The British are back this weekend! 🇬🇧
In the fall of 1777, Philadelphia was seized by the British and occupied for nine long months. Join us at the Museum on Nov. 5-6 for our annual Occupied Philadelphia living history event, sponsored by American Heritage Credit Union, as we recreate the dark days of the British occupation. Meet soldiers, civilians, prisoners of war, and spies as they demonstrate their trades, like coopering, dressmaking, wheelwrighting, and leatherwork, and perform street theater vignettes that bring dramatic moments from 1777-78 to life.
Occupied Philadelphia: https://bit.ly/3DIJ3EH
It’s a gourd day to carve a pumpkin 🎃 #howrevolutionary #pumpkincarving #pumpkincarvingideas #nationalpumpkinday #halloween
Why the Revolution: Halloween in the 18th Century
Did you know Washington Irving's scary tale "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" has Revolutionary roots? 👻🎃
As All Hallow's Eve approaches, watch as the Museum's Dr. Tyler Putman explores how Halloween was celebrated (or not celebrated) in British North America in the 1700s. He shares spooky traditions in the 18th century such as carving turnips — not pumpkins — to ward off evil spirits, whether people in the 1700s dressed in costumes and ate candy, and more.
Learn more over Halloween Weekend at the Museum: https://bit.ly/3SpOuME
Washington's War Tent Film Preview
Washington’s War Tent – General George Washington’s mobile headquarters during much of the Revolutionary War – is one of the most iconic surviving artifacts from the Revolutionary War and the centerpiece of the Museum’s collection. Follow the remarkable journey of Washington's tent from the Revolutionary War to the present in the Museum's signature Washington's War Tent film, highlighted by the reveal of the real tent on your next visit!
Plan Your Visit: https://bit.ly/3E8LvEL
AmRev360: Making Art Accessible with Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired
When the Museum opened its latest special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War, it faced a difficult question: how do you distill highly detailed paintings into a meaningful experience for people with visual disabilities? Enter Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired.
Clovernook provides life-enriching opportunities while empowering people who are blind or visually disabled to be self-sufficient and full participants in their communities. Its braille printing house produces books, magazines, and other materials for the National Library Services and braille patrons worldwide. For Liberty, Clovernook created and donated raised tactile images of three of Troiani’s paintings for use at the Museum by guests with visual disabilities.
In this episode, Clovernook's Sam Foulkes, Director of Braille Production & Accessible Innovation, and Brian Anderson, Arts & Accessibility Coordinator, join Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson to discuss Clovernook's mission, the process for how tactile graphics of paintings are made, what museums can do to be more accessible to people who are blind or have visual disabilities, and more.
Why the Revolution: "Huzzah" or "Huzzay"?
"Hip, hip huzzah!" Or is it "hip, hip huzzay"? 🤔
It's our anniversary week, so we're in a celebratory mood! How did people in the 18th century pronounce this celebratory word? Today we may know it better by "hooray" or "hoorah," but its origins go back centuries. And while it may be difficult to truly know the answer, two poems may give us a hint. The Museum's Dr. Tyler Putman answers this question and more in this editition of the Museum's Why the Revolution series. In the 18th century, the phrase we most commonly say now as "hip, hip huzzah!" may actually have been pronounced "hip, hip huzzay!"
Join us to celebrate our fifth anniversary all week long: bit.ly/3xzWyUc
Don Troiani's "Concord Bridge, The Nineteenth of April, 1775" with Matthew Skic
On this day in 1775, the Revolutionary War began in Massachusetts at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
In Don Troiani's painting "Concord Bridge, The Nineteenth of April, 1775," featured in our Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War special exhibition, Captain Isaac Davis’s minute company from Acton, Mass., fires at the British troops across the North Bridge at Concord, an event that poet Ralph Waldo Emerson later called the “shot heard round the world.”
