Exhibitions Archive

The Museum’s two temporary exhibition galleries, the Live Like a Hero Gallery and the Art Gallery@NLM, feature temporary exhibits of various themes throughout the year. Below is an archive of past exhibitions. Please check the navigation links on the left for current or upcoming exhibitions.

 

Philly’s Freedom, presented in the Live Like a Hero Gallery
October 16, 2020 – April 25, 2021

How do we define “liberty”? What does it mean to be “free”? These are questions and concepts that we have grappled with at the National Liberty Museum for more than 20 years and ones we posed to a group of talented artists from across Philadelphia.

Through this exhibition of more than 75 works of art, Philly’s Freedom took visitors on a journey to explore what freedom means to these artists as they used stories, reflections, and images to inspire us to see freedom and liberty in a totally new way.

Please enjoy these images representing the participating artists.

 


 

We Can Be Heroes, presented in the Art Gallery@NLM
January 3 – February 3, 2020

The We Can Be Heroes Exhibition was presented in conjunction with Philly Loves Bowie Week (January 3-12), an annual volunteer production of events throughout the city created by committed fans of the superstar singer, songwriter, artist, and actor, David Bowie, who passed away on January 10, 2016. The We Can Be Heroes Exhibition was a major component of “Philly Loves Bowie Week.” It featured a collection of mixed-media figurative and abstract artworks that explored the influence that the man who became known as the “Starman” had –and continues to have– on contemporary art.

Please enjoy these photos from our Opening Event.

 


 

Destined for the Stars, presented in the Art Gallery@NLM
August 2 – December 2, 2019

Destined for the Stars was a solo exhibition of painted glass, aluminum, and mixed media wall-reliefs by artist Ricky Bernstein. Bernstein’s work features comic book-like characters who struggle with out-of-control vacuum cleaners, tangled telephone cords, ill-timed computer crashes, and more, as they juggle their often mundane daily chores. This exhibition celebrated victories over life’s everyday challenges and made the point that we are all heroes in our own right.

Please enjoy these photos from our Opening Event.

 


 

Welcome the Stranger Exhibit, presented in the Art Gallery@NLM
March 9 – June 9, 2019

Welcome the Stranger was a one-woman exhibit of cast glass, ceramics, and mixed media by Micaela Amateau Amato. In this exhibit, Amato presented her interpretation of modern and historic figures who rose like “superheroes” to accept seemingly impossible challenges of liberty. This unique collection included images of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harriet Tubman, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Malala Yousafzai, and many others.

Please enjoy these photos from our Opening Event.

 


 

SPACELAB Exhibit, presented in the Art Gallery@NLM
July 6 – September 7, 2018

SPACELAB was a one-of-a-kind showcase of glass art that explored the great unknown – outer space. This collection of artwork examined human relationships with the universe, including space travel; extraterrestrial beings and intergalactic discoveries; the vastness and mystery of space; and much more. The featured work ranged from whimsical and mystical to elegant and awe-inspiring.

Please enjoy these photos from our Opening Event.



SOUND + VISION Exhibit, presented in the Art Gallery@NLM
April 6 – June 10, 2018


Sound + Vision explored the influence of music on contemporary glass art and the inextricable connection between music and visual expression. It showcased figurative representations of instruments and sound, experimental glass instruments, and multimedia and sculptural works inspired by both musical experiences and legends like David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson and many others.

Please enjoy these photos from our Opening Event.

Photos provided by Priscilla White


 

Transparency: An LGBTQ+ Glass Art Exhibition, presented in the Art Gallery@NLM
June 2 - August 6, 2017

For more than 40 years, LGBTQ+ identifying people have gathered in the month of June to commemorate their struggles, celebrate their identities, and advocate for their communities. What we now call "LGBT Pride Month" or simply "Pride" is a worldwide phenomenon that reminds us that the freedom to live our truth is necessary for a liberated society. For Pride 2017, the National Liberty Museum hosted the nation's FIRST museum exhibit of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists of the LGBTQ+ community. We were very excited to present this celebration of identity and freedom.

The Museum partnered with the Human Rights Campaign to host an Opening Reception for the Transparency Exhibit on Friday evening, June 9.

Please enjoy these photos from our Opening Event.

Photos provided by Priscilla White

  1. Featured Artists in Transparency

    Transparency featured works by Nancy Callan, Joseph Cavalieri, Pearl Dick, Sarah Gilbert, Kim Harty, Joshua Hershman, Eric Hess, Niki Hildebrand, Carmichael Jones, Drew Mattei, Amanda Nardone, Ronnie Phillips, Jenny Pohlman & Sabrina Knowles, Brandon Robinson, Joe Sircoulomb, Tim Tate, Wes Valdez, Jeff Zimmer, and Walter Zimmerman.



