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 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.
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.Read More
Check out some of the Museum's top moments from the first five years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Preparing new citizens to take up the promise of the American Revolution through our Citizenship Initiative.
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.
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.
Awarding the Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award to David McCullough, Ken Burns, Christiane Amanpour, and Louise Mirrer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What They're Saying
The museum deepens the oft-told history of our nation’s birth by bringing to life the ordinary people who participated in the great American experiment.The Philadelphia Inquirer
A fresh interpretation of the American Revolution.New York Review of Books
[The Museum] has already made a name for itself as one of Philadelphia’s top attractions.Lonely Planet
[The Museum has] landed a decisive victory in capturing tourists' attention in a city with lots of revolutionary competition.Associated Press
There was always a missing link in Philadelphia…Now the city’s history is complete with the opening of the year-old Museum of the American Revolution.Los Angeles Daily News
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.”
Check out what the Museum is looking forward to in the coming year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Favorite Photos from the First Five Years
From the Museum Shop
Shop books written by the Museum of the American Revolution.
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.
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.
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.
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.