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Opening Spring 2017: Museum of the American Revolution

Philadelphia will welcome a new museum to its storied historic offerings in April 2017. The Museum of the American Revolution's rich collection of objects, works of art, manuscripts and printed works from the period of the American Revolution will bring to life the events, people and ideals of the founding of the United States, and inspire a deep appreciation of the importance of the struggle that created American democracy.

With original artifacts, immersive galleries, dynamic theaters and large-scale tableaux, the experience will take visitors on a chronological journey from the roots of conflict in the 1760s to the rise of armed resistance, and from the bold Declaration of Independence of 1776 through the long years of warfare that achieved victory. At the heart of the museum experience is the opportunity for visitors to engage with the museum's extensive collection of original historic artifacts. One of the premier collections of its kind, it includes several thousand objects from the period of the American Revolution, including a number of George Washington's personal belongings, as well as an impressive assortment of period weaponry, soldiers' and civilians' personal accoutrements, fine art and printed works and manuscripts. These "authentic witnesses" to the events of the American Revolution will illustrate the stories told in each of the core exhibition's galleries.

Whether stepping into an Oneida Indian council house or examining the 1773 volume Poems on Various Subjects by Phyllis Wheatley, America's first published black female poet, museum visitors will see the diversity of people and opinion of the American founding. Galleries will explore military strategy of the war and the war's impact on everyday citizens.

Immersive experiences include a gallery featuring a full-scale replica of Boston's Liberty Tree, where the first stirrings of revolt were discussed and debated; the recreation of an Oneida Indian council house, where the tribe's leaders make their decision to join the American cause; the Battlefield Theater, where visitors are placed on the Continental Army's front-lines facing a British assault; a recreation of Independence Hall in disarray during British occupation in Philadelphia; and a large model of an 18th-century privateer ship that visitors can board. The culminating museum experience will be the Legacy Theater, where visitors are invited to reflect on their new understanding of the struggle to create the first modern democracy, and on the ongoing responsibility to perpetuate the ideals of America's first "greatest generation."

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Photo courtesy of  Museum of the American Revolution.


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