Exhibition Spaces

Note: No food, beverage, or photography is permitted in our theater or exhibition spaces.

MAIN EXHIBITION

The Center’s main exhibition includes three signature attractions: Freedom Rising in the Kimmel Theater, The Story of We the People in the Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibition Hall, and Signers’ Hall.

Freedom Rising is a multimedia theatrical production with 360-degree projection, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and a live actor who narrates the American quest for freedom. Guests will be inspired by this stirring, 17-minute journey through the extraordinary story of “We the People.”

The Story of We the People is a dynamic, interactive exhibition that illuminates America’s constitutional history through innovative exhibits, films and photographs, rare artifacts, and hands-on activities led by our education staff.

Signers’ Hall is one of the Center’s most popular and iconic attractions, where you can sign the Constitution alongside 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers.

Capacity

  • 325 in Freedom Rising
  • 400 in The Story of We the People

FEATURE EXHIBITIONS

Constituting Liberty: from the Declaration to the Bill of Rights, in the NEW George H.W. Bush Gallery
December 15, 2014 - 2017

Experience America’s founding documents up close! The National Constitution Center is proud to display one of the 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights.. The Museum of We the People is the the first institution in Pennsylvania to exhibit this historic document to the general public. It has been preserved as part of The New York Public Library's renowned research collection for over 100 years.
The Bill of Rights is displayed alongside a first edition Stone Engraving of the Declaration of Independence and a rare copy of the first public printing of the U.S. Constitution in the brand new George H.W. Bush Gallery.

 

Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello
Now through January 4, 2015

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” –Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776
Thomas Jefferson helped create a new nation based on individual freedom and self-government—yet he remained a slaveholder throughout his life. This powerful, revealing, and deeply personal exhibition follows the stories of six slave families who lived and worked at Jefferson’s plantation— the Fossett, Granger, Gillette, Hemings, Hern, and Hubbard families—and their descendants who fought for justice and helped bring to light their ancestors’ lives and values.
Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello features more than 280 artifacts that represent each family’s trade as well as personal items of Jefferson’s including a walking stick, chess set, books, spectacles, and replica of the portable desk used to draft the Declaration of Independence. Explore the story of slavery in early U.S. history while discovering the struggle and the self-determination at the heart of America’s founding. Leave being inspired to discover your own family heritage and history.

Exhibition highlights include:

  •     Thomas Jefferson’s own possessions including his inkwell in the shape of Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire; his silver eyeglasses, made in Philadelphia in 1806; and his whalebone, ivory, and gold walking stick
  •     Numerous archaeologically recovered items that offer a window into life on Mulberry Row, where Monticello slaves lived and worked: rare coins, tools, ceramics and tableware, jewelry, shoe and clothing buckles, combs, and toothbrushes
  •     Hands-on activities and immersive environments including the “joinery,” a woodworking and furniture-making shop, where you can try your hand at using mortise and tenon joints
  •     A chance to learn about the Hemings, Gillette, Granger, Hern, and Hubbard families—who lived in slavery at Monticello for three or more generations—through excavated artifacts, oral histories, and video interviews with their descendants, many of whom fought for justice and helped bring to light their ancestors’ lives and values

This exhibition is presented by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture. All objects in this exhibition are from the collection of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, unless otherwise noted.
Additional support for the National Constitution Center’s presentation of this exhibition was provided by a grant from the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.