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The Historic Preservation and Collections team used updated paint analysis, careful study of the Washingtons’ papers, surviving original objects, and recent material culture scholarship to more accurately represent the appearance and social importance of the Yellow Room in 1799.

The curatorial restoration of the Yellow Room was a collaborative effort, in which Mount Vernon staff consulted with more than 40 museum curators, conservators, and professional craftsmen to accurately re-create the yellow damask bed and interpret the full body of evidence for this space.

Timeline of the Yellow Room

The valuation of the furnishings in George Washington’s inventory indicates that in 1799, Mount Vernon’s most valuable bed stood in the Yellow Room, suggesting the room’s stature as the best bedchamber in the Washingtons’ retirement years.

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Architecture of the Yellow Room

In preparation for the Yellow Room’s partial restoration, the Architecture team performed thorough research and preliminary physical investigation of the room’s architecture, including the ceiling, floors, windows, framing, and woodwork.

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Paint and Wallpaper

In the 18th century, rooms were typically named after the color of their textiles, and the wall finishes were chosen to complement these. The name indicates that yellow defined the room’s textiles and wall finishes.

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Artwork in the Yellow Room

The 1800 inventory taken after George Washington’s death names the four prints that were hung in the Yellow Room.

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Furnishings in the Yellow Room

Curators chose a combination of period and reproduction furnishings to represent the original pieces, as most remain unlocated, with the significant exception of surviving elements of the original bed.

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What’s in a Name?

The Yellow Room is one of the few rooms in the Mansion to be mentioned by name in multiple contexts during the 18th and early 19th centuries. By careful study of the Washingtons’ papers, the curatorial and preservation teams identified references to the room in diary entries, farm memos, wills, and inventories.

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