Boston Museums Unveil Rare Artefacts & Drafts of the ‘King’s Speech’

Boston Museums

The drafts of King George VI’s famous war-time speech are among a treasure trove of rare artifacts, one-of-a-kind art works and ancient natural relics being exhibited in Boston’s museums this autumn and winter.

Famed for its own pivotal role in the American Revolution, America’s most historic city is also offering stories from different times and places.  Visitors fascinated by wartime history can see the British telegrams which instructed military intervention in the Second World War (75 years ago) for the first time, as well as international propaganda posters from the Great War displayed in commemoration of its centenary this year.

Alternatively, the lesser-known art of the Renaissance and a rare fossilized dinosaur are among other alternatives to be enjoyed alongside the much-loved stories of the Boston Tea Party — the incident which triggered the fight for America’s independence over 240 years ago — and Paul Revere’s midnight ride.. 

Museum of World War II – the King’s Speech and the first war-time telegrams
Boston is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of World War II memorabilia at the Museum of World War II, and a special exhibition this autumn commemorates the 75th anniversary of the war. The exhibition uniquely showcases drafts of King George VI’s speech which was delivered via live radio on 3 September 1939, announcing that Britain was at war with Germany. The importance of the speech, brought to light in recent years by the 2010 blockbuster movie The King’s Speech, was vital to the morale of the British public at a time of great uncertainty. Also on show is a telegram from the War Office (1 September 1939) warning British Forces to take precautions for the likelihood of war. This sits alongside another  significant telegram sent three days later, which instructed troops to “Commence Hostilities at once with Germany” — effectively signalling the start of the war for Britain. The exhibition is open until 29 November.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum – his family life and comic book ambitions
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum presents a number of exhibitions preserving the memory of the late President. Special exhibits this winter include Presidential Getaway: JFK on Cape Cod, which explores his family home and life in Cape Cod, alongside exclusive personal artifacts including a golf cart, golf clubs, a toy schooner, photographs and film footage. In contrast, Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy presents extraordinary comics produced by DC Comics (the publisher of Superman) in collaboration with JFK’s Council on Physical Fitness. The comics, which depict the President calling upon Superman to help inspire the nation to exercise and eat well, will be displayed in the exhibition until 20 March 2015

Museum of Fine Arts Boston – Great War propaganda posters and Hollywood glamour
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston offers two exciting exhibitions this winter. Over There! Posters from World War I (until 14 June 2015) commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Great War this year by showcasing 50 international war-time posters used to encourage civilians to enlist for the armed forces, conserve food or maintain the home front. In contrast, Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen presents designer gowns and jewellery from the 1930s and 1940s (until 8 March 2015), once worn by the sultry stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Museum of Science – a fossilised dinosaur 
One of the world’s largest science centres, the Museum of Science offers two new special temporary exhibitions which highlight some of the largest creatures ever to walk the earth. Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff explores the lives of the dinosaurs, uniquely presenting an incredible 65-million year old fossil of a large Triceratops Cliff (one of only four on display in the world). Alternatively, Animals Without Passports follows the annual journey of one of today’s giants —  the Humpback Whale — as it migrates from Massachusetts to the Caribbean, highlighting the hazards it faces en route and our role in protecting these creatures over 30 years since whaling was banned internationally.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – drawings of the Renaissance 
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, home to some of the region’s best historic artworks, presents a ground-breaking new exhibition — Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini: Sculptors' Drawings from Renaissance Italy, until 19 January 2015. Uniquely focusing on sketches instead of sculpture, the exhibition examines why some of the world’s most famous Renaissance artists took to drawing their own creations. Learn about the lives and ambitions of the Italian masters, and browse a collection of drawings — some of which have never been exhibited in the US before. 

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum – the start of the American Revolution
Exploring the history of this famous political protest, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum (located on the Congress Street Bridge) brings to life the historic event which would later escalate into the American Revolution. Take in historic artifacts, high-tech interactive exhibits, a multi-sensory documentary, authentically restored tea ships and live actors in costume as colonists. Visit this winter and throw tea overboard just as the ‘Sons of Liberty’ did on that fateful night of December 16, 1773.