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Washington: The Myths and the Man

Washington: The Myths and the Man is a touring exhibition organized by the Virginia Historical Society, traveling to venues beginning in late 2017.

Content: 13 framed original paintings; reproduction panels; 30 object labels; 8 text panels.

Size: Approximately 1,000 square feet

Rental period: 4 months

Display Period: 3 months

Rental Fee: $7,500 plus roundtrip shipping costs via fine arts carrier

Available Rental Periods: Venue slots being accepted beginning in November 2017

Requirements: Please send an AAM General Facility Report with all inquiries to rrose@vahistorical.org

Following his death in 1799, George Washington seemed “above the clouds,” to paraphrase the general’s most popular biographer, Mason Locke Weems. The glorification of Washington continued for more than a century, culminating in the romanticized and popular history paintings of the Philadelphia artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930). These canvases present a remarkably appealing and virtuous figure but provide limited reliable information about the “Father” of our country. This show presents 13 original paintings by Ferris along with 17 historical records that reveal facts about Washington’s actual life. These letters, surveys, maps, and farm records reintroduce the actual man.

“Lighthorse Harry” Lee famously eulogized that Washington was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen. . . . The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues.” This exhibit focuses on Washington’s private life at Mount Vernon to reveal what motivated Washington the public servant.

For more information call or write: 

Rebecca A. Rose, Registrar
Email: rrose@vahistorical.org
Telephone: 804-342-9679
Address: Virginia Historical Society
P.O. Box 7311, Richmond, VA 23221

The Call of the Sea, 1747 Enter Fullscreen More information
The Call of the Sea, 1747
The Call of the Sea, 1747, (Accession Number: 1996.49.1)
Survey for Richard Barnes for a tract of 400 acres in Culpeper County, George Washington, 1749 Enter Fullscreen More information
Survey for Richard Barnes for a tract of 400 acres in Culpeper County, George Washington, 1749
Survey for Richard Barnes for a tract of 400 acres in Culpeper County, George Washington, 1749 (Call Number: MSS 1 St 824a1)
Letter, George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, 29 May 1754 Enter Fullscreen More information
Letter, George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, 29 May 1754
Letter, George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, 29 May 1754 (Call Number: MSS 3 V8194 D6194a11)
The Courtship of Washington, 1758 Enter Fullscreen More information
The Courtship of Washington, 1758
The Courtship of Washington, 1758 (Accession Number: 1996.49.2)
Letterbook, George Washington to Bryan Fairfax, 20 July 1774 Enter Fullscreen More information
Letterbook, George Washington to Bryan Fairfax, 20 July 1774
Letterbook, George Washington to Bryan Fairfax, 20 July 1774 (Call Number: MSS 2W 277c3)
Letter, George Washington to John Parke Custis, 19 June 1775 Enter Fullscreen More information
Letter, George Washington to John Parke Custis, 19 June 1775
Letter, George Washington to John Parke Custis, 19 June 1775 (Call Number: MSS IL5114a2)
Washington’s Inauguration at Independence Hall, 1793 Enter Fullscreen More information
Washington’s Inauguration at Independence Hall, 1793
Washington’s Inauguration at Independence Hall, 1793 (Accession Number: 1996.49.3)
Page, George Washington’s Diary, 1790-91 Enter Fullscreen More information
Page, George Washington’s Diary, 1790-91
Page, George Washington’s Diary, 1790-91 (Call Number: MSS 5.1 W2773:1)
News from Mount Vernon, 1796 Enter Fullscreen More information
News from Mount Vernon, 1796
News from Mount Vernon, 1796 (Accession Number: 1996.49.10)
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798 Enter Fullscreen More information
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798 (Accession Number: 1996.49.11)
The Call of the Sea, 1747
The Call of the Sea, 1747
Survey for Richard Barnes for a tract of 400 acres in Culpeper County, George Washington, 1749
Survey for Richard Barnes for a tract of 4
Letter, George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, 29 May 1754
Letter, George Washington to Robert Dinwid
The Courtship of Washington, 1758
The Courtship of Washington, 1758
Letterbook, George Washington to Bryan Fairfax, 20 July 1774
Letterbook, George Washington to Bryan Fai
Letter, George Washington to John Parke Custis, 19 June 1775
Letter, George Washington to John Parke Cu
Washington’s Inauguration at Independence Hall, 1793
Washington’s Inauguration at Independence
Page, George Washington’s Diary, 1790-91
Page, George Washington’s Diary, 1790-91
News from Mount Vernon, 1796
News from Mount Vernon, 1796
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798

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