Current Exhibits

River Alive!

River Alive! is now open at Independence Seaport Museum.

Did you know that 15 million people drink water from the Delaware River? That’s 5% of the U.S. population!

Dive into all things water as you discover the wonders and challenges of our regional waterways. Want to know how the river connects the wilderness to the city? Play along on our high-tech River Continuum Wall for the answer. Ever seen a catfish up close? Now you can in our Fisharium. 

Swim on over to experience our newest exhibit and make sure to use #RiverAlive when sharing your visit on social media to connect with other visitors and the Museum. 

This exhibit is made possible by The William Penn Foundation.


O.T.W. - On The Water: The Schuylkill River

October 24, 2018 - September 2019

This project by by James Lancel McElhinney began as a series of conversations between artists, rowers and historians, about the Schuylkill River as a nexus of American art, science, literature and commerce. Celebrating the spirit of exploration and expeditionary journal-painting, this exhibition also presents historic images in conversation with contemporary River Artists. Patrick Connors, Tom Judd, Deirdre Murphy, Stacy Levy, Jacob Rivkin and Joseph Sweeney. Join McElhinney in welcoming us to rediscover Philadelphia’s Hidden River, perhaps with a sketchbook in hand, to discover its wonders anew.

To learn more about the artist, visit his website.

Keep up with the project by tuning in to the podcast, On The Water, for interviews between McElhinney and other artists here.


Patriots & Pirates

Discover the city of Philadelphia’s connection to the founding of the United States Navy. The permanent exhibition features curated objects never  or rarely  seen by the public, highlighting the little-told story of America’s conflict with pirates. At the center of Patriots & Pirates  is a full-size waterline model of Diligence of 1797. Climb aboard Schooner  Diligence, a stationary 102-foot vessel with masts soaring above a 62-foot deck, constructed by staff and volunteers from  Workshop on the Watera traditional boat shop located inside the Museum. Patriots & Pirates is a unique exhibition developed by Chief Curator Craig Bruns.


Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River

Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River features recently uncovered artifacts from the Museum's collection, gripping first-person accounts and interactive elements, providing visitors with opportunities for discovery and communication. Using four key moments in Philadelphia's history representing the themes of Enslavement, Emancipation, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights, Tides of Freedom urges visitors both to bear witness to a story central to Philadelphia and American history, and to think about the meaning of "freedom" both historically and in today's world. 


World War I: USS Olympia

Though most famous as Commodore Dewey's flagship in the Spanish-American War, Cruiser Olympia served military and humanitarian roles in the U.S. Navy into the 1920s. Explore Cruiser Olympia's contributions in four chapters in World War I: USS Olympia, a semi-permanent exhibit at Independence Seaport Museum. The exhibit features rare historical mementos from several of Olympia's crewmembers, highlighting their experiences and reactions to the war including photographs, an engraved trombone, a diary, and a single dried flower from the solemn transport of the Unknown Soldier home to America in 1921.