In celebration of the Broadway show, Hamilton, premiering in Philadelphia at the Forrest Theatre, PAFA presents an installation drawn from its permanent collection. Featuring two marble sculptures from the early 1800s of Alexander Hamilton, PAFA invites you to consider the myriad ways in which this prominent figure appears throughout our nation’s history.
Hamilton, an immigrant, and orphan born out of wedlock in the mid-1750s worked hard as a young man and rose to prominence as a crusader of democracy, eventually becoming a founding father and George Washington’s right-hand man. These nineteenth-century likenesses serve to historicize Hamilton and his legacy.
The musical’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, revolutionizes Hamilton’s story by transforming our understanding of the early American figure. Fusing hip-hop, R&B, and traditional show tunes, along with casting non-white actors in the roles of prominent colonial figures, his retelling of Hamilton’s life celebrates America’s multiracial immigrant stories. Like Miranda, PAFA works to recognize absent voices from the past and to present a platform for artistic stories that have not yet been fully told. Hamilton’s recent resurgence comes at an exciting cultural moment. The musical serves to reinvigorate interest in early American history, while also reclaiming this nation as one built by immigrants and reminding us that with hard work and a hunger for success, any dream is achievable.
What did you think of Alexander Hamilton before Miranda’s musical premiered in 2015? How has your perception of him changed? How is Hamilton represented in these marble renditions?
Hamilton ticketholders and Kimmel subscribers are eligible for free admission to PAFA on Sundays through November 17. Please present your ticket for free entry into the museum
Hamilton is playing now through November 17 at Forrest Theatre.