Skip to main content

Filming Rights

Filming, videotaping, recording or photographing at Mount Vernon is permitted only with advance approval from the Association. The Association requires at least four weeks to process media requests.

Written Request

The individual or company should contact the press office with their filming/photography request and submit the following written information:

  • A detailed description of the extent of the proposed photography, taping or filming, including anticipated equipment and where it will be aired/published.
  • The sponsor and/or producer of the project.
  • The treatment concept and/or script for the project.
  • The desired location(s) to be filmed/photographed.
  • The date of the desired on-site visit to Mount Vernon plus estimated time on the estate.
  • The names of requested individuals not affiliated with the Association to be interviewed at Mount Vernon (subject to approval).
  • A list of equipment that will be brought onto the Estate.
  • Company's certificate of insurance.

Commercial Use

As a general policy, the Association does not permit its name or any images of Mount Vernon, its grounds or collections to be used for commercial purposes or to promote a product or service in any medium. Any other use is not permitted without the express written permission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

Credit and Acknowledgment

The Association respectfully suggests the following acknowledgment for books, videos and movies:
_____________________ acknowledges the assistance of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, which owns and operates Mount Vernon.
For photographs, please provide identification using the following words: "George Washington's Mount Vernon."

Staff Interviews

The Association can provide professional spokespeople from its staff for interview purposes. Interview requests are subject to staff availability.  Contact the Director of Media Relations to schedule interviews with Mount Vernon staff members.

Location Fee

The Association reserves the right to require reimbursement of expenses for staff-time involved in the supervision of the film crew while on location (payable day of site visit to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association). Reimbursement will also include a location fee which will be agreed to in writing by both parties prior to the commencement of the project.

Aerial Photography

Aerial photography of Mount Vernon is rarely permitted because of the risk to the house and grounds. The Federal Aviation Administration has declared Mount Vernon a no-fly zone.

Image Requests

The Association owns a large collection of historic prints and engravings depicting events that occurred during Washington's life. This collection is available for photographic use, with prior approval and appropriate scheduling with the Association. For image requests involving a large number of images, a processing fee will be charged to the individual or organization.

Rights, Reproductions, and Requests

Visitor-Related Restrictions

It is the Association's policy that any filming or recording not disturb the visiting public's experience while at Mount Vernon. For this reason, the following restrictions apply:

  • Photography, filming or recording inside the Mansion is restricted while the estate is open to the public. Filming on the estate after-hours requires a filming fee to be charged.
  • Mount Vernon is open every day of the year on the following schedule:
    * November through February: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m
    * March through October: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Photography, filming or recording can occur elsewhere during hours of public visitation as long as it does not require clearing the grounds of visitors or closing outbuildings for more than a short period of time. This also needs to be approved in advance by the Director of Media Relations.
  • Vehicle traffic on the estate is not permitted.

Conservation Restrictions

Original Washington family objects, period pieces, and other objects in the collection are fragile and, in some cases, irreplaceable historical artifacts which are the responsibility of Mount Vernon’s Historic Preservation and Collections Department. In order to preserve these artifacts for future generations, the following restrictions apply:

  • Requests to film or photograph inside the Mansion in locations other than those regularly traveled by visitors (i.e., areas with carpeted runners) must be pre-approved by the Director of Media Relations and the Historic Preservation and Collections department.
  • Photographers and film crews will be monitored by a staff member from Mount Vernon’s media relations and/or Historic Preservation and Collections department at all times. Based on the number of people filming or photographing at a given time, and their proposed locations within the buildings, additional supervision may be required at the discretion of the Historic Preservation and Collections department.
  • Objects can only be touched or moved by a qualified member of the Association’s Historic Preservation and Collections department. Objects must never be used for sitting or holding equipment. Requests to rearrange or move furnishings and other objects must be made in advance, and evaluations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • All equipment, such as tripods or tracks, must use rubber tips or pads to prevent damage to floors. Equipment must be set up a reasonable distance from objects, walls, doors, and other interior architectural elements. The Historic Preservation and Collections department reserves the right to relocate or remove any objects which it deems to be in too close a proximity to lights and other equipment. A list of equipment must be provided to the Director of Media Relations in advance of filming on site.
  • Lighting requires advance approval the Association. Because strong lights emit heat that can be damaging to objects, those required for photography should be turned off when not in use. Ultraviolet light generated by some lighting devices can cause fading or darkening of textiles, works of art on paper, and other organic materials, and therefore, must not be aimed directly at these types of objects.
  • Objects on loan to Mount Vernon from other institutions or from private lenders may not be available for filming or photography.
  • Objects on display in the Museum must be filmed as installed, inside their exhibition cases. Due to environmental considerations, cases cannot be opened.
  • Objects on display in the Administration Buildings may also be filmed or photographed and are generally subject to the same policies for objects on display in the Mansion and Outbuildings.
  • Locations for filming objects in storage and the Library collections will be determined by the Historic Preservation and Collections department, depending on the availability of appropriate space. Due to access restrictions on storage areas, requests of this nature must be made in advance.
  • Under special circumstances, a work in the Library collection may be unframed for photography or filming. However, a fee may be charged for reframing the object following photography.
  • Requests to film in the conservation laboratory will be considered as long as objects undergoing treatment would not be placed at risk by the filming or photography.
  • Food, drink, and smoking are NOT permitted.

Electrical Power

Electrical power is available in the Mansion and at certain sites on the grounds. Please inquire about available amperage and location of electrical circuits, if needed. If not prearranged, lights cannot be used in the Mansion because of a fire detection system.


Photographers and technicians are to take full responsibility for all of their equipment.


Mount Vernon requests two copies of the completed project for its archives.

Legal Restrictions

The organization or individual conducting the filming, recording or photography must agree, in writing, to hold the Association harmless against any claims or expenses that result from their work at Mount Vernon. In addition, they must agree to assume financial responsibility for any damage to Association property caused by them or their agents. Prior to the visit, the organization must submit a certificate of insurance.

The organization or individual must agree, in writing, not to use the film, videotape, still photography or recording made at Mount Vernon for any purpose except that described at the time approval is sought. If other use is later contemplated, it will be permitted only with written approval from the Association.

The organization or individual must agree to hold the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association harmless against any claims or expenses that result from their work at Mount Vernon.

The Association will provide a standard agreement that outlines these legal restrictions. This signed agreement must be returned before approval for any project can be given. The Association requires at least two weeks prior to desired project date to process this paperwork.

All photography and filming is subject to approval by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.

The Association reserves the right to terminate production in the event that any member of the crew fails to abide by the conditions set forth by the Association. In such cases, the crew forfeits all fees.