YORKTOWN, Va., November 20, 2017 – In the final days of the “AfterWARd: The Revolutionary Veterans Who Built America” special exhibition at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, a circa 1784 portrait of Henry Knox and the Society of the Cincinnati medal presented to him the same year as the portrait’s commission have been reunited for public display.
The special exhibition chronicles the post-war lives of veterans of the Siege of Yorktown, including Henry Knox, Alexander Hamilton, James Lafayette and the Marquis de Lafayette. Through artifacts, portraits and interactive exhibits, the exhibition allows visitors to make connections with the lives of soldiers and veterans, past and present.
The Knox portrait by Charles Willson Peale, on loan from the collections of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, joins the circa 1784 Society of the Cincinnati medal on loan from The Knox Museum in Maine.
“We believe this is the first time the portrait and the medal have been exhibited together,” said Katherine Egner Gruber, special exhibitions curator for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. “We are honored to have this on display in the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s inaugural exhibition.”
Knox, who is known as military officer of the Continental Army, the United States Army and the first United States Secretary of War, was a key founder of the Society of the Cincinnati, the nation’s oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution. Its mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the achievement of American independence and to foster fellowship among its members.
The special exhibition also features artifacts on loan from American and British museums and institutions, including a circa 1824 carriage used by the Marquis de Lafayette on his Farewell Tour of America from the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana; a cannon seized in India by Cornwallis from the Royal Armouries in Leeds, England; and a lap desk belonging to Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.
An interactive “Legacy Wall” multimedia display highlights stories and images of veterans from all eras of American history, from Colin Powell and Johnny Cash to Neil Armstrong and Julia Child. Visitors are encouraged to add their own stories to the wall and find personal connections to the veterans of Yorktown.
In addition, a free mobile app, available for Android and iPhone, features videos and interviews with scholars on a variety of topics and expands stories revealed in the “AfterWARd” special exhibition. Visitors can download the app from home or at the museum on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
The special exhibition is sponsored in part by Altria Group, with additional support from the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution, James D. and Pamela J. Penny and Harry and Judy Wason. Fifteen public lectures and programs, made possible in part by Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, were held in conjunction with the special exhibition.
The special exhibition is included with daytime museum admission: $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for ages 6-12, and free for children under age 6. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located at 200 Water Street, in Yorktown, Virginia, near Yorktown Battlefield.
Members of the military can purchase in advance discounted admission tickets to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown at most military bases’ MWR/recreation offices.
For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit https://www.historyisfun.org/yorktown-victory-center/afterward/.