nternationally recognized as one of the world’s leading arms historians, Herbert G. Houze will visit Orange to discuss American accomplishments in the field of embellished firearms at 6:30 p.m., Friday at the Lutcher Theater, 707 Main Ave. The slide-presentation is free to the public and is hosted by the Stark Museum of Art in association with its current exhibition, “Pistols: Dazzling Firearms,” on view through Oct. 24.

Houze is a sought-after lecturer on the topic of firearms and has authored more than 20 books and monographs on the subject. Over the last three decades, he has also curated three major collections, including the Winchester Arms Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyo., and most recently the Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. During the presentation, Houze will describe the influence of European engravers on American firearms in the mid-nineteenth century, and he will also discuss the emergence of the American style of firearm embellishments.

Following the presentation will be a special reception with refreshments at the Stark Museum of Art. Houze will sign copies of any of his books, three of which are available for purchase in the Museum Store: “Arming the West: Schuyler, Hartley and Graham’s Arms Shipments to the American Frontier;” “Colt Presentations from the Factory Ledgers: 1856-1869; and “Samuel Colt: Arms, Art and Invention.” During the reception, guests will also have the opportunity view the Stark Museum of Art’s current exhibition, “Pistols: Dazzling Firearms,” organized by the Museum of the American West, Autry National Center, Los Angeles. The exhibition features 50 American firearms and illustrates how art, historical events and popular culture have influenced the design and symbolism of American weaponry.
The Stark Museum of Art is open to the public at no charge. Hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Group tours are available by appointment. For more information, call 886-ARTS (2787) or visit www.starkmuseum.org.