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Welcome to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture

There’s a celebratory air in Baltimore this summer. Two hundred years ago, an African American girl made history - literally. She was an indentured servant in Mary Pickersgill’s household. Pickersgill is credited with sewing the Star-Spangled Banner. Less known is that Grace Wisher, at just thirteen years old, also helped make the flag that would become a national icon. The emblem went on to fly over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem. It’s another testament to the deeply rooted contributions of African Americans to the very core of this country. This summer, the nation celebrates both the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner as well as our national anthem.

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Current Exhibitions

For Whom It Stands

On view May 17, 2014 to February 28, 2015

While many Americans learned that Betsy Ross was the maker of the nation’s first flag in the 1770s, that portion of flag history continues to be debated due to lack of substantive documentation. In Maryland, we know that during the War of 1812 flag maker Mary Pickersgill sewed the original Star-Spangled Banner in a house on the same city block as the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Before becoming a national icon, the flag was worked on also by Grace Wisher, a young African American indentured servant in Pickersgill’s household. Wisher’s story is little known. This forthcoming exhibition from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum highlights Wisher’s contribution as it investigates the broader history and representation of the United States flag as an icon of our nation and its people.

TeKeyia and David by Sheila Pree Bright

 

 

For Whom It Stands, TOO

On view July 1, 2014 to September 14, 2014

This exhibition of flag-related artwork is the result of an open call held by the museum. Submissions came from across the country. Selected works are included in For Whom It Stands, and in this companion exhibition. The paintings, photographs, and 3-D works express hope and optimism towards our country, as well as critique. For Whom It Stands, TOO will be on view at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum, 844 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

Together We Stand by Ann Marie Williams

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