Museum To Open "Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy" Exhibit During NYC's Tartan Week

March 8, 2011

Museum To Open

Kristin Aguilera, Deputy Director
Museum of American Finance

New York, NY – On Tuesday, April 5, the Museum of American Finance will open “Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy,” a retrospective of Hamilton’s life that traces the extraordinary history of one of the nation’s most complex founding fathers. The exhibit, presented in conjunction with the American-Scottish Foundation, will coincide with the celebration of Tartan Week in New York City and will pay tribute to Hamilton’s Scottish ancestry.

Museum President David J. Cowen said he is excited that Alexander Hamilton, the country’s most important financial founding father, is being recognized as part of this city-wide celebration.

“Tartan Week has provided our Museum with a unique opportunity to bring together for the first time the American and Scottish descendants of Alexander Hamilton, who will be coming to view this exhibit and participate in the opening event on April 7,” said Cowen. “That will be an important moment in our Museum’s history.”

Beginning with Hamilton’s Scottish roots and his formative years in Nevis and St. Croix, the exhibit will chronicle Hamilton’s first years in America, his military career that readied him for politics and his role of founding father, as well as his numerous and varied contributions to the financial and government systems in the US. Although Hamilton was a true Renaissance man of his day, he is best known for his contributions in banking and finance. The exhibit strives to bring attention to the many facets of Hamilton’s contribution to the American founding era.

“Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” will feature objects and documents from the Museum’s collection, as well as artifacts from The New-York Historical Society, Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan Chase, the Hamilton family and other private collectors. Exhibit highlights include several legal and financial documents signed by Hamilton, his Society of the Cincinnati medal, an original copy of his obituary and historical replicas of the pistols used by Hamilton and Aaron Burr in the duel in which Hamilton was mortally wounded.

Museum Chairman Dr. Richard Sylla, professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, guest curated the exhibit, which was developed and designed by Becky Laughner, assistant director of exhibits and archives, and Maura Ferguson, assistant director of exhibits and education.

“Hamilton’s principal goals—US independence, a stronger government and economic modernization—are also his legacy,” said Sylla. “The exhibit will show that Hamilton, the subject of many stiff portraits and cold statues, was really quite a passionate soldier, statesman and financier.”

Exhibit Opening Event: All are welcome to attend a panel discussion on Alexander Hamilton followed by a reception and viewing of “Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” on Thursday, April 7, from 6 – 8 pm. The presentation, part of the Museum’s 2011 Henry Kaufman Financial History and Practices Lecture/Symposia Series, will feature Hamilton biographers and experts Richard Sylla, Richard Brookhiser and Thomas Fleming. Tickets cost $40 and include a one-year membership in the Museum. For information and reservations, please contact Tempris Small at 212-908-4110 or Working members of the press should contact Kristin Aguilera at 212-908-4695 or For more information on Tartan Week, visit or contact Camilla Hellman at 212-605-0338 or

“Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” will be on display through July 12, 2011. We wish to thank the following sponsors for their help and support in making this exhibit possible: Gander & White, the Scottish Government, International Beverage Group and the Downtown – Lower Manhattan Association.

About the Museum of American Finance
The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation’s only public museum dedicated to finance, entrepreneurship and the open market system. With its extensive collection of financial documents and objects, its seminars and educational programming, its publication and oral history program, the Museum portrays the breadth and richness of American financial history, achievement and practices. The Museum is located at 48 Wall Street, on the corner of William Street, and is open Tues–Sat, 10 am – 4 pm. For more information, visit or connect with the Museum on Facebook or Twitter.

About the American-Scottish Foundation
The American-Scottish Foundation® is dedicated to the strengthening of ties between individuals, institutions and businesses of Scotland and the United States. Founded in 1956 by Lord Malcolm Douglas Hamilton, the Foundation’s mission remains as it was then – a bridge between two great countries. The Foundation champions the extraordinary and creative relationship for mutual benefit, with an extensive program of projects and events. It is one of the founding partners in the New York Tartan Day Parade, and the Foundation held the first Scotland Week in New York in 1976.

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