The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia has named its longtime curator as the new CEO. Scott Stephenson — now the vice president of collections and exhibitions — will soon lead the museum that opened just last year.
Stephenson has been with the Museum of the American Revolution since 2007 when it was little more than an idea on paper and a warehouse full of artifacts. He oversaw the historic interpretation and creative design of the exhibitions that tell the story of not just a war against the British, but the ideological experiment of government by the people, for the people.
He was there under Bruce Cole, the CEO who tried to have the museum built in Valley Forge as the American Revolution Center. He was there under Michael Quinn, the CEO who pushed through the construction of the museum in downtown Philadelphia.
Stephenson, who will take the top spot Nov. 1, said the museum’s next phase will focus on changing the minds of the Americans people about the birth of their nation.
“Not just automatically think, ‘Oh, this is the story about a war, or it’s a story about guys in knee pants and wigs standing around looking at a piece of paper on a table,’ ” said Stephenson. “It’s about the change in status of people, from subject to citizen. It’s the story of transformation.”
Since it opened almost 18 months ago in Independence National Historic Park, the museum has attracted more than 500,000 visitors.