Mark Miner, Beaver Area Heritage Museum – 412.370.5302 –


Beaver Museum’s “Quay” Exhibit, Documentary Receive National and Statewide Awards

BEAVER, PA – June 26, 2023 – The American Association for State and Local History is bestowing a 2023 Award of Excellence to the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation and Museum for its provocative 2022-2023 museum exhibit and video documentary, “Saint or Sinner? The Complicated Legacy of Senator Matthew Stanley Quay.” The award will be presented on Sept. 8 at the AASLH annual conference in Boise, ID.

It is the second major award the Heritage Museum has received this year for its visually rich examination of the life and practices of Quay, the 19th and early 20th century Pennsylvania State Treasurer, United States Senator and Republican National Committee Chairman from Beaver. In April, in a ceremony in Hershey, the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations bestowed a 2023 Special Achievement Award.

Due to popular demand, the museum will keep the free Saint/Sinner display open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of November.

“The Award of Excellence is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation of state and local history,” said Bethany Hawkins, AASLH chief of operations. “This year, AASLH is proud to confer 51 national awards honoring people, projects, and exhibits which represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.”

Added Rusty Baker, executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation, “The annual awards are meant to inspire the museum field and impress visitors to museums. The Beaver Museum is one of Pennsylvania’s star performers, and we are proud to recognize its great work along with other museums and historical organizations throughout the Commonwealth.”

More than 1,500 guests viewed the Saint/Sinner display in 2022 and overwhelmingly cast their votes that Quay was more of a sinner than saint in his life’s work. The documentary, produced in association with Pacer Studios, captures the highlights of Quay’s personality and practices through the perspective of his biographer, 100-year-old Dr. James A. Kehl, who unfortunately died midway through the project. The 35-minute, highly entertaining video is posted on the Heritage Foundation’s new YouTube page.

All-new in the museum this year is an interactive video touch-screen presentation featuring 17 expanded clips of Kehl’s best sound bites, including some not shown in the documentary.

“We are grateful that our small community museum has been recognized not only throughout Pennsylvania but also the nation,” said Edwards McLaughlin, chair of the museum’s board of trustees. “It’s exciting to be recognized for our team’s work and thrilling to be counted among all of the great organizations that will receive awards this year.”

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