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.
The Museum’s Flame Gallery features the 21-ft Flame of Liberty by Dale Chihuly. It provides a 360° experience of inspirational words, images, sounds, and voices, incorporating the magnificent glass flame into the presentation. At the conclusion of the presentation, visitors are asked to step up and touch the surrounding ring, which causes the Flame to erupt into vibrant colors. This experience is one example of how the National Liberty Museum brings liberty to life for its visitors.
The Welcome to Liberty Gallery includes our exact replica of the Liberty Bell, along with a mural-size presentation of what it means to Live Like a Hero. This inspirational walk through freedom inspires visitors to think about liberty as an ongoing human quest that we all share.
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 gallery examines the journey of American liberty, and introduces you to citizens who helped shape America’s freedoms by using their First Amendment rights to advance liberty for themselves and others.
The warm glow of the Flame of Liberty – crafted for the National Liberty Museum by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly – emerges through the center of this gallery. This 21-foot glass flame represents the power of liberty to spread from a spark and light the way forward. The exhibits surrounding this flame feature heroes of all backgrounds who have kept the fire burning.
The last exhibition featured in the Live Like a Hero gallery on the 2nd floor, Philly’s Freedom: Artists Speak Out (pictured left), is now closed.
The next exhibition will be Graphic Content, which opens on June 18. This unique exhibition will feature graphic-centered artworks that act as social commentary, taking inspiration from counterculture tradition and giving voice to those outside the mainstream.
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.
The National Liberty Museum’s newest exhibition, Strength & Fragility: The Story of the NLM, is presented in Liberty Hall on the 4th floor. This exhibition highlights the life of the Museum’s founder, businessman and philanthropist 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 in 2000. Borowsky believed that liberty, like glass, is both fragile and strong, and must always be nurtured and protected.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a magnificent 9-foot-tall glass canopy by Ulla Darni, entitled The Peace Portal. It includes a custom sound bath experience, Seeds of Love, written and produced by Philadelphia-based sound artist Luna Maye, in collaboration with composer Alfiya Glow, that gives visitors a chance to peacefully reflect on the NLM’s founding principles of promoting and advancing freedom and liberty for all.
The exhibition currently on display in The Gallery@NLM on the lower level is Heroes Among Us. In this inspirational exhibition, the Museum celebrates NLM award winners who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and made a difference in the lives of others.
Since the NLM’s founding, core to our work is hosting a series of impactful annual awards programs honoring the everyday heroes among us. To date, we have recognized hundreds of teachers, students, police officers, firefighters & first-responders, and healthcare professionals for their exemplary service.
Our newest exhibition, 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.
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The National Liberty Museum celebrated its 14th annual Teacher as Hero Award sponsored by State Farm® with a Virtual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, September 24. The ceremony honored 10 inspiring teachers who make a difference in the lives of their students. To mark the occasion, State Farm Representatives, National Liberty Museum leadership, friends and family gathered via Zoom to celebrate the accomplishments of these exceptional educators.
Learn their stories here.