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Smithsonian adds 'Hamilton' costume to collection

The hit Broadway show "Hamilton" will have a permanent presence in the collection at the Smithsonian Institution. A costume from the musical will soon go on display at the National Museum of American History. (Photo: ABC7)

The hit Broadway show "Hamilton" will have a permanent presence in the collection at the Smithsonian Institution. A costume from the musical will soon go on display at the National Museum of American History.

Actress Morgan Marcell made her Broadway debut in “Hamilton’s” original cast.

“I'm so blessed and fortunate to be part of this particular family,” Marcell said.

But when she was cast, she never could have imagined the musical would become such a huge hit, win 11 Tony awards or that she'd represent the show at a costume donation event at the Smithsonian.

On Monday, the museum accepted into its collection an 18th-century style green silk suit worn by Lin-Manuel Miranda in his portrayal of Alexander Hamilton.

A mid-19th-century oil painting of Elizabeth or Eliza Hamilton was also donated to the museum.

In 1806, Mrs. Hamilton founded the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York. It’s still operating 200 years later, known today as Graham Windham.

“Eliza certainly was a woman ahead of her time… we like to call her America's first great female philanthropist,” said Graham Windham Board of Directors Chair Georgia Wall.

When the cast learned about this connection between this character in the show and the welfare organization she created, Marcell decided to co-found "The Eliza Project.” Marcell and several other cast members held workshops to bring music and the arts to the children and youth served by Graham Windham.

Marcell also directed a documentary about their work for The Eliza Project. She debuted the film at the museum event.

“I’m so grateful and so humble to be here and be part of this experience. And it really means a lot to me as an artist,” she said.

The museum will add the costume and the portrait to its Giving in America philanthropy display in March.

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