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American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in Progress


Mural installed
Mural installed at Yorktown Victory Center

A 34-foot-long mural depicting the British surrender at Yorktown in October 1781 was installed April 6, 2016, in the museum entrance lobby. The mural is composed of images from a film made by Cortina Productions for an immersive theater experience in the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown galleries. Gallagher & Associates, exhibit designer for the new galleries, and Design and Production Incorporated, exhibit fabricator, along with Keith-Fabry reprographics company, created and mounted the mural.


Living Quarters Taking Shape
2016-03-29 Composite of Living Quarters by Class

When completed, three re-created interiors in the “Revolution” section of the new museum galleries – representing dwellings of elite, “middling” and enslaved people – will provide a backdrop for the stories of diverse Americans.


Wharf setting in new museum galleries
Composite - Wharf and Foundary

Inside the future American Revolution Museum at Yorktown galleries, work was underway in Winter 2016 on creating a full-scale wharf setting, where issues of taxation and importation will be addressed. Located in “The Changing Relationship – Britain and North America” section of the galleries, the setting includes a tavern, foundry and store.


Declaration of Independence exhibit space takes shape
Declaration of Independence exhibit space

Columns surround the domed exhibit space for the rare July 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence in the “Revolution” section of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown galleries, photographed on February 18, 2016.


Eagle sculpture nearing completion
Eagle sculpture with sculptor David Turner

A sculpture to be placed on the pediment at the entrance to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown building is nearing completion at Turner Sculpture in Onley, Virginia. Depicting an eagle mantling two eaglets between its wings, the sculpture is 17 feet across and weighs 500 pounds. A stars-and-stripes shield on the eagle’s chest represents the 13 colonies at the time of the Revolution, and the two eaglets reflect the museum’s mission to educate future generations. Sculptor David H. Turner (shown at his studio on February 5, 2016) has more than 60 commissioned works on public display across the country, including “A Fair Wind” at Jamestown Settlement’s Quandricentennial Plaza.


Pathway construction to outdoor areas completed
Paved Walkway to Outdoor Living History Areas

The pathway construction between the new museum building and the future outdoor living-history areas is shown December 2 (left) from the berm looking down at workers laying brick pavers, and the completed pathway on January 19.


Display case for Hubard copy of Houdon’s George Washington Statue
George Washington statue display case

The case at left, photographed on November 20, 2015, will contain the Hubard copy of the Houdon statue of George Washington in the exhibition galleries, now under construction, at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The original statue, executed in marble by French sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon, was commissioned by the Virginia Assembly to be installed in the state Capitol at Richmond. In 1853 the Virginia Assembly granted permission to William James Hubard to produce an official copy edition. This rare plaster version, a gift to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation from the Library of Virginia, was exhibited in the U.S. Capitol from 1870 to 1950.


Photography Display Features Long-Lived Witnesses to Revolution
I Was There display-web

A small number of people who lived during the American Revolution survived long enough to have their likenesses preserved in the mid-19th century by the new technology of photography. The stories of seven individuals appear along with their photographic likenesses in a new “I Was There” wall display at the Yorktown Victory Center that will remain in place after the transition to American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in late 2016. Among the subjects are Revolutionary War veterans Conrad Heyer, who crossed the Delaware River in December 1776 with Washington’s Continental Army troops to attack the Hessians at Trenton; Sarah Osborn Benjamin, who carried food and coffee to the troops at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781; and Nicholas G. Veeder, who told about the Revolution through artifacts he collected and displayed in his museum in Scotia, New York, until his death in 1862.


Walkway construction underway
Montage of progress on walkway

Photographed from two perspectives on October 25, 2015, construction is underway on a brick walkway linking the museum building to the Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. The outdoor interpretive areas will be reconstructed over the next year.


Preparing to build outdoor walkway
Preparing to build outdoor walkway at Yorktown Victory Center

Preparations are underway on October 6 to build a walkway linking the museum building to the Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm, which will be reconstructed over the next year. The grass-covered berm next to the walkway separates the interpretive areas from visitor parking.