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Mount Vernon welcomes gifts of objects that are appropriate for the collection and actively collects to enhance its holdings. The foremost collecting priority includes furnishings, personal objects, manuscripts, and books owned by George and Martha Washington. The second priority encompasses period objects similar to those that were at Mount Vernon during the Washingtons’ lifetimes, as well as archival materials of family members, visitors, and acquaintances. Mount Vernon also accepts commemorative items and other objects that are related to the Washingtons after their deaths, to George Washington’s legacy, and to the history of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to offer an object for the collection. Please be certain to send a good digital image, along with a description of the item, its history, and any other helpful background information.
We also welcome donations to our acquisition funds. Your contributions allow us to continue to acquire objects related to George and Martha Washington and to maintain the highest possible level of historical accuracy.
Mount Vernon recruits graduate students each year to assist with projects, both during the academic semesters and the summer months. Interns gain valuable practical experience in museum work, and often earn course credits toward their degrees. A donation of $3,500 provides a stipend for one student for a 10-week internship in the Collections Department. If you would like to make possible a memorable experience for a student – and help further Mount Vernon’s mission – please contact email@example.com.
The Collections Department always has several projects underway that would benefit from your support. These include special conservation initiatives as well as specific projects enhancing Mansion furnishings.
Recent projects have included:
Study and conservation of Mary Ball Washington’s Easy Chair
Attributed to Robert Walker
Virginia, ca. 1740-1760
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Ladies’ Association demonstrated its reverence for George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, by raising funds to purchase this easy chair with a history of ownership by her. In 2005, a special conservation project dramatically changed our understanding of this object. Careful research identified the original worsted wool upholstery, linen tape trim, and underlying foundation layers. As a result, visitors can now experience the chair’s dramatic original colors: a principal cloth of deep pink and mustard-colored damask outlined by blue-green trim.
Conservation courtesy of the Monica and Hermen Greenberg Foundation
The Restoration of Martha Washington’s Garret Bedchamber
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is committed to increasing the historical accuracy of the Mansion rooms to reflect recent scholarship. Research for the recent restoration of Martha Washington’s Garret Bedchamber led to a number of discoveries that necessitated significant changes in the appearance and furnishings of this room. The project prompted new acquisitions, loans, and historic textile reproductions, all aimed at providing Mount Vernon visitors with a better portrait of the life of a most remarkable 18th-century woman.
Conservation courtesy of Melinda and Paul Sullivan
If you are interested in contributing or would like more information on special projects, please firstname.lastname@example.org.