When the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association took possession of Mount Vernon in 1860, only a few original objects belonging to George and Martha Washington remained. Over the past century and a half, the Association has endeavored to acquire objects that belonged to the Washingtons and bring them home to Mount Vernon. The Curatorial Collection now contains more than 15,000 objects, including paintings, prints, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, metals, glass, textiles, tools, and personal accessories. The primary focus is objects owned by or related to George Washington and his family. The Association also collects period pieces similar to original Mount Vernon objects in order to create a richer representation of life on the estate in the 18th century. In recent years, the Association has begun to expand its collection to include objects related to George Washington’s military career, presidency, and legacy.
Mount Vernon regularly rotates objects and manuscripts in the permanent galleries of the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center. Learn more about some of the fascinating recent additions.
Learn more about Nelly's beloved harpsichord, paint box, and more from the Mount Vernon collection.
Aware that he would be closely scrutinized, Washington self-consciously chose clothing and household furnishings that would convey a particular message about his style and character.