The Treachery of Images: A Glass Art Exhibition, presented in the Art Gallery@NLM
April 7 - May 7, 2017

Glass smoking pipes —known as "functional glass" — occupy a marginal space in the art world due to their association with illicit activities. As a result, functional glass artists are rarely recognized for the creative problem-solving, innovation, and experimentation they invest in their art. This exhibit pushed the limits of artistic respectability by showcasing their work and embracing the challenges pipe makers face in their efforts to be accepted within the art world.

Please enjoy these photos from our Opening Event.

Photos provided by Nick Cosentino

You might also enjoy watching the very interesting panel discussion.


The panelists included:
Nick Vadala of Philly.com
• Jeremy Grant Levine, Pipe artist
• Slinger, Pipe artist
• Chris Baltz, Photographer, collector
• Terasina Bonanini, Gallery Director, Ruckus Gallery
• David King, Glass Artist and Teacher
• Wayne McDermott, Glass pipe maker, Rockstar Glass


 

 

 

Strength & Fragility Exhibition Now Open

Strength & Fragility: The Story of the NLM highlights the life of the Museum’s founder Irvin J. Borowsky, and how his belief in universal equality and liberty, as well as his passion for contemporary glass art, led to the creation of the National Liberty Museum. Strength & Fragility includes engaging archival material, stunning glass artwork, and immersive soundscapes. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a magnificent 9-foot-high glass canopy by Ulla Darni, entitled “The Peace Portal.” It features a custom sound bath experience, Seeds of Love, written and produced by Philadelphia-based sound artist Luna Maye, in collaboration with composer Alfiya Glow.

You'll find complete information here.

Art that acts as Social Commentary

The Graphic Content exhibition features graphic-centered artworks that take inspiration from counterculture tradition and give voice to those outside the mainstream. It features works that embody the artists' personal reflections on the current social and political climate.

The exhibition is on view through November 7, 2021
Learn more and purchase your Museum tickets now.

The artform of cartooning celebrates diversity, liberty, and inclusion

As a companion piece to the Graphic Content Exhibition, the NLM has brought back select pieces from Caretoons, a popular annual exhibition/competition that ran from 2005-2010. Through drawings submitted by children, as well as amateur and professional artists from around the world, the images in Caretoons grapple with contemporary issues through the approachable lens of cartoons and graphic art.

Click here to learn more and purchase your Museum tickets.

An exhibition celebrating NLM Award Winners

Since the NLM’s founding, a major component of our work has been our series of annual awards programs honoring the everyday heroes who live among us. This exhibition celebrates teachers, students, police officers, firefighters & first-responders, and healthcare professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and made a difference in the lives of others.

Click here to learn more and purchase Museum tickets.

Programs for Kids & Families

The NLM offers a full calendar of virtual and on-site programs for kids and their families. We invite you to join us as we explore the themes of respect, taking action and spreading liberty to all. Check out our exciting list of summer events.


                                                Special Thanks to the Satell Institute for sponsoring
                                            these FREE summer workshops:
Click here for dates and times.

-Beyond Wakanda: Black Superheroes from Comics to Real Life (for Kids 8-12), A FOUR-DAY workshop.
-Tik Tok Liberty (for teens), A FOUR-DAY workshop over a four week period.
-The Power of Art: Express Yourself (Teens age 14-18), A TWO-DAY workshop.

Events at NLM

The NLM hosts a robust calendar of programs and events for adults, from thought-provoking panel discussions to fun and engaging tours and workshops.

To see what's happening this summer, click here.


For special evening adult programs, visit NLM@Night.

Virtual Guided Group Tours now available

Here's a great way to enjoy the NLM. Our staff will lead you on a virtual tour of the Museum, as they explain our history, our mission, and our special exhibitions. We offer a range of virtual guided tour themes or we can customize a tour specifically for your group.

You'll find complete information here.

Support the Next Generation of Heroes

Each school year, we send NLM educators directly into Philadelphia’s most underserved schools to teach students critical leadership skills, such as courage, integrity, responsibility, respect, and most important, empathy. We show them that they have the power through their First Amendment Rights to use these skills to make positive changes in their school and community.

Help us continue to bring this program to as many students as possible.
Click here to donate now.

Police officers, firefighters, and other emergency responders are honored

The National Liberty Museum celebrated its 15th annual Awards of Valor, presented by Your Local Chevrolet Dealers, via a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. The event included several notable keynote speakers and was attended by the honorees, their families and colleagues,

Learn more here about their impressive and inspirational stories.


NLM Honors Medical Professionals

The National Liberty Museum is proud to host its annual Healthcare Heroes Awards, presented by Teva Pharmaceuticals. This international awards program recognizes inspirational heroes in healthcare research and treatment whose accomplishments have profoundly benefited their patients, their field, and the global community.

The 2020 Awards Ceremony was held virtually on December 3.
Click here to learn about the honorees.

NLM honors 14 inspiring students from across the country

The National Liberty Museum celebrated its 20th annual TD Bank Young Heroes Awards with a Virtual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, September 12. The ceremony honored 14 inspiring students, ages 18 and younger, who identified an area where liberty was lacking and took action to make positive change in their local schools or communities.

Learn about these amazing young people here.