Celebrating a Summer of George Washington

Article excerpt

THE "Father of Our Country" led us to victory in the American Revolution, chaired the Constitutional Convention, and served as the nation's first president. This summer, visitors can uncover a fresh perspective on George Washington through the National Constitution Center's feature exhibition, "Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon."

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"George Washington built this country and what we stand for ... and this summer, he'll remind us again of who we are as a people and a nation," says David Eisner, president and CEO.

The exhibition provides a behind-the-scenes look at the man who was "First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Country men" through his achievements, legacies, family, intellectual pursuits, and entrepreneurial ventures. It is organized into 11 sections, each focusing on a specific aspect of Washington's life, including An Ambitious Youth; A Dauntless Warrior; A Troubled Slaveholder; Uneasy in the Mouth; and Beloved Hero. Nearly 100 objects from Mount Vernon's world-class collection, including full-scale figures of Washington, architectural models, decorative and fine art items, maps, manuscripts, and paintings reveal the personal side of Washington and uncover his roles as an entrepreneur, farmer, and businessman.

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Highlights include an original set of Washington's dentures; several original works of art, including Gilbert Stuart's classic Washington portrait; the Washington family Bible; and original pieces of Martha Washington's jewelry. There also are three full-size, life-like figures of Washington based on the latest forensic research--showing him as a teenaged, red-haired surveyor from Virginia just prior to the French and Indian War;, as a Revolutionary War hero atop his horse, Blueskin, in a snow-covered forest at Valley Forge; and during his presidential inauguration ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City. …