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.
Concord Museum and Worcester Art Museum – Concord, Mass., and Worcester, Mass.
February 14 – June 7, 2020
The patriot, silversmith and entrepreneur Paul Revere was forever immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1861 poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” but his genuine accomplishments are often eclipsed by the legend of the midnight journey. This traveling exhibition, organized by the American Antiquarian Society, features more than 150 objects and re-examines Revere’s life, transforming visitors’ understanding of the innovative businessman through an in-depth exploration of his accomplishments as a silversmith, printmaker and pioneering copper manufacturer. During this period, the exhibition will be divided between and displayed simultaneously at the Concord Museum and the Worcester Art Museum.
New-York Historical Society – New York, N.Y.
February 28 – May 31, 2020
America has been singular among nations in fostering a vibrant culture of engagement with constitutional matters and the fundamental principles of government. Featuring forty books and documents from philanthropist Dorothy Tapper Goldman’s collection—including constitutions from the federal and state levels—Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic depicts the story of America’s unique constitutionalism from the founding era through the turn of the twentieth century. The exhibition, which sketches the often troubled history of the country as it expanded across the continent, serves as a timely reminder of our country’s democratic foundations and its relentless quest for improvement.
Massachusetts Historical Society – Boston, Mass.
October 31, 2019 – June 30, 2020
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Learn about the Boston Massacre and “hear” for yourself—through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women, and discover how this flashpoint changed American history.
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.
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.
Connecticut Historical Society – Hartford, Conn.
October 25, 2019 – May 2, 2020
Dutch-born mapmaker Bernard Romans was one of the most important mapmakers of the American Revolution. Romans came to the American colonies in 1757 during the French and Indian War, surveying for the British along the Atlantic seaboard. Later, Romans became a supporter of American independence, joined the Continental Army and eventually settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut. In 1780, he was captured by the British and died in 1784, mysteriously, while a prisoner. Both the British and Americans used Romans’ maps during the Revolutionary War. This exhibition displays Romans’ maps alongside seventeenth- and eighteenth-century maps of Connecticut.