Revolutionary Special Exhibitions

Greater Philadelphia • 6 stops

From pirates to Peales, check out these special exhibitions focusing on the Revolutionary period at these great institutions in the Philadelphia region.


American Philosophical Society
Curious Revolutionaries: The Peales of Philadelphia
Now through December 2017

The exhibition explores the Peale family of patriots, artists, entrepreneurs, naturalists, and tinkerers whose varied interests embodied the American Philosophical Society’s founding goal of “promoting useful knowledge.” Curious Revolutionaries highlights the Peale family’s role in shaping early American popular culture through art, science and technology.


Chadds Ford Historical Society
Wanton Waste: Chadds Ford and The Battle of Brandywine
Now through February 2018

What would you do if you woke up to a battle in your backyard? Learn how villagers in Chadds Ford reacted when fighting erupted on the morning of September 11, 1777.


National Constitution Center
American Treasures: Documenting the Nation's Founding
Now Open

American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding explores the drafting of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, highlighting the key proposals and significant compromises that influenced the early drafts and shaped the document’s final text.


John Marshall: Patriot, Statesman, Chief Justice
Now through December 2017

John Marshall: Patriot, Statesman, Chief Justice explores the influential career of John Marshall during the early years of a new nation. Visitors will learn about Marshall’s experience as a soldier in the American Revolution, his early career as a leading lawyer in Virginia, including his role as a key supporter of the U.S. Constitution during the Virginia ratifying convention.


Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights
Now through December 2017

The National Constitution Center is proud to display one of the 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights. The Museum of We the People is the first institution in Pennsylvania to exhibit this historic document to the general public. It has been preserved as part of The New York Public Library’s renowned research collection for over 100 years.


Independence Seaport Museum
Patriots and Pirates
Now Open

Discover the city of Philadelphia’s connection to the founding of the United States Navy. The new, permanent exhibition features curated objects never, or rarely, seen by the public—highlighting the little-told story of America’s conflict with pirates. At the center of Patriots & Pirates is a full-size waterline model of Diligence of 1797.


Philadelphia Museum of Art
“The Art of the Peales” and “Publishing Politics”
Now Open

The Philadelphia Museum of art hosts a collection of Colonial-era paintings, artifacts and furniture gathered from Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Many of the paintings are the works of America’s first artistic dynasty, the Peale family.


Independence Hall
“Great Essentials”
Now Open

The Great Essentials Exhibit located in the West Wing of Independence Hall displays surviving copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States, along with the silver inkstand t
hat, according to tradition, was used during the signing of the Declaration and Constitution. These treasured objects reveal much about nation building. They illustrate the power of words and demonstrate how revelation often follows clearly expressed ideas.