Power of Innovation: Patent Models from the United States of America

After a successful run at the Tsinghua University Art Museum, Hagley’s exhibition of nineteenth-century United States patent models went on display at the National Museum of China.

While at this esteemed institution on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the exhibition was viewed by more than two million visitors. People who follow Hagley probably noted that the National Museum of China was not part of the original exhibition plan. The exhibition at Tsinghua was so well received that the Chinese government requested an installation of the patent models go to its premier museum during June and July of 2018. “Power of Innovation: Patent Models from the United States of America” showcased remarkable stories of invention that chronicle the development of the U.S. patent and intellectual property system in the 1800s. The patent models in the exhibitions in China date from 1836 to 1890.

Hagley Executive Director David A. Cole spoke at the opening ceremony on May 30, 2018. During his remarks, he noted that “The exhibition is designed to inspire visitors by exploring the innovative thinking behind some of America’s greatest inventions and highlighting the importance of a robust intellectual property system.”     

The National Museum of China is on the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The museum’s mission is to provide education about the arts, history, and culture of China. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.


Hagley Museum and Library gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors of “Power of Innovation” for their leadership and support of this historic exhibition:

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor 

The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors 

The Anne Carter and Walter R. Robins, Jr. Foundation

The Elmon B. Duff Charitable Lead Annuity Trust 

The Peachtree House Foundation