Give Me Liberty
September 10, 2014 to March 16, 2015
This solo site-specific exhibition is of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Sylvanus Shaw. It invokes imagery of early American statehood in media ranging from oil on panel to collaged holograms and security envelopes. Shaw was challenged by the contextual significance of exhibiting in Manhattan’s oldest structure which played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War, which now serves as a monument to American history. The artist engages with the Museum’s permanent collection by taking liberties with the stock images of the War, reanimating and re-envisioning them through a twenty-first century lens.
Defining Lines: Maps From the 1700s & Early 1800s
Come explore the landscapes of America’s early history, as seen in maps of the 1700s and early 1800s. This exhibit examines the detailed depictions of an emerging nation as portrayed by cartographers. The 27 exhibited maps provide a wider perspective to the evolving nation’s place in history, including a never before seen map from 1804 depicting the United States’ postal routes.
Keeping the Revolution Alive: The John Ward Dunsmore Collection
John Ward Dunsmore (1856-1945) was best known for his realistic and accurate genre paintings of the events surrounding the American Revolution and Early Republic. He not only painted the Revolution, but kept the spirit of that struggle alive for the nation in the early 20th Century. His dutiful research and attention to detail lead to the creation of vivid paintings that became a part of the nation’s historical imagery.
Dunsmore’s works have been reproduced on items ranging from school children’s textbooks to the Library of Congress’s website. This exhibition displays a chronology of the Revolutionary War as depicted by Dunsmore. All of the paintings in this gallery have been restored in the past ten years of a the strong conservation campaign of the Museum staff and board.
The John Ward Dunsmore collection exhibited in the special Dunsmore Gallery, returns these paintings to their rightful place in the iconography of American culture.
A Stoic Countenance: Portraits of George Washington
Honoring Elizabeth and Stanley DeForest Scott
Few individuals have been as honored and revered in American history as George Washington. Elected as the rebellion’s military leader in 1775 as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and eventually unanimously elected as the first American President, he embodied the spirit of the American people.
Washington was a symbol of popular political participation and resistance to authority, while also being a champion of law and order. He possessed numerous virtues including duty, bravery, and loyalty that continue to inspire respect and emulation. These attributes along with his impressive physical stature moved numerous artists to create portraits of Washington during his lifetime.
The majority of the prints on display in the exhibition were issued during the last quarter of the 18th century, and seen together they give a rare glimpse into the attitudes and perspectives of that period.
The Long Room
On the second floor of 54 Pearl Street is the Long Room. It is the site of General George Washington’s famous farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolution. This period room is a re-creation of an 18th century public dining room based on extensive research of inventories and estates of tavern keepers of this period.
Washington’s farewell to his generals who survived the war was an emotionally charged address. One attendee of the event was Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, who described the event many years later in his memoirs, “With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.” The memoir is currently on view in McEntee Gallery.
The Clinton Room
The Clinton Room is a recreation of a federalist style dining room. The room is named for George Clinton, New York State’s first American governor who hosted a dinner party for General George Washington at Fraunces Tavern to celebrate the British evacuation of British troops from New York on November 25, 1783.
The Clinton family donated the beautiful Zuber wallpaper that currently hangs in this room. It is one of only eleven surviving examples of the original sets designed in France in1838. The room boasts many pieces of Chippendale furnishings, as well as original Chinese export porcelain. Clinton keeps an eye on this room from his portrait, which hangs above the fireplace and his sword.
History of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York (SRNY)
Located above the Long Room, this exhibit explains the history of the organization that saved Fraunces Tavern. Visitors can learn about the SRNY and its community involvement through the displays of artifacts, images and plaques, which are kept in original early 20th century museum cases, built by Tiffany & Company.
A Flash of Color: Early American Flags and Standards
Over forty of the more than 200 flags from the collection are on display in the Kathryn & Shelby Cullom Davis Education Center for American History. In this exhibit visitors will learn how the design and colors of the American flag developed. Flags representing the states and French regiments who fought for the cause are also on display.
