Lives Bound Together: Telling George Smith’s Story

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

by Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator The special exhibition Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon opened to the public on October 1, 2016. But visitors might not realize that there is always something new to see: because paper is very light-sensitive, curatorial staff change the documents on display twice a year. In September…

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Seasonal Changes in Mount Vernon's Mansion

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Walking through the Mansion feels like a snapshot into the daily life of the Washingtons. Mount Vernon's Collections team changes the setup in each room seasonally to recreate the way Mount Vernon's guests would have seen it in the 1790s. Earlier this month, the staff again changed the scenarios in the dining room, butler's pantry, kitchen, and slave…

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The Widow Custis' Inheritance in the Blue Room

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Among the mid-century (18th century that is) style furnishings that will make their appearance in the Blue Room is a mahogany bureau dressing table, a Richmond-made reproduction of a Williamsburg-made original that once seamlessly translated British style to the colonies. The original dressing table for the Blue Room has not been identified, but…

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Blue Room Object Installation Begins

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

If you visit Mount Vernon today, you will find the Blue Room door closed once again. Behind the door, Collections Management and Curatorial staff have begun the installation process of the room. This means that we are carefully moving in and arranging all of the objects which will furnish the newly restored room. The Curatorial staff have extensively…

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A Sociable Set

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Here’s a peek at what’s coming together in the Blue Room: one of six handsomely carved English rococo chairs, c. 1755-1765, dressed with a reproduction slip cover of “fashionable . . . blew and white” printed cotton. The beautifully preserved set represents the six mahogany chairs that stood in the Blue Room in 1799, as recorded on George Washington…

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Rising Again--A New Finial for an Old Mirror

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

By 1799, the contents of the Blue Room notably included “1 large looking glass.” To represent it, curators chose a period example typical of the large, pediment looking glasses available at the time. But as we discovered, it was missing its crowning feature. Overall, the looking glass was in relatively good condition with a long and storied history…

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A "neat cut Cornish"

Monday, August 21, 2017

As discussed last week, the reproduction bed for the Blue Room will be based on a “fashionable” blue-and-white draped bed ordered by the Washingtons in 1759. That bed no longer survives, but fortunately, the detailed descriptions do. One of the bed’s most distinctive features, and the most challenging to interpret, was the cloth-covered “neat cut Cornish…

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