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New State Museum Exhibit Tells Story of the Commonwealth

October 29, 2015

Filed under Exhibit Opening, Exhibits, Pennsylvania Icons, Press Releases

Pennsylvania Icons - The iconic products wall

Pennsylvania Icons showcases a broad collection of Pennsylvania products, extending from Hershey Kisses to Martin Guitar. This exhibit opens to the public on Nov. 8, 2015.

A new exhibit featuring a diverse array of artifacts from the collections of historic sites and museums within the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will open this fall at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania Icons” tells the story of the commonwealth, its people and the role they played in shaping the nation. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, November 8, at The State Museum. Admission to the museum is free that day.

This exhibit will open on the First Floor of the museum in the gallery previously occupied by the “Fine Art of Giving” exhibit, which closed July 29, 2015.

The State Museum is home to the largest Pennsylvania history collection in the world. In the past, only a small percentage of the museum’s 5 million objects have been on display at any given time. However, thanks to a recent initiative known among staff as the “Get-the-Stuff-Out Campaign,” more of the artifacts are now on exhibit. “Pennsylvania Icons” comes as the result of this effort.

“Pennsylvania Icons” tells the stories of artifacts from the state’s lumber, iron, steel, coal and oil industries, as well as the importance of railroading across the commonwealth.

Visitors will see artifacts related to Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn, as well as a large display of 18th-century Pennsylvania German decorative arts including ornately decorated fraktur, pottery and furniture. Art work from Pennsylvania artists ranging from Charles Willson Peale to Andy Warhol will also be on display.

In addition, a flag which crossed the Delaware River with Gen. George Washington in 1776 and was carried by Pennsylvania’s First Continental Regiment during the Revolutionary War will command the attention of each guest.

Delving deeper into the commonwealth’s past, “Pennsylvania Icons” will showcase a variety of Native American artifacts, including 1,000-year-old projectile points.

Rounding out this landmark exhibit will be a broad collection of Pennsylvania products extending from Hershey Kisses to Martin Guitar.

Many of the artifacts featured in the exhibit have been shared with the public through the museum’s Pennsylvania Treasures” initiative. These objects and their stories can be found at www.statemuseumpa.org/news.

MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

Editors Note: Members of the media wanting a preview of the opening are encouraged to tour “Pennsylvania Icons” on Monday, November 2 and Tuesday, November 3. Please contact Howard Pollman, PHMC’s director of external affairs, at 717-705-8639 or hpollman@pa.gov.