Located in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Liberty Museum brings liberty to life through interactive exhibits, contemporary works of art, and stories of heroes whose character and courage have expanded liberty for all. Visitors are encouraged to think about liberty as an ongoing human quest that we all share.
See below for a brief description of the various galleries at the National Liberty Museum.
What obstacles to liberty have people overcome?
As you walk through this gallery filled with stained glass biblical scenes by Maurice Gareau, think about the colonists who came to America seeking religious freedom. They did not want to be persecuted for their faith, as they had been in Europe. But how could they live with others who did not share their beliefs? What was their duty to their fellow seekers of freedom? This same question is expressed in the Glass Chess Set by Gianni Toso (shown above), where the pieces are arranged in groups as if they are trying to work things out among themselves. This gallery examines the journey to American liberty over time, and introduces you to citizens and American heroes who helped shape America’s freedoms by using their First Amendment rights to advance liberty for themselves and others.
Who are the actors in the story of liberty? The warm glow of the Flame of Liberty – crafted for the National Liberty Museum by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly – illuminates the space where we explore this question. This 21-foot glass flame represents the power of liberty to spread from a spark and light the way forward. The exhibits illuminated by the flame feature heroes of all backgrounds who have carried the spark and kept the fire burning.
In free societies people of diverse backgrounds are expected to work together to keep their communities strong and flourishing. This gallery honors Heroes of Liberty who live among us, including teachers, students, police officers, firefighters, and many other ordinary citizens who make a difference. The centerpiece of this gallery is the Jellybean Children sculpture, which represents the diversity of America. A favorite interactive is the Shredder Exhibit, where visitors can shred negative words and thoughts.
This classroom space houses original work by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, as well as a collection of glass sculptures by Milon Townsend, exploring some of the pillars that develop leadership through character education.
Located in the center of the Museum between galleries, this exhibit honors Americans who have faced physical, cognitive or psychological challenges with courage, determination and hope. Many honored in this exhibit are well-known individuals, who are highly successful in their fields.
This 3-story exhibit through the center of the Museum pays tribute to the heroes of 9/11. It features video footage of the attack, photographs that capture unforgettable scenes, faces of the American heroes and a beautiful mural of the Pentagon expressing the ultimate victory of freedom over terrorism.
This meeting room houses our collection of original White House China, as well as a wall-size replica of Howard Chandler Christy’s Depression-era painting, the Signing of the Constitution. Explore an exhibit of military medals and the men and women who have been honored with them.
The Welcome to Liberty Gallery has been renovated and is now open. Our exact replica of the Liberty Bell is in place, along with a mural-size presentation of what it means to Live Like a Hero. This inspirational walk through freedom encourages visitors to find their own inner hero, and become a part of the story of liberty.
On display through June 10, 2018, SOUND + VISION explores the the inextricable connection between music and contemporary glass art. It showcases 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.
Photo by Huy Dinh
Join us with your family, on Saturday, June 9 at 11am, for an engaging exploration of friendship, acceptance, respect, and kindness. Using puppets, props, and lots of imagination, author and illustrator Staci Schwartz will lead an interactive reading of her book, The New Bear on the Block. Your family will receive their very own signed copy of the book, along with a special Hide-and-Seek Adventure Map of the National Liberty Museum personally designed by Staci. Learn more.
Sound + Vision explores the influence of music on contemporary glass art and the inextricable connection between music and visual arts. Featuring the works of 29 artists and collaborative teams, Sound + Vision showcases figurative representations of instruments, experimental glass instruments, and multimedia sculptural works inspired by both musical experiences and legends. Learn more.Learn about our exciting Closing Event for this exhibit.
Honor, explore, and be inspired this Memorial Day. At the National Liberty Museum you’ll discover stories of both military heroes and ordinary citizens who contributed to preserving our country’s liberty. There are special activities for adults and children throughout the day, including military trivia and a creative kids' workshop. All activities are included with your "Pay What You Wish" admission. Learn more.
Join us on various weekend days in May and June when we will be offering art workshops for kids in conjunction with our Sound + Vision Exhibit. Workshops are free with Museum admission. Preregistration is required. Check our Event Calendar for details.
In our next session, on Wednesday, June 6, our guest is Sheri E. Berman, professor of political science at Barnard College. Berman’s main interests are European politics and political history, democracy and democratization, globalization, and the history of the left. Her two books have examined the role played by social democracy in determining political outcomes in 20th-century Europe. Learn more and register day.
This annual awards program, sponsored by TD Bank, recognizes young people who have taken leadership roles in their schools or communities to bring about positive social change. Each year we look for young people who have engaged in civic activities, promoted respectful resolutions to conflict, advocated for diversity, and much more. Nominations for 2018 are now open. Learn more and nominate a deserving young person today.
This annual awards program, presented by YOUR LOCAL CHEVROLET DEALERS, honors police officers, firefighters, and other emergency responders for extraordinary acts of courage, empathy, and meritorious service. Nominations for 2018 are now open. Learn more