April 07, 2020

Museum Receives Prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Grant Will Support the Upcoming Special Exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776 – 1807

The Museum was awarded a Public Humanities Project grant.
The Museum was awarded a Public Humanities Project grant.
The Museum of the American Revolution today announced that it has been awarded a $100,000 Public Humanities Project grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The grant will support the upcoming special exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776 -1807, which is scheduled to open in August 2020, in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting millions of American women the right to vote. It also will support the implementation of corresponding educational materials, a robust online experience, and related public programs exploring women’s citizenship and voting rights in the early Republic.

The Museum’s award is part of $22.2 million in grants to support 224 humanities projects across the country, which were announced by the NEH in a press release today. The Museum’s grant is one of 23 nationwide in the Public Humanities Project category.

“As a relatively new institution, receiving this prestigious, highly competitive grant from the NEH is an incredible honor that reflects the exhibition’s superb humanities scholarship led by our internal curatorial team,” said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution. “We are grateful to the NEH for enabling us to advance our mission to uncover and share surprising stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government.”

When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776 -1807 will explore – as no book, exhibit, or other medium has before – the little-known story of the more than thirty years following the Revolutionary War during which women and free people of color held the legal right to vote in New Jersey. It also will examine how and why this right was stripped away in 1807.

Featured in the exhibition will be several newly discovered poll lists including the names of women voters, tracked down by the Museum’s curatorial team during an extensive examination of voter records. To date, the team has located nine poll lists, featuring the names of 163 women, at local institutions and state archives. The discovery recently was featured in The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Prior to this, little proof of women voting during this period was known to exist. The exhibition also will feature original objects including textiles, manuscripts, furniture, and art, as well as interactive elements.

When Women Lost the Vote will come to life with a rich slate of special events and daily programs, including family-friendly programs and activities, first-person theatrical performances, a series of guided tours and workshops for adult-learners, as well as evening speaker programs and events exploring the historic and contemporary relevance of the exhibition. 

Bank of America and Comcast NBCUniversal are presenting sponsors of the exhibition. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development is a supporting sponsor. A planning grant from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was essential to supporting the early stages of the exhibition.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

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.