Mount Vernon is open daily. Learn about our policies for bags & face coverings

View a collection of trappings from George Washington's military uniform visible in Charles Willson Peale's 1772 portrait.

Special Exhibit Showing From

When Charles Willson Peale painted his portrait in 1772, George Washington sported a variety of accessories to indicate his military status. The sash across his chest, the sword at his side, the embellished cockade on his hat, and the silver gorget around his neck were all symbols of rank that any 18th-century viewer would recognize.

George Washington’s Military Sash

Made in England or America, ca. 1750–1775

In Peale’s 1772 portrait, George Washington wears a red officer’s sash—possibly this silk example, which descended in the family of Washington’s nephew. Made using a technique called “sprang weaving,” silk sashes had enormous strength and could be used as stretchers to carry wounded officers off the battlefield.

The original sash will only be on display from February 12 - May 10.

Gift of John Pierpont Morgan, Jr., 1924 [W-87] (Photo: Thalia Romero)

Gift of John Pierpont Morgan, Jr., 1924 [W-87] (Photo: Thalia Romero)

George Washington

Painted by Anson Dickinson after Charles Willson Peale, 1850

In 1830, Martha Washington’s grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, commissioned miniaturist Anson Dickinson to paint a copy of Charles Willson Peale’s 1772 portrait of George Washington. The miniature became the source for an engraving, which was sold for one dollar and widely marketed across the country as a memorial to Washington. The watercolor-on-ivory miniature in this case is a later copy by Dickinson of his 1830 original.

Gift of Elizabeth and Stanley DeForest Scott, 2013 [M-5334]  (Photo: Thalia Romero).

Gift of Elizabeth and Stanley DeForest Scott, 2013 [M-5334] (Photo: Thalia Romero).

Exhibit Details

Admission to the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center is included with general admission.

Exhibit Dates

On view through September 30, 2020.

Buy Tickets

Buy Tickets What to Do Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save