; and establish new philanthropies.

The program is free and open to the public.

Thursday, September 6, 7:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Bethlehem Pike and East Mill Rd., Flourtown

Copies of the book will be available at the program. For more information, call the historical society at 215-233-4600.