Celebrate Independence Day at WCMA

Installation view of the Declaration of Independence_x500

Photo by Arthur Evans

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), Chapin Library, and the Williamstown Theartre Festival (WTF) are pleased to present A Reading of the Founding Documents, an annual Williamstown tradition on July 4 at 1:30 p.m. on the lawn outside WCMA. Heather Lind (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”) and Finn Wittrock (Broadway’s Death of a Salesman), both currently featured in WTF’s World Premiere production of The Blue Deep, will read the Declaration of Independence followed by a reading of the British reply by comedian and WTF favorite Lewis Black, reprising his appearance from last year. The museum will be open during this special event from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Robert Volz, the Custodian of the Chapin Library, will be available in the Museum after the reading to explain and answer questions concerning the Founding Documents.  Admission is free and families are encouraged to attend.  The event will take place rain or shine, with a rain location inside the museum.

WCMA is the temporary home of Williams College’s collection of documents relating to the founding of the United States of America. Normally on display in the Chapin Rare Book Library, the collection includes extremely rare copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as important copies of the Articles of Confederation, the Bill of Rights, and The Federalist, among others. These documents will be on view at WCMA during the college’s renovation of the Chapin Library, scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014.

The Founding Documents are currently part of the exhibition Don’t Fence U.S. In: Crossing Boundaries in American Art, one of the five exhibitions included in WCMA’s reinstallation project Reflections on a Museum. Don’t Fence U.S. In explores the many ways that early American and modern art have emerged from the crossing of borders­­—whether physical, political, or aesthetic.

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