Film and Galleries at Yorktown
The experiences of people who lived during the American Revolution unfold at the Yorktown Victory Center in a series of themed galleries and the film A Time of Revolution.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, planned to replace the Yorktown Victory Center, also is featured in the gallery space. Next to billboard-size informational signage, a display case titled “Success to Trade” shows artifacts emblematic of transatlantic trade – a toasting glass, a microscope and candlesticks – that will be exhibited in the new museum.
Declaration of Independence Gallery
The museum entrance gallery interprets the Declaration of Independence as a radical document that inspired decisive action and links the theme of choosing a path – siding with the Americans or British or remaining neutral – with stories told in the museum’s Witnesses to Revolution Gallery. A rare broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence is on display.
Witnesses to Revolution Gallery
The stories of 10 people from diverse backgrounds whose lives were profoundly affected by the Revolution are presented. Life-size cast figures, graphics and artifacts are used to characterize these “witnesses,” along with spoken words excerpted from their writings.
Converging on Yorktown Gallery
Displays of maps, documents and military items are used to describe the 1781 movement of British troops from the south and American and French forces from the north into Virginia, and the three-week siege at Yorktown that resulted in British capitulation and ensured American independence. The diversity of nationalities involved in the conflict at Yorktown is illustrated with artifacts representing American, French, British and German forces. A Time of Revolution, shown every 30 minutes in the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation Theater, is set in an encampment at night during the Siege of Yorktown and dramatizes the musings and recollections of the war by an array of individuals. “Yorktown’s Sunken Fleet” exhibit tells the fascinating story of ships lost or scuttled in the York River during the siege and features artifacts from the British supply ship Betsy, the most extensively studied of the wrecks.
Mathews Gallery – “The Legacy of Yorktown: Virginia Beckons”
“The Legacy of Yorktown: Virginia Beckons” examines how people from many different cultures, those in Virginia before the 1607 founding of Jamestown and those who arrived later, shaped a new society and incorporates the theme of creating a new nation through development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.