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Special Exhibitions

Now Open!

Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Solider
September 28, 2019 through March 17, 2020

Cost of Rev first look

What can a life tell us about an era?

Follow the untold story of Irish soldier and artist Richard St. George, whose personal trauma and untimely death provide a window into the entangled histories of the American Revolution of 1776 and the Irish Revolution of 1798. The art he created and commissioned visualizes a unique perspective of the physical and emotional costs of these revolutionary moments.

In 1776, Richard St. George joined the British Army and donned a red coat to fight against the American “rebels.” Over the next twenty years, St. George survived a severe head wound at the Battle of Germantown, mourned over the tragic death of his wife, and saw the rule of kings and of gentlemen like himself violently challenged on two continents. Along the way, he made sketches, published cartoons, and commissioned portraits and paintings to document his experiences and emotions. In 1798, he stood in opposition to the growing Irish Revolution and was killed by his tenants.

As a result of new discoveries made by the Museum’s curators, the art and artifacts from St. George’s life and death will be reunited in Philadelphia from across the globe.

Upcoming Exhibitions

When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776 – 1807

August 22, 2020 – March 28, 2021
Included with regular Museum admission

Millions of American women were granted the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which marks its centennial in 2020. But more than a century earlier, women legally voted in New Jersey from 1776 – 1807. In a groundbreaking new exhibition, the Museum of the American Revolution will explore the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters—and examine how and why this right was ripped away in 1807. Featuring original objects including textiles, manuscripts, furniture, and art, as well as interactive elements and scenic environments, the exhibition will bring to life the forgotten stories of the women who first pioneered the vote. When Women Lost the Vote is an inspiring story that will encourage visitors to reconsider their understanding of the timeline of women’s history in America, but it is also a cautionary tale about one of America’s first voting rights crises.

A photo of flag,19j-801, from the A Growing Constellation: Flags and Founding Documents exhibit Upcoming Exhibitions

A Growing Constellation: Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-2020

Friday, June 12 – Sunday, July 5, 2020
Included with regular Museum admission

Thomas Jefferson envisioned that the United States would grow into an “Empire of Liberty” in the decades and centuries following American independence. This summer, a joint exhibition will showcase dozens of rare American flags alongside historic early state constitutions and the first official printing of the U.S. Constitution to shed light on the triumphs and tensions that the United States faced as new states joined the union, represented by the addition of a star to the flag for each state. By telling stories from the nation’s revolutionary roots to its continuing struggle over equal rights, A Growing Constellation will encourage Museum guests to consider their role in the ongoing effort to fulfill the promise of the American Revolution.

The collection of historic flags is on loan from Jeff R. Bridgman, a leading dealer of antique flags and political textiles. The documents are on loan from the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation following their exhibition at The New-York Historical Society, titled: Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions.

Past Exhibitions

Among His Troops: Washington's War Tent in a Newly Discovered Watercolor
January 13 through February 19, 2018

Close-up of historic 18th century watercolor of Verplanck's Point that shows George Washington's tent in the field. (Photo Credit: MoAR)

Among His Troops: Washington’s War Tent in a Newly Discovered Watercolor, brought together works of art, weapons, and other artifacts from the Revolutionary War to explore the history surrounding this rare eyewitness painting of the Continental Army, which was discovered by the Museum’s curators.

The Museum presented a newly discovered 235-year-old, seven-foot panoramic painting that offers an invaluable glimpse into the Revolutionary War, a time before the invention of photography. The sweeping watercolor painting of a 1782 Continental Army encampment contains the only known wartime depiction of General Washington’s headquarters tent, which is dramatically presented at the Museum. The painting depicts hundreds of military tents arrayed across the rolling landscape of the lower Hudson Valley. Perched on a hilltop rising above the scene is Washington’s field headquarters, including the marquee tent in which he lived during the Revolutionary War. 

Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia
October 27, 2018 through March 17, 2019

Hamilton Was Here

Journey through Hamilton’s Philadelphia in Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia. The interactive playscape revealed connections between our own city and Alexander Hamilton’s extraordinary contributions to the nation’s founding.

Through playful interactives, scenic environments, and facilitated games, visitors actively engaged in the challenges of founding and maintaining a country and were inspired to carry these lessons forward as they face the challenges of citizenship today. Hamilton Was Here was part of the "Year of Hamilton" that explored the surprising connections between Philadelphia and Hamilton’s extraordinary contributions to the nation’s founding through lectures, evening programs, and family-friendly activities. 

A New Constellation: A Collection of Historic 13-Star Flags
Flag Day, Friday, June 14 through Sunday, July 21, 2019

A New Constellation

Beginning Flag Day 2019, 40 rare historic flags went on display at the Museum of the American Revolution, marking the first time that this collection has ever been displayed together. The flags feature 32 different arrangements of 13 stars, representing the 13 colonies that declared independence from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. The 13-star flag became the official flag of the new nation on June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act. In an adjacent activity space, visitors of all ages can try on Revolutionary-inspired clothing, handle replica objects, and participate in activities like designing their own flag.