Museum Wins PA Museums Statewide Institutional Achievement Award for “When Women Lost the Vote” ExhibitionApril 5, 2022
The Museum Also Received PA Museums’ S.K. Stevens Award for its 2019-2020 “Cost of Revolution” Exhibition
The Museum of the American Revolution today announced that it has been recognized with a 2022 Institutional Achievement Award from PA Museums for its 2020-2021 special exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807, which explored the little-known story of women and free people of color legally voting in New Jersey following the Revolutionary War. The Museum also received an S.K. Stevens Award for its 2019-20 special exhibition Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier.
Millions of American women were granted the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which marked its centennial in 2020. But more than a century earlier, women and free people of color legally held the vote in New Jersey for more than 30 years. Although New Jersey ultimately restricted the vote to propertied white men in 1807, women’s fight for equality did not end there. Rather, that earlier Revolutionary fight became a rallying cry as another generation of women took up the mantle of the suffrage movement decades later.
When Women Lost the Vote's inspiring story explored how the American Revolution shaped women’s political opportunities and activism, and it encouraged visitors to reconsider their understanding of the timeline of women’s history in America. It was also a cautionary tale about one of America’s first voting rights crises.
The exhibition lives on through an extensive virtual exhibit on the Museum’s website. Two original theatrical performances, created in conjunction with the exhibition, are available to be viewed on the Museum’s website.
“What an honor it is to be recognized by PA Museums for the fifth year in a row for the exceptional work of our in-house exhibition team,” said Dr. Philip C. Mead, the Museum’s Chief Historian and Curator, who co-curated the exhibition alongside Dr. Marcela Micucci, the Museum’s Curatorial Fellow in Women’s History. “When Women Lost the Vote is a prime example of how the Museum strives to tell ‘the other half’ of the story – those that are lesser-known and often surprising. We are thrilled that the exhibition continues to be available online so that people can delve into the complexities of the American Revolution and the messy history of voting in the new nation.”
Since the 1980s, PA Museums has invited nominations from its membership and chosen projects that are exemplary to receive recognition. This year, 13 organizations from every region of Pennsylvania are being recognized with Institutional Awards of Merit. Two organizations are receiving PA Museums’ prestigious S.K. Stevens Award, and three individuals are being honored for their contributions to the field with Individual Awards.
“PA Museums’ annual awards are meant to inspire the museum field and impress visitors to museums,” said Rusty Baker, executive director of PA Museums. “Pennsylvania’s museums and historical organizations are star performers, and we are proud to recognize the great work being done throughout the Commonwealth.”
PA Museums’ awardees are being celebrated at a safe distance this year with a multi-platform social media campaign leading up to the PA Museums virtual conference in April 2022. The upcoming campaign will include details about the people, museums, and projects that PA Museums is recognizing through feature posts on Facebook and Twitter, as well as via its membership e-newsletter.
Bank of America and Comcast NBCUniversal were presenting sponsors of When Women Lost the Vote. Other support was provided by The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The exhibition was also made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.
About PA Museum
PA Museums is Pennsylvania’s statewide museum association with 350 members across the Commonwealth. PA Museums’ membership includes museums and historical organizations of many types and sizes, and in addition to providing professional development opportunities for museum professionals, the organization also leads advocacy campaigns on behalf of the museum community.
About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.