In 2017, the Department of Historic Preservation and Collections carried out an exciting project to research, analyze, document, and restore the room at the top of the stairs to the second floor – known to the Washingtons in the 1790s as the Blue Room.

Biography of the Blue Room

Biography of the Blue Room

While the Blue Room was never the most important room inside George Washington's home, it still played an important role in the daily operations of Mount Vernon's busy household.

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Furnishings in the Room

Furnishings in the Room

The evidence suggests the Washingtons furnished it extensively, but not ostentatiously, for the comfort of their guests, gathering together a distinctive mix of furnishings. 

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Artwork in the Blue Room

Artwork in the Blue Room

The 1800 inventory taken after George Washington’s death names four prints that hung in the Blue Room. The prints, part of a collection of over 100 that Washington had amassed in Philadelphia, announced his emergence as a collector and a man of taste. 

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A "neat cut Cornish"

A "neat cut Cornish"

One of the Blue Room bed’s most distinctive features, and the most challenging to interpret, was the cloth-covered “neat cut Cornish” that crowned it all.

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Restoring George Washington's Blue Room

Learn more about the long, detailed but ultimately rewarding process of renovating the Blue Room in George Washington's Mansion.

A New Finial for an Old Mirror

A New Finial for an Old Mirror

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 it was missing its crowning feature.

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High Fashion

High Fashion

Washington’s papers confirmed that there was a major re-papering campaign throughout the Mansion in 1797, when the Washingtons returned from Philadelphia at the conclusion of his term as President.

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Object Installation

Object Installation

The Curatorial staff has extensively researched and selected all of the objects for exhibition. They also investigated the likely positioning of these furnishings in the room during the Washingtons’ time.

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A Sociable Set

A Sociable Set

While the original chairs for the Blue Room have not survived, analysis of the Washingtons’ purchasing history suggests the chairs were high-quality, but old-fashioned, English examples that had been moved into the chamber from the first-floor rooms.

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The Widow Custis' Inheritance in the Blue Room

The Widow Custis' Inheritance in the Blue Room

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.

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Video Updates

The Washingtons and the Blue Room

This room incorporates changes from at least three significant moments in the Washingtons' lives.

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