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For a limited time, view George Washington's Masonic apron in the Gilder Lehrman Gallery of the museum.

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Included with general admission

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Exhibit Details

George Washington was initiated “as an Entered Apprentice” at the Freemason Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1752. A year later, he became a Master Mason, the highest rank in the Fraternity of Freemasonry. Washington maintained his ties to the secret society throughout his life.

This Masonic apron was made in France and is believed to have been presented to George Washington at Mount Vernon in 1784 by the Marquis de Lafayette, a former general and close friend of Washington’s, who was also a Freemason. The apron features Masonic symbols, such as compasses and a square, together with the crossed flags of the United States and France, all exquisitely embroidered in silk and gold- and silver-wrapped threads with metallic sequins.

On view in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, Washington would have worn this apron when attending Masonic meetings. Thanks to a loan from the Brethren of Mt. Nebo Lodge #91 of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Mount Vernon has been able to display this special object on the national observance of George Washington’s birthday since 2011.

Exhibit Dates

Feb. 17-22, 2024

On display inside the Gilder Lehrman Gallery in the exhibition Mount Vernon: The Story of an American Icon through Feb. 22, 2024.

Buy Tickets

Included with general admission