Opening Weekend of "When Women Lost the Vote" Special Exhibition, Oct. 2-4September 22, 2020
Please note: The Museum is now open Thursday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. New health and safety protocols have been implemented to ensure the safest, most welcoming experience for all.
The Museum of the American Revolution’s new exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776 – 1807 will open to the public on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. The exhibit will be open during the Museum’s regular operating hours, Thursday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The exhibit will be on view through Sunday, April 25, 2021.
The “cheekily titled” (New York Times) exhibit explores the “remarkable story” (Philadelphia Inquirer) of women and free people of color legally voting in Revolutionary-era New Jersey. It also examines the political conflicts that led to their voting rights being stripped away in 1807.
During opening weekend, visitors will be able to see pop-up 5-minute original first-person theatrical performances in the galleries that dramatize the different experiences and perspectives of two women of the period: Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, an enslaved woman in Massachusetts who sued for her own freedom and won, and Rebecca VanDike, who may have cast her vote in New Jersey in 1801.
On Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., potential Pennsylvania and New Jersey voters can register to vote on the Museum’s outdoor plaza (weather permitting). Be sure to bring a valid driver’s license or the last four digits of your social security number.
At a voting selfie station in the Museum’s first-floor rotunda, cast your ballot and pose for a photo to share. Be sure to tag us at @AmRevMuseum and #HowRevolutionary. Then get an “I Vote” sticker to wear home. Families can explore the new exhibition with a special printed Family Guide full of games and activities and pick up a take-and-make craft to make at home.
Featuring more than 65 original objects including textiles, manuscripts, and works of art, the exhibition will bring to life the forgotten stories of the women who first pioneered the vote. Also featured in the exhibition will be several of the recently discovered poll lists that feature the names of 163 female voters and four Black male voters, tracked down by the Museum’s curatorial team during an extensive examination of voter records. Prior to this discovery, little proof of women or people of color voting during this period was known to exist.
When Women Lost the Vote will be integrated within the Museum’s core galleries and connected by an audio tour, incorporating this brand-new scholarship by the Museum’s team into the permanent exhibition. In late October, the Museum will install a new historical tableau scene featuring women at the polls in New Jersey in 1801.
When Women Lost the Vote also will be made available to virtual visitors from around the world through a robust, free online experience, which is scheduled to launch in late October and will remain permanently available. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum's curatorial team has been visiting the gravesites and historical landmarks of women and people of color who voted in Revolutionary-era New Jersey. Videos of the visits will be featured in the online exhibition and are being released on the Museum’s Facebook page. The first video visit, featuring the story of Mary Curry Garrison, who voted in Salem County in 1800, was released on August 18, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Tickets to the exhibition are on sale now and are included with regular Museum admission. Due to the Museum’s reduced capacity to adhere to social distancing guidelines, advance ticket reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone (215.253.6731). Museum tickets are $21 for adults; $18 for seniors, students, and active or retired military; and $13 for children ages 6 and up. Children ages 5 and under are free. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days, based on availability.
Bank of America and Comcast NBCUniversal are 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: Exploring the Human Endeavor.
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.