Watch as Museum Curator of Exhibitions Matthew Skic explores the scene and themes of the painting, which you can see on your visit as we celebrate the Museum's fifth anniversary and commemorate the "shot heard 'round the world": bit.ly/37tvStq
Celebrating Five Years of Making History
On April 19, 2017 – the anniversary of the “shot heard ‘round the world” that ignited the Revolutionary War – the Museum officially opened in historic Philadelphia. Over these past five years, we've brought history to life through award-winning special exhibitions, thought-provoking programming, and new discoveries. Celebrate with us onsite and online as we say thank you for your support – huzzah!
Celebrating Five Years: bit.ly/3rq6ZpF
When Women Lost the Vote: The "Remember the Ladies" Letter
"...in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.” — Abigail Adams, March 31, 1776
On this day in 1776, Abigail Adams wrote these lines from Braintree, Massachusetts, to her husband John Adams, a member of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. “In the new code of laws” of the Revolutionary governments, she urged, “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.” Ladies like her, Abigail wrote, “will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
Watch former Museum Curatorial Fellow Dr. Marcela Micucci and Museum Chief Historian Dr. Philip Mead share more about the letter, collection of Massachusetts Historical Society, which was displayed at the Museum as part of our past exhibit When Women Lost the Vote.
Take a closer look anytime with our virtual exhibit: bit.ly/34KCmmb
AmRev360: Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian specializing in early America and the history of women, and a professor at Harvard University. Among her many publications, her books include The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth; A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism; and A Midwife’s Tale, which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize — the first book of women's history to receive the prize — and was later the basis for a PBS documentary film. In 1976, Ulrich coined the phrase "well-behaved women seldom make history,” which has since taken on a life of its own and has been used on greeting cards, T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, and more.
In this episode, Ulrich joins Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson during Women’s History Month to discuss the ways in which women — well-behaved or otherwise — have shaped history.
Why the Revolution: Phillis Wheatley's Signed Book
In 1773, Phillis Wheatley became the first published African-American poet with the publishing of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. An original copy of her work, signed by Wheatley, is in our collection and on display at the Museum. Why did she sign a copy of the book? What does her signature tell us about the book and about Phillis Wheatley as an author?
The Museum's Dr. Tyler Putman answers those questions and more in this edition of the Museum's Why the Revolution series.
Don Troiani's "Margaret Corbin, Fort Washington" with Meg Bowersox
In his painting "Margaret Corbin, Fort Washington," artist Don Troiani depicts 25-year-old Margaret Corbin, who witnessed the death of her husband, John, at the Battle of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island on Nov. 16, 1776. As Hessian soldiers attacked, the young woman took her husband’s position at a cannon and continued to fight, falling injured. Corbin later became the first woman military pensioner of the United States when the Continental Congress awarded her soldier’s half-pay for life in 1779.
Watch as the Museum's Manager of Gallery Interpretation Meg Bowersox explores the scene and themes of the work, featured in our current special exhibition Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War.
See the painting on your next visit as we celebrate Women's History Month: bit.ly/2MGMxja
AmRev360: Bringing Black History to Life with Marvin-Alonzo Greer
With tens of thousands of followers on TikTok and Instagram, Marvin-Alonzo Greer (MAG the Historian) is not your typical historian. His popular, informational, and often irreverent posts explore everything from little-known stories from Black history to behind-the-scenes looks at costumed living history. Greer, whose portrayals range from the Revolutionary War and the 18th century to the Civil War and the 19th century, has an interpretive philosophy: “If history is not interesting and relevant, you’re not teaching it right.”
In this episode of AmRev360, Greer joins Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson to talk about his creative use of social media to educate people on Black history topics, what drew him to living history interpretation, and how his interpretive philosophy came to be and how it informs his work.
A Walk Through George Washington's Philadelphia
What was Philadelphia like in the Revolutionary era when George Washington served as the first president of the United States, and how did the city shape him as a leader and person?
Authors and historians David O. Stewart and Talmage Boston joined Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson for a walking tour through Washington’s Philadelphia, including stops at Independence Hall, the President’s House, and Congress Hall. Following stops at key moments in the Museum’s core exhibition and our special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, the trio warmed up in Revolution Place for a fireside chat about the nation’s first president.
