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Museum Collection Items That Are as American as Apple Pie

Much like the 1776 founding of the so-called United States, the definition of Americana has always been problematic, fraught with deeply-rooted histories concerning colonization, imperialism, and capitalism. At its core, the idea that certain art forms and cultural ephemera are considered representative of a singular American identity — whereas others are not — often erases the intersectional experiences and diversity of perspectives that actually comprise the country.

These questions of national heritage resurface every year on July 4, as communities around the country commemorate the US’s independence from England with star-spangled festivities in the form of parades, fireworks, and barbecues. For this year’s holiday, we rounded up some museum collection objects and artifacts that capture the quintessential American spirit, regardless of national allegiance and pride — and its many nuances and complexities.

Read on to see what Americana-core artifacts we’re focusing on this holiday.

art and education, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, education

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