top of page

Exhibits at HSP

Step into the past and explore the countless stories in our collection with curated exhibits at HSP. 

Exhibits are open to both researchers and the public. They can be viewed free of charge anytime during library open hours

These exhibits are part of our 200th Anniversary celebration. Learn more here.

Current Exhibit

“All View It As an Object of High Importance”: Banking in the Early Republic

On view April 16 2024 - May 31, 2024

In Collaboration with the Independence Historical Trust

“All View It As an Object of High Importance”: Banking in the Early Republic will highlight the development of the banking industry in America, from the American Revolution to the 1840s.  The battles over how to fund the War for Independence and early government initiative played out through the chartering of  national banks . This exhibit will highlight these documents through the collections from the Bank of North America,  and the papers of leaders involved in the First and Second Banks of the United States. 

birch first bank.jpg

Signature Lecture

Innovator Talk: Richard Vague

May 1, 2024

In partnership with the Independence Historical Trust, HSP hosted author Richard Vague as its 200th Anniversary signature talk for the theme Americans and Innovation: Science, Technology, and Enterprise. Mr. Vague, a businessperson, venture capitalist, and author, shared his research into the financial industry of early America. 

Upcoming Exhibit

Cartoons as Political Speech in Colonial and Contemporary America 

On view June 11, 2024 - August 2, 2024

This exhibition will debut on June 11 with a celebratory reception at which Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Signe Wilkinson will deliver a talk, providing an overview of her own career and the history of political cartooning.   

Organized by Dr. David R. Brigham, HSP’s Librarian and CEO, this exhibit highlights HSP’s strategic collecting theme, Pennsylvania: Crucible of the Nation, which traces the important role that the Commonwealth has played throughout American history in shaping our nation’s development. 

The Repeal, or the Funeral Procession of Miss Americ-Stamp.png

This exhibit touches on Philadelphia’s role in late colonial and Revolutionary politics, burgeoning publishing and print culture, and transatlantic commerce and communication.

Brigham says, “HSP’s collection of political cartoons is a visually rich and interesting record of the struggle to form the new nation, the emergence of partisan politics, and the dynamic role of Philadelphia at the end of the 18th century.  We are delighted that Signe Wilkinson has lent her original artwork to add a contemporary lens on the tradition of cartooning.”   

Signature Lecture

To mark its 200th Anniversary, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is delighted to host Pulitzer Prize - winning editorial cartoonist Signe Wilkinson. Ms. Wilkinson will deliver a talk entitled “Can She Say That? Signe Wilkinson Cartoons A Man’s World”, providing an overview of her own career and the history of political cartooning.  This event serves as the celebratory reception to debut the exhibit Cartoons as Political Speech in Colonial and Contemporary America

Can She Say That? Signe Wilkinson Cartoons a Man's World

June 11, 2024

6:30 PM l 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107

This display highlights the historic accomplishments and recent contributions of women who have worked in the public art field as artists, benefactors, and leaders. Exploring the Association for Public Art’s archival collection at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as well as contemporary materials housed at aPA, the exhibit provides insight into the long-lasting impact of women’s contributions to the ongoing public art landscape, both locally and nationally.

Past Exhibits

Public Art in Philadelphia: A Legacy Shaped By Women​

On view January 30, 2024 - March 15, 2024

In Collaboration with the Association for Public Art

Signature Lecture

In partnership with the Association for Public Art, HSP hosted Xenobia Bailey as its 200th Anniversary signature talk for the theme Soul of America: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts.  Ms. Bailey is a fiber-artist, crocheter, designer, researcher, and cultural activist. 

Artist Talk: Xenobia Bailey

March 13, 2024

bottom of page