Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary WarOctober 16, 2021 - September 5, 2022
Without the benefit of photography, the Revolutionary War can be difficult to envision. But what did the war actually look like? The Museum's upcoming special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, will immerse visitors in the dramatic and research-based works of this nationally renowned historical artist to bring the compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events of the American Revolution to life.
Troiani has dedicated much of his artistic career to transforming the modern understanding of what the Revolutionary War truly looked like. Using a masterful combination of “artistry and accuracy” (New York Times), Troiani’s paintings, which are routinely used by the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution to help tell stories of past people and events, demonstrate his extraordinary combination of historical research, technical skill, and artistic drama.
It is my hope that my paintings help people today grasp the significance of the Revolutionary struggles of the people who lived 250 years ago, whose brave actions continue to shape our lives.Don Troiani
The first major exhibition of Troiani’s original artwork, Liberty will plunge visitors into some of the most pivotal events of America’s fight for independence and reveal Troiani’s research-based artistic process. This special exhibition will bring together for the first time in public more than 40 of Troiani’s original Revolutionary War paintings and pair them with dozens of artifacts from his personal collection as well as the Museum and other lenders. His paintings capture the reality and drama of crucial moments such as the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill, General Washington’s daring 1776 attack on Trenton, the 1777 Battles of Saratoga and Oriskany, and the Franco-American victory at Yorktown in 1781.
Select Paintings & Artifacts
Depicting Diverse Revolutionaries Through Art & Drama
The exhibit will also unveil one of Troiani’s latest works, "Brave Men as Ever Fought," a painting of the 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. The painting was commissioned in 2019 by the Museum with funding provided by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail of the National Park Service.
A first-person theatrical performance about Forten’s life, written by a local African American playwright and performed by an African American actor, will accompany the exhibit to engage school groups and Museum guests. Performances will take place on weekends at the Museum in the Alan B. Miller Theater (second floor).
Additional Education & Special Offerings
- Audio Tour: A free downloadable audio tour (with transcriptions) will be available for use on your mobile device — be sure to bring headphones! Or, sanitized hand-held audio devices will be available for rental.
- Virtual Tour: Liberty will be made available to virtual visitors from around the world through a robust online experience of 360-degree high-resolution panoramic images and much more, scheduled to launch in early 2022 and will remain permanently available.
- Teacher Resources: Virtual distance learning programs and teacher professional development opportunities focusing on the exhibit will be available. A teacher resource guide will debut in early 2022 in conjunction with the virtual tour.
- Accessibility: The exhibition will include raised tactile images of three of Don Troiani’s paintings for use by guests with visual impairments, created and donated by Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired.
- Guided Tours: Thirty-minute guided tours are available through Group Sales for private bookings. To book, contact email@example.com or call 215-579-3623.
Access to the special exhibition in the Museum’s first-floor Patriots Gallery is included with Museum admission.
PRE-ORDER: Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War exhibition book, out Oct. 1, 2021.Pre-order Online