1977-1979 – Revivals and Innovations in Nineteenth Century Chairs / First in the Hearts of his Countrymen / Sidewalk Superintendent: A Look at Building in America 1790-1830
1980-1990 – The Jewish Community in Early New York (1654-1800) / Tea: A Revolutionary Tradition / Freedom of the Press: The Anglo-American Struggle, 1644-1837 / American Architectural Etchers: The Traditionalists (1900-1940) / Twentieth Century Images of George Washington / American Icon: 18th Century Prints of George Washington / Hail Leviathan! / Taverns: For the Entertainment of Friends and Strangers / Irish Silver from National Museum of Ireland / A Toast to Freedom: NY Celebrates Evacuation Day / City Streets: Paintings of NYC by Hedy Pagremanski / The Legacy of Lafayette / The Healing Arts in Early American / Foundation of Liberty: Funding the Pedestal of the Statue of Liberty / Capital City: New York After the Revolution / Tavern Revels / More Than a Work of Art: The Watercolors and Drawings of Harry A. Ogden / Education in the Young Republic / Changing Image of George Washington / To Establish Justice (The 200th Anniversary of US District Court) / Wall Street: Changing Fortunes
1991-2000 – Come All You Gallant Heroes: The World of the Revolutionary Soldier / To Please Every Taste: 18th Century Prints from the Winterthur Museum / Picturing History: American Painting 1770-1930 / Perpetual Campaign: Making of the People’s President / Ice Cream for All! / George! / A Lot of Sundries: Selections from the Fraunces Tavern Museum Collection / Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: The Rise of Black Churches in Eastern American Cities: 1740-1877 / The History of the Christmas Tree in American / Try This On: History of Clothing, Gender and Power / Myths of American History: Beyond the Cherry Tree / Seeds of Change: 500 Years of Encounter and Exchange / Much Depends on Dinner: Culinary Customs in Early New York / First & Second Wars of Independence: Prints from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 from the Navy Art Collections / Scenes from City Sidewalks: Painting of New York by Hedy Pagremanski / Vote for President (of 1796) / Two Hundred Years of English Naive Art 1700-1900 / Reproducing the Past: The Colonial Revival Movement / Images of George Washington / Fraunces Tavern and World War I / When New York was British / All God’s Creatures: Man and Beast in Early American / Washington in Glory, America in Tears / Only Pleasure an American Knows: Politics to 1800
2001-2010 – Colonists, Revolutionaries, Builders: Freemasons in American / Washington at War / Surviving and Thriving during the Revolution: New York Battles Back / Fraunces Tavern: Forging a New Nation / Street Names / Fraunces Tavern Museum: A Treasure Trove of History 1904-2004 / John Jay, a New Yorker Who Changed the Nation / Fighting for Freedom: Black Patriots & Black Loyalists / 54 Pearl Street: If these Walls Could Talk / New York Waterways: Mixed Media Artwork by Members of the Salamagundi Club NY in Recognition of the 400th Anniversary of the Dutch Settlement of Manhattan / Magna Carta & the Foundations of Freedom / Revolution in the City /
2011 - 2013 – Youth Remembers 9/11 / Heroes of the Revolution / William Floyd’s House of Revolution / Rating the Attic: A Crowdsourced Exhibit
Collection & Library
Going live in 2016! The Museum’s Collection will be an online searchable database in 2016.
Rights and Reproduction
If you are seeking reproductions of images from the collections of Fraunces Tavern Museum for personal use, filming and those needing permission for limited scholarly or commercial use in any medium you must submit an Image Reproduction Contract.
All reproduction, public display, or distribution of an image from the Museum’s collection from any copy format (digital or print) via any medium requires the permission of the Museum. The Museum determines and collects a permission fee for such uses and provides high-resolution digital files for reproduction purposes. Fees will vary depending on the specifics of each request.