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On April 19, 2017 – the anniversary of the “shot heard ‘round the world” that ignited the Revolutionary War – the Museum of the American Revolution officially opened to the public with a celebration that stretched across Historic Philadelphia and reverberated around the nation. Since then, the Museum has welcomed more than a million visitors from around the world to experience its nuanced, “warts-and-all” (New York Times) telling of the American Revolution. Millions more have experienced its rich, complex, and inspiring story through virtual programs and resources. 

Called "a vibrant and vital cultural institution" and “refreshingly inclusive” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), the Museum has brought history to life for visitors through a whirlwind of award-winning special exhibitions, thought-provoking programming, and new acquisitions and discoveries. None of this would be possible without the support of our many visitors, members, donors, and partners. Thank you!


A Historic Gift on Our Anniversary

We are filled with gratitude as the Museum is set to receive approximately $50 million from the estate of H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, the Museum’s late Founding Chairman.

Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest
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A Strong Financial Future

The monumental gift — the largest single gift in the Museum’s history — will nearly double the Museum’s endowment, putting us in a strong financial position as we look ahead to the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding in 2026 and strengthening our ability to ensure that the promise of the American Revolution endures.

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Five-Year Highlights

Check out some of the Museum's top moments from the first five years.

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Grand Opening

Opening on-time and debt-free with a growing endowment after surpassing our capital campaign goal of $150 million and raising a total of $173 million from supporters from every state in the nation.

A Museum staff member views a painting in the Liberty exhibit
 

Critically Accaimed Exhibitions

Creating and displaying critically and publicly acclaimed special exhibitions that demonstrate the Museum’s fresh scholarship and evocative storytelling, including Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, on view through Sept. 5, 2022.

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New Acquisitions

Acquiring new additions to our expansive collection of artifacts, including the journal of a Revolutionary prisoner of war, the sword of a Revolutionary War colonel, the journal of Betsy Ross’s third husband, and an archive of documents related to soldiers of color in the Revolutionary War, among many others.

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Educational Opportunities

Engaging more than 200,000 students and educators onsite and online in our Through Their Eyes field trip program, professional development opportunities, workshops, and educator open houses. 

A family of four view The Revolution's Veterans picture wall in the Museum galleries.
 

Access for All

Providing access to all through our PECO Family Membership, Art-Reach’s ACCESS Philly program, the STAMP program, memberships at local libraries, and more.

Citizenship Initiative Galleries Tour
 

Preparing Citizens

Preparing new citizens to take up the promise of the American Revolution through our Citizenship Initiative

Read the Revolution Speaker Series with Vincent Brown
 

Thought-Provoking Talks

Delivering thought-provoking programs featuring award-winning authors and historians as part of the Museum’s popular Read the Revolution Speaker Series, including Vincent Brown, Lonnie Bunch, Annette Gordon-Reed, Gordon Wood, and many others.

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Robust Virtual Offerings

Enhancing our virtual offerings, including a Virtual Museum Tour, a Virtual Tour of Washington’s Field Headquarters, a virtual version of When Women Lost the Vote, and online interactives including Season of Independence and Finding Freedom.

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Major Awards

Awarding the Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award to David McCullough, Ken Burns, Christiane Amanpour, and Louise Mirrer.

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Celebrating Indigenous Peoples

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day each October with provocative panel discussions, native craftspeople, Oneida Indian Nation dancers, film screenings, and other special programs. 

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Commitment to Sustainability

Achieving LEED Gold certification and an American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Sustainability Excellence Award for our commitment to sustainability, a challenging feat for museums that have strict climate requirements for preserving artifacts.

Noah Lewis portrays Ned Hector and teaches a young guest how to fire a cannon as part of our Meet The Revolution series.
 

Elevating Black Stories

Elevating Black stories through our new African American Interpretive Program and Meet the Revolution series, as part of our Diversify Living History initiative.

