London Patriots: Transatlantic Politics, Material Culture, and the American Revolution


Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowships


History and Art History


Museum of the American Revolution


In the American revolutionary era, the lives of three artist-Patriots, each notable American firsts, overlapped in London: Prince Demah (first identifiable enslaved portraitist), Robert Edge Pine (founder of the first art museum), and Patience Wright (first sculptor). Neglected or erased, their histories counter popular misconceptions about a whitewashed founding era that have encouraged structural racism, sexism, and nativism. Partnering with one of our groundbreaking cultural institutions, the Museum of the American Revolution, this project highlights the pivotal contributions women, Black people, and immigrants made to an American Revolution that was a global civil war. Its public humanities projects include a monograph, museum exhibition, graphic novel, and material culture "vlog." Delaware’s Am Civ program, characterized by doing history through material culture, has long trained emerging PhDs to pursue diverse professional pathways in the public humanities. This project will reinvigorate the University of Delaware American Civilizations program’s career diversity and material culture training in exciting new ways through deepening our connections to a cultural institution that exemplifies using objects to bring cutting-edge scholarship to broad audiences.