AmRev360: Art of Revolution with Les Seifer
Iconic artistic depictions of the American Revolution tend to be highly realistic in a way that pulls an observer directly into a scene from the times. From Peale to Trumbull to Trego to Troiani, their works are often lifelike, trying to depict and make sense of an era before photographs and video recordings.
Les Seifer, a Brooklyn-based artist, takes a modern approach to his interpretation, using ink and mixed media to explore the humanity and “messiness” of the Revolutionary era. His 2018 self-published monograph, Revolt!, features art sure to be recognizable to anyone interested in the American Revolution, even if it is different from historical artists who came before him. And for any visitor to the Museum, you may notice some familiar figures that make up tableau scenes in our galleries, including Joseph Plumb Martin, the Peale Brothers, the Hessian Soldier, A Brawl in Harvard Yard, and more.
In this episode of AmRev360, Seifer joins Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson for a tour of his home studio and a discussion about his artistic process, his interest in the complexity of the American Revolution, his unique depictions of Revolutionary era scenes, and the inspiration he found on his visit to the Museum.
Don Troiani's "Brave Men as Ever Fought" with Michael Idriss
Featured in our special exhibition Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War is one of historical artist Don Troiani’s latest works, "Brave Men as Ever Fought." The painting depicts young African American sailor and Philadelphian James Forten witnessing Black and Native American troops in the ranks of the Continental Army as they march past Independence Hall on their way to Yorktown, Virginia on Sept. 2, 1781. The painting was commissioned in 2019 by the Museum with funding provided by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail.
Watch as the Museum's African American Interpretive Fellow Michael Idriss explores the scene and themes of the work.
See the painting on your next visit as we celebrate Black History Month: bit.ly/3rc3kZT
AmRev360: Accidental Archaeology with Matt & Melissa Dunphy
When Matt and Melissa Dunphy (The Boghouse) bought an old building in the northern end of the Museum’s Old City District neighborhood in Philadelphia in the mid-2010s, they had dreams of renovating the space into a multi-disciplinary theater. Little did they know at the time that now half a decade later they would be digging well below the building’s basement floor, not to stabilize a fragile foundation but to unearth centuries of Philadelphia history long buried in a privy pit.
In this episode of AmRev360, Matt and Melissa join Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson to discuss how they stumbled into amateur archaeology, what artifacts they’ve unearthed, and what they’ve learned along the way.
AmRev360: Spain’s Role in the American Revolution with Gonzalo M. Quintero Saravia
What role did Spain play in the winning of American Independence? In the latest episode of AmRev360, author, historian, and diplomat Dr. Gonzalo M. Quintero Saravia, Deputy Head of Mission in Lima, Peru, joins Dr. R. Scott Stephenson for a discussion about the intertwined histories of the United States and Spain, based on Quintero Saravia’s extensively researched book, Bernardo de Gálvez: Spanish Hero of the American Revolution.
AmRev360: Picturing the Revolutionary War with Don Troiani
Without the benefit of photography, the Revolutionary War can be difficult to imagine. But what did the war truly look like? Nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani (Don Troiani Historical Artist) has spent much of his decades long career trying to answer this question through his painstakingly researched works of art. More than 45 of those paintings are currently on display as part of the Museum’s current special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, his first major museum exhibition.
In this episode of AmRev360, Troiani joins Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson from the exhibit for a discussion about where his love of art and history originated, his surprising Philadelphia ties, his most challenging paintings, and the scenes he’d still like to paint.
In the fall of 1777, Philadelphia — the Revolutionary capital at the time — was seized by the British and occupied for nine long months. Now the British are back, and they're occupying some of Philadelphia's iconic sites, including Independence Hall, Love Park, City Hall, and even our beloved cheesesteaks.
Join us on Saturday, Nov. 6 as we recreate what life was like in the city while British forces controlled it, with our annual Occupied Philadelphia living history event: bit.ly/3CnljT0
A Message From the King
Don't throw away your shot to see Hamilton during its Philadelphia run at The Kimmel Cultural Campus! We're giving away 2️⃣ pairs of tickets for you to be in the room where it happens on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. All new subscribers who sign up to receive Museum email updates before 9 a.m. Eastern on Monday, Nov. 1 will be automatically entered into our drawing.
