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When discussing Paul Revere, one may first voice how the Revolutionary War patriot was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

The famous opening lines, “Listen, my children, and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,” are taught to school-aged children around the country. But Revere was famous for so much more than his midnight ride, and thanks to the Concord Museum you can learn more about the hero.

A new ground-breaking exhibition by the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere and His Ride, features 200 objects that re-examine Revere’s life, to transform visitors’ understanding of the innovative businessman through an in-depth exploration of his accomplishments as a silversmith, printmaker, and pioneering copper manufacturer.

“What’s especially impressive is you have things like, literally, Revere’s hand-written deposition a few days after the ride and the battle,” said Concord Museum Executive Director Tom Putnam. “And you have Longfellow’s poem in his hand-writing. We’re kind of playing with the man and the myth, what really happened on April 19 and then how it was mythicized or romanticized related through poetry and art many years later.”

 

The exhibition opened Feb. 14 and draws upon AAS’s collection of books and rare prints, with additional loans from several institutions and private collections.

“I think one of the great appeals of this exhibition is pairing the historical events with the way they’ve been remembered,” Curator David Wood said.

The main exhibit, which opened in New York, was twice the size as the one in Concord, Putnam said. When it came to Massachusetts, the Worcester Art Museum showed interest, but neither had a gallery to fit the entire show.

“We got the historical parts,” Putnam said, “what happened on April 18-19, 1775, and then how it was recounted by Longfellow and (artist) N. C. Wyeth.”

The exhibition pieces come from Concord, New York, Houghton Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts Historical Society, among others.

The exhibition also features the Concord Museum’s extensive collection of objects connected to the events of 1775, including one of the famed lanterns ordered hung as a signal by Revere. The gallery also highlights his talents as a silversmith.

“This is the most extensive, surviving Revere tea service,” Wood said. “It’s dated 1792. The iconic American federal silver is Revere’s fluted teapot. There were about a dozen or so of these that survived.”

Other highlights of the exhibition in Concord is the 1922 oil painting, Paul Revere, by the famed American artist N. C. Wyeth, on loan from The Hill School, and new obelisk, a 9-foot re-creation of Paul Revere’s “A View of an Obelisk.” It's a replica of the obelisk erected on Boston Common in 1766.

“They were celebrating the end of the Stamp Act,” Putnam said of the obelisk. “This obelisk was at the center of it. But they had fireworks and candles, and at the end of the night it burned down. The only remaining piece for us to know what the design was, was a piece that Revere had engraved.”

History buffs have until June before the exhibition closes.