In February 2023, the Museum of the American Revolution opened the acclaimed special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia. The exhibition introduced visitors to three generations of the family of James Forten (1766-1842), a free Black Revolutionary War veteran and sailmaker, as they battled slavery and defended freedom in the early United States. Matthew Skic, curator of exhibitions at the Museum of the American Revolution, will tell the story of the research behind Black Founders by highlighting the effort to bring together objects and documents relating to James Forten’s wartime experience as a teenaged sailor aboard the American privateer vessel Royal Louis and a prisoner of war held by the British, as well as the relationships he built with living descendants of James Forten around the United States in preparation for the exhibition. Image Credit: Collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
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About the Speaker
Matthew Skic is curator of exhibitions at the Museum of the American Revolution, having joined the curatorial staff in June 2016 after graduating from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware. Since the Museum of the American Revolution’s opening in 2017, he has curated multiple award-winning exhibitions, including Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia and Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier. Most recently, Matthew led the research and development team for the 2023 special exhibition, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia.