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National News / Entertainment

Thursday, 1 March, 2012 8:43 PM

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to "Discover the Real George Washington" through Exhibition from Mount Vernon

Exhibit runs from February 22 - May 18, 2012

Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

This photograph displays the exhibit which houses the only remaining full set of George Washington’s dentures.

 

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SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- Approximately 100 original objects associated with George Washington – including the only surviving complete set of his famous dentures – will be on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum when Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon opens on February 22, 2012. The exhibition, which runs through May 18, 2012, goes beyond the iconic image on the dollar bill to reveal the real George Washington as not only a general and president but as a young land surveyor, experimental farmer, and savvy entrepreneur. Washington’s views on religion and slavery, and the influence of his wife, Martha, are also explored in this exhibition which features life-size figures of Washington developed through a cutting-edge forensic investigation, engaging videos, original artifacts, intricate three-dimensional architectural models, and interactive displays. A dedicated web site (DiscoverGeorgeWashington.org) and extensive educational programming are designed to enhance the exhibition and visitor experience.

“Although over a million people come to walk in Washington’s footsteps at Mount Vernon each year, we know that not everyone will have a chance to visit his home,” said Jim Rees, executive director of Mount Vernon. “We wanted to bring the fascinating story of Washington’s life to people around the country by showing a wide variety of compelling personal belongings and some intriguing elements from our new Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.”

The exhibition is presented in 11 sections, ranging from Washington’s youth to his final days. In addition to Washington’s dentures, paintings, books, maps, and objects such as surveying equipment, Revolutionary War armaments, tools used by slaves, and presidential table settings are among the artifacts featured in the exhibition. Mrs. Washington is represented by original jewelry, pieces of her china, silver, and glassware, and reproductions of her gold wedding dress and purple satin slippers.

Three life-size models of George Washington were assembled from a two-year forensic study where computer scientists, art historians, 18th-century garment experts, and a forensic scientist used technology and research from primary sources to measure and analyze portraits, sculpture, and Washington’s dentures and clothing. The project employed proprietary age-progression and regression techniques to create three depictions of Washington as a teenaged surveyor, commander-in-chief atop a white horse, and as the first president taking the oath of office. These lifelike wax figures, with real human hair that was implanted one strand at a time, are embedded in realistic settings – one even with animation – that re-create scenes in the woodsy Ohio Valley territory, wintry Valley Forge, and on the balcony of Federal Hall.

The fascinating process of creating the figures is shown in a video by The History Channel, which also produced five other videos in the exhibition on religion, espionage, slavery, Washington’s dentures, and his state-of-the-art gristmill.

A full-size, functional replica of Washington’s pew at Pohick Church and detailed models of Fort Necessity and Washington’s Mansion and estate, gristmill, and innovative 16-sided treading barn bring large structures to the exhibition in a scalable manner, while interactive touch screens encourage interactivity.

Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon was organized by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. The exhibition was designed by MFM Design, Inc. and fabricated by Explus, Inc. The forensic figures of George Washington were created by StudioEIS.

About the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Located in Simi Valley, California the Library houses 63 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and over 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President. The Reagan Library is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Museum Admission Fees are as follows: $15.00 general admission, $12.00 for seniors 62 and over, $9.00 for children 11-17 and free for children 10 and under. For more information, please call (800) 410-8354. www.reaganlibrary.com

About Mount Vernon

Since 1860, over 80 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens the most popular historic home in America. Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the Estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.” Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853. A picturesque drive to the southern end of the scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway, Mount Vernon is located just 16 miles from the nation’s capital. www.MountVernon.org

About the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

The Donald W Reynolds foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded by the late media entrepreneur for whom it was named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, the Reynolds Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. For more information visit DWReynolds.org.

Source: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

 

 

Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Although this photo looks like a painting, it is actually three life-size models depicting the scene from when George Washington gave the oath of office. Forensics was used to get the models as life-like and exact as possible.

 

Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Martha Washington’s items are also on display, including a dress, pair of shoes, actual dinnerware they used and more.

 

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