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Without the benefit of photography, the Revolutionary War can be difficult to envision. But what did the war actually look like? The Museum's special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, immerses 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 plunges 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 brings together for the first time in public more than 40 of Troiani’s original Revolutionary War paintings and pairs 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.

Depicting Diverse Revolutionaries Through Art & Drama

The exhibit unveils 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 local playwright Marissa Kennedy and performed by actor Nathan Alford-Tate, accompanies the exhibit to engage school groups and Museum guests. Performances will take place at the Museum in the Alan B. Miller Theater (second floor).

Additional Education & Special Offerings

  • Audio Tour: A free audio tour (with transcriptions) is available for use on your mobile device — be sure to bring headphones! Or, sanitized hand-held audio devices are available for rental.
  • Virtual Tour: Liberty is now available to virtual visitors from around the world through a robust online experience of 360-degree high-resolution panoramic images and much more, which will remain permanently available.
  • Teacher Resources: Virtual distance learning programs and teacher professional development opportunities focusing on the exhibit will be available. The full teacher resource guide is now available in conjunction with the virtual tour.
  • Accessibility: The exhibition includes 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.
  • Family Guide: Families can explore the exhibit using a printed Family Guide full of games and activities.
  • Guided Tours: Thirty-minute guided tours are available through Group Sales for private bookings. To book, contact or call 215-579-3623.
  • Museum Shop: Shop special merchandise in-store and online related to Liberty and Don Troiani's artwork, including small and large prints, miniature figurines, note card sets, and more.

Access to the special exhibition in the Museum’s first-floor Patriots Gallery is included with Museum admission.

Liberty Exhibit Lockup Final

NOW AVAILABLE: Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War exhibition book.

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Liberty Virtual Tour at Battles Of 1776 Stop
Liberty Exhibit

Liberty Virtual Tour

Immerse yourself in 360-degree panoramic gallery images, high-resolution photos of the art and artifacts, and a guided audio tour of the dramatic, research-based works of nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani.
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Don Troiani's Victory or Death, Advance on Trenton 1776
Victory or Death, Advance on Trenton (Courtesy of Don Troiani) 

Liberty Exhibit Audio Tour

Listen to the audio tour for the Museum's special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, open Oct. 16, 2021 through Sept. 5, 2022.
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Dr. R. Scott Stephenson with artist Don Troiani at the Liberty Exhibit Opening
Liberty Exhibit

An Evening with Historical Artist Don Troiani

Watch this June 2022 conversation with nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani, who joined the Museum to reflect on his career, artistic influences, and his unique process to research and paint the Revolutionary War.
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