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The Washington family enjoyed music throughout their life. While Washignton, himself, never played an instrument, the women in his life were accomplished musicians by the century's standards. On display for a limited time, enjoy the songbooks of early America and musical inspired curios.

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George Washington once confessed that he could not “raise a single note on any instrument,” but the women in his life were accomplished musicians. Martha Washington, along with her daughter Patsy and granddaughter Nelly, received musical training from an early age. For young women in wealthy families, skills such as music, dancing, and needlework signaled their elite status (since most in the 18th century lacked leisure time for such ornamental pursuits).

“Nothing is more agreeable, and ornamental, than good music…”

- –George Washington, 1777

Exhibit Details

Beginning July 24, 2019, visitors can examine the music books of Martha Washington and her daughter and granddaughter. Delicately decorated table ornaments inspired by music compliment the music collection on display. Although he may not have been musically-inclined himself, Washington was the head of a household where his wife, her two children, and her four grandchildren (two of whom were raised by the Washingtons) all studied music.

Exhibit Dates

On view July 24, 2019

Buy Tickets

Included with general admission