PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- George Washington's war tent has been the centerpiece of the Museum of the American Revolution since it opened its doors in 2017.
"That tent is such a symbol of American history," says Matthew Skic, Curator of Exhibitions.
"And as we say it, the fragile American experiment."
Now, the museum's latest exhibition, Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington's Tent, tells the story of the tent's nearly 250-year journey.
It includes about 100 works of art, documents and artifacts, including the actual bed that Washington slept on inside of his tent.
Over 25 different public and private lenders contributed from their collections.
"This is sort of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see these items together, in one place," says Skic.
Washington's tent had both sleeping and office quarters.
The exhibition explores who may have been inside.
"Men like Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens who are helping Washington as aides to camp," says Skic.
William Lee is also highlighted. He was an enslaved man who served as Washington's personal servant.
Visitors will also learn about those who helped preserve the tent, including Martha Washington's grandson, George Washington Parke Custis.
Skic says Parke Custis was an advocate and a promoter of Washington's legacy as an American leader.
The family heirloom was then passed to Parke Custis' daughter, Mary Anna Custis, who married Robert E. Lee.
During the Civil War, an enslaved woman named Selina Gray saved the tent from pillaging soldiers at Arlington House.
"This nation has endured, just like the tent has endured," says Skic.
After the Civil War, the tent became a symbol of the fragile American experiment.
Now, it's the crown jewel of the museum's collection.
"We're carrying on the legacy of the American Revolution," says Skic.
Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington's Tent opens February 17 and runs through January 5, 2025.
101 South Third Street Philadelphia, PA 19106