Exhibit Celebrates Wesley Historian Frank Baker

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Duke Divinity School Library will hold a reception Friday, April 15, 3-4 p.m., celebrating the 101st birthday of Frank Baker (1910-1999), an eminent Wesley historian who taught at Duke from 1960-1980.

The event marks the opening of the April 15-June 30 exhibit "Methodical Researcher: Frank Baker Interprets the Wesleys,’" which explores Baker’s research on John and Charles Wesley.

Roger Loyd, director of the Divinity School Library, said the exhibit will include approximately 30 items from the Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism. Most are 18th century artifacts from Duke University’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

“This exhibit will focus not so much on the Wesleys themselves, but on the work Frank Baker did to help us all understand the Wesleys,” said Loyd.

The exhibit coincides with “Celebrating Charles Wesley and Frank Baker,” the Twenty-second Annual Meeting of The Charles Wesley Society to be held June 22-24 at Duke Divinity School. In addition to presentations on the writings and life of Charles Wesley, the event will commemorate Baker’s contribution to Wesley studies and include a June 23 banquet in his honor.

Among Baker’s doctoral students who will provide reflections on his life and work are William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus Richard Heitzenrater, Paul Chilcote, Steve Harper, Charles Wallace, and David Lowes Watson.

The meeting is co-sponsored by The Charles Wesley Society and The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at the Divinity School.