How were military objects created, used, and collected during and after the Revolutionary War? What personal memories and meanings did these objects hold for the War’s survivors, veterans, and later generations who sought to save them as relics of the Revolutionary era?
The 2022 Conference on Collecting the Revolutionary War will bring historians, museum professionals, and collectors together to discuss how ideas about these objects have influenced collecting and public history over the past 250 years. With topics in material culture ranging from family and national treasures to battlefield archaeology, the 2022 Conference on Collecting the Revolutionary War explores the first generation of collectors in the 1770s, early institutional collections founded in the 1800s, and more recent discoveries about these wartime artifacts and their influence on historical interpretation in collections, exhibitions, and digital initiatives today. This conference aims to inspire a scholarly investigation of the meaning of Revolutionary War collections and to deepen curatorial conversations about how priorities in collecting should fit into upcoming commemorations of the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War.
Hybrid conference sessions will begin live from the Museum’s Liberty Hall on Thursday, April 7, 2022 with an opening keynote lecture by President Emeritus at Historic Deerfield Philip Zea, titled “Revealing the Culture of Conflict: Engraved Powder Horns from the French and Indian War and the American Revolution,” and hosted by Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson.
Distinguished speakers will share their work and participate in lively Q&A with onsite and online audiences on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, 2022. Onsite tickets include select meals, a happy hour session of 10-minute “flash” artifact talks on Friday, April 8 presented by Young Friends of the Museum, full access to the Museum’s exhibits including the special exhibition Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, and networking opportunities. Sessions will highlight independent scholarship and invite experts from Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, DAR Museum, Fort Ticonderoga, Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan State Historic Site, and University of Delaware, among others.