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Surveying George Washington

June 29 – September 30, 2013

Surveying George Washington

Crystal Bridges mounted the second of an ongoing series of exhibitions featuring historical documents pertaining to the Museum’s mission and collection. This exhibition focuses on George Washington, and features an assortment of documents written by Washington himself, or by contemporaries who knew him, on loan from the Harlan Crow Library in Dallas, TX. The aim is to provide a look at Washington that provides insight into his life as a real person, not just a historical figure.

The exhibition will feature documents spanning the breadth of Washington’s life, including, among others, a land survey prepared by Washington at age 19; a copy of the broadside recruiting poster mustering troops for what would become a regiment under Washington’s command during the French & Indian War; a hand-written letter to General John Cadwalader of the Pennsylvania militia, appealing to him for troops to continue the push against British outposts in New Jersey during the War for Independence; and a hand-written letter by Washington’s private secretary Tobias Lear, announcing Washington’s death in 1799. Also included is a first edition of George Washington’s Last Will and Testament, printed from the record of the County Court of Fairfax, 1800.

Surveying George Washington: The Early Years

Surveying George Washington: Washington the British Soldier

Surveying George Washington: Washington appointed American Leader

Surveying George Washington: Washington the American Soldier

Sponsored By

Chip and Susan Chambers, Randy and Valorie Lawson / Lawco Energy Group and Dennis and Cynthia Smiley. The exhibition is co-organized by the Harlan Crow Library and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.


Gilbert Stuart, George Washington, The Rawle-Carnill Portrait, 1798, oil on canvas.