The enduring importance of the American Revolution is demonstrated by the rich array of materials from the Revolution on display in changing exhibitions at museums, libraries and other cultural institutions across the country. We encourage you to seek them out.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – Yorktown, Va.
June 29, 2019 – March 22, 2020
Discover personal stories of enslaved and free African Americans on both sides of the American Revolution and the difficult choices and risks they faced in Forgotten Soldier. Rare documents and artifacts, interactives and compelling art, including a new contemporary work by nationally acclaimed artist Titus Kaphar, trace the experiences of African American soldiers who took part in the American cause for a free and independent nation or took up arms for British forces in hopes of obtaining their own freedom.
Fort Pitt Museum – Pittsburgh, Pa.
Ongoing since July 1, 2017
Few objects from colonial America had such a personal connection to their owners as the powder horns used by soldiers, settlers and American Indians to store the gunpowder necessary for their survival. The smooth surface of the horn was also an ideal place for owners and artists to leave their mark, etching names, dates, maps and war records, as well as purely whimsical figures, into the objects. The carved powder horns in this exhibition illuminate the landscapes, wars and politics of early America and particularly its frontier residents.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library – Winterthur, Del.
July 11, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Opening on the 215th anniversary of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, this exhibition examines how Hamilton’s and Burr’s legacies were shaped by other founding fathers, a wife, a daughter, historical documents and even an enormously successful, modern-day musical. The continuously interwoven fates and legacies of these two seemingly divisive figures provides an exciting opportunity to explore what stories get written, which get remembered and why, using original correspondence, printed material and imagery and an evocative eighteenth-century velvet coat.
American Philosophical Society – Philadelphia, Pa.
April 12 – December 29, 2019
Tracing the creation and use of maps from the mid-18th century through 1816, this exhibition investigates the way maps, as both artworks and practical tools, had political and social meaning. It features historical maps, surveying instruments, books, manuscripts and other objects to show how maps were used to create and extend the physical, political and ideological boundaries of the new nation and how different people used maps as political and ideological tools to express multiple, sometimes competing, visions of what the new United States would be. Highlights of the exhibition include a 1757 copy of the John Mitchell map of the British empire in North America, manuscript maps from the American Revolution and George Washington’s copy of the 1792 map of Washington, D.C.
New-York Historical Society – New York, N.Y.
July 4 – September 15, 2019
This museum-wide celebration features displays of art and artifacts from the Revolutionary War era, a Continental Army encampment and related events. Among the objects on display are a recently discovered watercolor painting of the 1782 Continental Army encampment at Verplanck’s Point, New York; an iconic Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington; a gilded horse’s tail ripped from a statue of King George III by jubilant crowds in New York City in 1776; a broadside from King George III officially ending the war; and a letter by Martha Washington detailing life in the aftermath of the Revolution. The centerpiece of Revolutionary Summer is a replica of George Washington’s headquarters tent, on display in the outdoor courtyard while on loan from the Museum of the American Revolution.
DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Va.
April 20, 2019 – January 2, 2023
The arms used by the combatants on all sides of the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars were an international jumble of firearms and bladed weapons. These arms take center stage in this exhibition, which features approximately seventy muskets, carbines and rifles, bayonets, pistols and swords used by loyalists, American patriots, Hessians and British “red coats” in battles on land and at sea. “To Arm Against an Enemy” explores the wide variety of weapons used during the Revolution and the progression of military technology that was vital to securing American independence.