Washington: The Myths and the Man

October 06, 2022 - January 29, 2023

Exhibit Details

Washington: The Myths and the Man

October 6 – January 29, 2022

Washington: The Myths and the Man is organized by the Virginia Museum of History & Culture & Presented in The United Company/LeGard Gallery at William King Museum of Art

 

As commander-in-chief, George Washington led the Continental Army to victory. As president of the Constitutional Convention, he helped forge the independent states into a nation. As the first President of the United States, he established precedents that continue to define that office. 

 

After his death in 1799, Washington was held “above the clouds,” to paraphrase Mason Locke Weems, the general’s most popular biographer. The glorification of Washington continued for more than a century, culminating in the romanticized and popular history paintings of the Philadelphia artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930). These canvases present a remarkably appealing and virtuous figure, but provide limited reliable information about the “Father of our Country.” 

 

On loan from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, Washington: The Myths and the Man, coming to William King Museum of Art October 6, 2022 – January 29, 2023, will explore who George Washington was behind the screen of his renown. “Lighthorse Harry” Lee eulogized that Washington was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen. . . . The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues.” This exhibition, featuring 13 original paintings by Ferris along with 17 historical records, focuses on Washington’s private life at Mount Vernon and reveals what motivated him to become a public servant.

 

Learn more about the exhibition by calling (276) 628-5005 ext. 107.

 

TOURS AT TWO

Enjoy light refreshments and a curator or staff-led tour of Washington: The Myths and the ManSunday January 29, 2023 at 2:00PM. Register by email at ejordan@wkmuseum.org.

 

Washington: The Myths and the Man is organized by the Virginia Museum of History & Culture and is part of the McGlothlin exhibition series at William King Museum of Art.