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First, we told you that an honest-to-goodness member of Apollo 13 is part of this year’s Florida Chautauqua Assembly – and now an expert in a the American icon that is the Studebaker joins the event ranks.
Studebaker National Museum Archivist to Address 2015 Florida Chautauqua Assembly
Will exhibit Collection of Theodore Wells Pietsch II’s Original Framed Automotive Design Drawings
DeFuniak Springs, FL…Studebaker National Museum Archivist Andrew Beckman of South Bend, Indiana will be a keynote speaker at the 2015 Florida Chautauqua Assembly. Beckman will address an anticipated crowd of 200 to 300 on Saturday, January 24, 9:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs.
Archivist Andrew Beckman has been with the museum since 1999. He previously worked at the Sheboygan County Historical Society in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Wade House State Historic Site in Greenbush, Wisconsin. Mr. Beckman hails from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and holds a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. In 2004, he completed the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2009, he earned his mid-level certificate in Collections Preservation from the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mount Carroll, Illinois. Mr. Beckman is the author of two books: The Studebaker National Museum: Over a Century on Wheels, and Studebaker’s Last Dance: The Avanti. In addition to his duties at the Studebaker National Museum, Mr. Beckman serves as Vice President of the Society of Automotive Historians. He also serves on the board of Stone Soup Community, a South Bend-based social service agency.
Beckman is bringing a collection of Theodore Wells Pietsch II’s Original Framed Automotive Design Drawings. Theodore Wells Pietsch II (September 23, 1912, Baltimore, Maryland ‒ August 24, 1993, Everett, Washington) was an American automobile stylist and industrial designer who, with little formal education, managed to launch a career in automobile design that took him over a period of 38 years to nearly every major automobile company in the nation. Families attending the 2015 Assembly can see a collection of his original framed automotive design drawings for free at the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, 96 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs Friday, January 23, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 24, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, January 25, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Florida Chautauqua Association board member Mike Hill and wife Janice of DeFuniak Springs are sponsors of Beckman’s appearance and the Pietsch Art Exhibit. “Andrew Beckman is an authority on the history of the Studebaker, and we are proud to welcome him to our community for this historic event. My wife Janice and I are Studebaker enthusiasts, and we can’t wait to meet others with the same passion for preserving and promoting this part of American History through such a wonderful presentation we are anticipating from Mr. Beckman.”
The Florida Chautauqua Assembly is an historic 4-day educational program for families featuring famous keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions, performance teas, evening dinner performances and exhibits relating to an annual theme. The event is held throughout DeFuniak Springs, Florida, mostly on the grounds of the Florida Chautauqua which originally lasted from 1885 to 1927. The Assembly was revived in 1996 and has continued to grow ever since. The 2015 theme is “From the River to the Rocket: A Journey into the World of Transportation,” featuring a keynote presentation by Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise. Mr. Haise speaks on Friday, January 23 at Walton High School, 8:30 a.m.
Tickets to Beckman’s keynote presentation on Saturday, January 24 are $10 each. Those wishing to enter a Studebaker in the Studebaker Corral on that day will receive a free ticket to Beckman’s presentation. Purchase tickets between now and January 23 by calling (850) 892-7613 during normal business hours or in person at the Florida Chautauqua Association, 1290 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435 (the old Lakeside Building across from the DeFuniak Springs Library) during normal business hours. Any remaining tickets can be purchased the morning of the event at Lakeside Building beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Major corporate sponsors of this event include: Visit South Walton / Walton County TDC, City of DeFuniak Springs, The COPE Center, PanCare Health, The Little Big Store, Audio-To-Go, PanCare Health, Walton County School District, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, and The Painter Group, LLC.