Changing Exhibits

Bannered Heroes: Celebrating Pennsylvania’s African American Veterans

Ground floor

Over the past two centuries, many African Americans have served Pennsylvania and the nation with distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces. This exhibit highlights twelve such individuals with ties to Pennsylvania, but it is intended as a tribute to all of the Commonwealth’s African American veterans. This display is presented by Beta Pi Boulé, the Harrisburg chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (the Boulé). On display starting Thursday, September 21, 2023.

Pennsylvania in Watercolor: Revisiting Nick Ruggieri’s Bicentennial Series

1st floor

During the early 1970s, Nick Ruggieri (1908-1996) traveled across the state to research and sketch landmarks for a series titled “Commemorative Portrait of Pennsylvania.” The Harrisburg Patriot-News had commissioned the series in anticipation of the nation’s bicentennial celebration in 1976. By the time it was completed, Ruggieri had generated over 100 paintings, including at least one for each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

This exhibit will display a selection of watercolors from this extensive collection. On display through June 16, 2024.

Game Changers:
Pennsylvania Women Who Made History

1st floor

This display celebrates women from across the state representing diverse fields including education, science, business, human rights advocacy, and the arts –and details the contributions they made as well as the challenges they faced in their lifetimes.

Benjamin Franklin & Pennsylvania:
300 Years

1st floor

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, but he called Pennsylvania home from the time of his arrival in 1723 at age 17 to his death in 1790 at 84. To help mark this anniversary, this display showcases a sampling of artifacts inspired by Franklin’s many innovations. On display through April 2024.


A Transportation Revolution

1st floor

Automobiles began appearing on Pennsylvania’s roads in the late 1800s, but the transition away from horses – the then-dominant mode of personal transport — did not happen quickly, or evenly. For more than a quarter century, cars shared the road with horse-drawn vehicles.

This display explores the transition from horse to automobile through the history of three vehicles from Pennsylvania’s last transportation revolution.