The Speed Art Museums exhibit of the Declaration of Independence is the Stone Copy of the Kent Bicentennial Portfolio. A rare 1823 engraved facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, donated to Jefferson County in 1986 by William P. Mulloy & Sons, thanks to the generosity of Mayor Greg Fischer and the City of Louisville the document will be available for viewing to the public from May 26 through July 15, 2012.
Speed Director, Dr. Charles L. Venable, remarked, “We at the Museum are very excited to be able to exhibition this rare and important document along with a series of artworks crated to celebrate the American Bicentennial in 1976. By placing the Declaration of Independence among contemporary art I hope visitors will think about the founding of our country and how documents like this are still the bedrock of our nation.”
The document is in good condition for its age. It has some water damage it seems, and there is some dark edging at the left bottom, where some of the signatures are, making them hard to read. There are also dark marking in various other places, however it seems it has been well cared for and preserved.
The Declaration of Independence is a national icon. Drafted by a young Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the text eloquently and succinctly outlined the colonies’ grievances with the British crown and declared our nation’s independence. Following ratification of the Declaration, Congress ordered an “engrossed” or final version of the document be produced on vellum and signed by all its members, which is now housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.
Museum hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (open late); Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Galleries are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
General admission to the Museum is $10, free for members.