📧 Sign up here: bit.ly/3b0b3Ev
Plus, we have a special message from the king, Neil Haskell, who plays King George III in the production, ahead of our Occupied Philadelphia living history event coming up on Saturday, Nov. 6. Watch below!
Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War | New Special Exhibition
What did the Revolutionary War actually look like? Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War, our brand-new exhibit in historic Philadelphia, is now open and features more than 40 of renowned artist Don Troiani's paintings alongside dozens of Revolutionary-era artifacts.
Plan Your Visit: bit.ly/39OWcvV
Makers Reflect on the True Colours Flag Project
This past summer, the Museum undertook the True Colours Flag Project, an ambitious project to recreate a "suit of colours," the full set of flags carried by ships during the Revolutionary War.
To recreate the flags from countries all over the globe, like France, Britain, Spain, Portugal, and more, the Museum worked with a team of seamstresses from across the country — the full group of which included Kirsten Hammerstrom, Kaitlin Healy, Ruth Hodges, Nastassia Parker, Kim Praria, Nicole Rudolph, Gabriela Salvador, Jana Violante, and Hannah Wallace as well as Elise D'Avella, Jennifer Gray, and Carol Spacht of the Betsy Ross House.
Watch as the makers and seamstresses who brought the "suit of colours" to life reflect on participating in the True Colours Flag Project: bit.ly/3DdBwu5
When our upcoming exhibit, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, opens Oct. 16, you'll see over 40 of Don Troiani's (Don Troiani Historical Artist) original Revolutionary War paintings paired 40 artifacts from his personal collection, that of the Museum, and several private collectors — some of which were recently unboxed by our collections team!
Here's a 👀sneak peek👀 at the unboxing process and a few of the artifacts that will be displayed in the exhibit!
Learn more about Liberty: bit.ly/3C9uG9j
Artisan Field Trip with Gunmaker Mitch Yates (Part 2)
As part of the Museum’s Artisan Field Trip series, Museum Gallery Interpretation Manager Tyler Putman caught up with gunmaker Mitch Yates (J.Mitchell Yates Colonial American Artist) to discuss Yates' work on producing a highly accurate reproduction of an extremely rare 1775 John Christian Oerter (also known in German as Johann Christian Oerter) rifle for the Museum to use for public and educational programs, thanks to support from Contemporary Longrifle Association.
Yates, who called the Oerter rifle a “Holy Grail” for him, spoke with Putman about the work he recently completed on the decorative brass wire inlay found on Oerter's rifle and recreated by Yates. Plus, don't miss behind-the-scenes clips of Yates' work!
Learn more and catch up on Part 1: bit.ly/3lRAI8Y
July 9, 1776
On this day in 1776, General George Washington ordered that the recently adopted Declaration of Independence be read aloud to the Continental Army in New York City.
From the General Orders, 9 July 1776:
"The Honorable the Continental Congress, impelled by the dictates of duty, policy and necessity, having been pleased to dissolve the Connection which subsisted between this Country, and Great Britain, and to declare the United Colonies of North America, free and independent STATES: The several brigades are to be drawn up this evening on their respective Parades, at six OClock, when the declaration of Congress, shewing the grounds & reasons of this measure, is to be read with an audible voice.
The General hopes this important Event will serve as a fresh incentive to every officer, and soldier, to act with Fidelity and Courage, as knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms: And that he is now in the service of a State, possessed of sufficient power to reward his merit, and advance him to the highest Honors of a free Country."
Later that evening, inspired by the revolutionary words, a crowd of soldiers and civilians tore down the gilt lead statue of King George III in New York City.
Mother Bethel AME Virtual "Walking" Tour
AmRev360: The Power of Storytelling through Film with Donna Lawrence
Deborah Sampson's Wedding Dress