Tiffany Bacon portrays Elizabeth Freeman at the Museum of the American Revolution.
Tiffany Bacon portrays Elizabeth Freeman at the Museum of the American Revolution. 

Bringing History to Life

Bringing stories to life through our first-person theatrical performances including Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, Richard St. George, Joseph Plumb Martin, Rebecca VanDike, and James Forten. 

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The British are Back!

Occupying the Museum’s Old City neighborhood with dozens of soldiers, civilians and spies during our annual flagship living history event, Occupied Philadelphia. 

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Museum Books

Releasing new publications by Museum staff, including the Museum’s official guidebook and richly illustrated catalogs corresponding with special exhibitions including Among His Troops, Cost of Revolution, and Liberty, and being featured in a new book on archaeology on the Museum’s site.

We couldn’t be more grateful for the vision of the Museum’s founders and the continued commitment of our many supporters.
Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson

“We are gratified that visitors from around the world have found our institution so necessary and relevant. But, at five years old, our work has only just begun," Stephenson continued. "As we look ahead to the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026 and beyond, we will continue our important work to ensure that the promise of the American Revolution endures for all people.”

Looking Ahead

Check out what the Museum is looking forward to in the coming year.

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A Revolutionary Summer

Exploring what liberty and equality mean for all people during A Revolutionary Summer of special events and activities spanning Memorial Day, Flag Day, Juneteenth, July 4th, and Labor Day. 

Kalela Williams interacts with young guests at a Discovery Cart on the Museum's Plaza as part of our Meet the Revolution series.
 

A New Generation of Interpretors

Hosting our inaugural Living History Youth Summer Institute, a six-week program is an intensive course for young adults interested in interpreting the lives of people of African ancestry in the Revolutionary era.

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Adding to Our Digital Lineup

Launching new digital initiatives in the coming year including a Multimedia Timeline of the American Revolution, a virtual version of our 2019 Cost of Revolution special exhibition, and a virtual version of our 2018 Among His Troops special exhibition. 

A portrait of James Forten is printed on a wall graphic in the Museum's core exhibition.
 

Black Founders Special Exhibition

Opening a groundbreaking new special exhibition, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, exploring the life and legacy of free Black Philadelphian James Forten and his remarkable family in February 2023.

From the Museum Shop

Shop books written by the Museum of the American Revolution.

This image depicts the book cover for the Museum of American Revolution Official Guidebook. The bottom of the cover depicts a relief sculpture found on the building of the Museum of Washington crossing the Delaware River. The top of the book is written in red. And the top of the cover shows some of the galleries inside of the Museum.
 

Official Guidebook

$21.99

This official commemorative guide includes historic artifacts and art, a detailed timeline, fascinating facts, brief biographies, and compelling quotes. With colorful images and engaging text, the book captures both the famous and the lesser-known stories of the American Revolution.

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This image depicts the book cover of the Museum of the American Revolution’s Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War exhibit catalog. The cover is a painting by Don Troiani titled “Battle of Bunker Hill.” The painting shows solders behind a dirt mound, with their rifles pointing toward the right of the image. There are cannonballs lodged into the ground in  front of them and smoke fills the sky.
 

Liberty Exhibit Book

$29.95

Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, the book that serves as catalog for the exhibit of Troiani’s work at the Museum of the American Revolution, highlights the most pivotal events of America’s fight for independence and reveals Troiani’s research-based artistic process.

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Among His Troops Coffee Table Catalog

$60.00

Among His Troops is a full-color catalog based on our January-February 2018 exhibit of the same name and includes two full-size pull-out prints of the West Point watercolor (from Library of Congress) and the Verplanck’s Point watercolor (Museum collection), both originally from 1782.


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This image depicts the book cover for Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier. This is a catalog of a limited run Museum exhibition. The cover shows two portraits of Richard St. George.
 

Cost of Revolution Exhibit Book

$18.00

Presented together for the first time in this book are the 22 surviving works of art, now spread out across the globe, that Richard Mansergh St. George is known to have posed for, created, or helped create.

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