As construction of the Washington house at George Washington’s Ferry Farm nears completion, we want to share the many years of archaeology, historical research, scientific investigation, skilled craftsmanship, and hard work that made building this reconstruction possible. Next month, The George Washington Foundation will present a lecture series titled George Washington: Boy Before Legend – Introducing the New Ferry Farm over three consecutive Tuesdays.
First, on Tuesday, September 5, Dave Muraca, archaeologist and the Foundation’s vice president of museum content, will present “Building George’s House,” his account of the last eighteen months as Ferry Farm witnessed the careful reconstruction of the Washington House using many traditional techniques. Dave’s talk will review the archaeology that made our replica possible and recount the work of the skilled craftsmen building George’s house.
Second, on Tuesday, September 12, archaeologist and artifacts analysts Laura Galke will present “The Mother of the Father of Our Country.” Laura’s lecture will examine how historical documents and newly-unearthed artifacts indicate that Mary Washington, George’s mother, faced challenges, governed her home, and managed the family’s plantations with a skill and determination that recent biographers have not appreciated. Laura will also discuss how the Washingtons’ investments in attire, furnishings, and landscape modification reflected their strategy for overcoming setbacks and for exhibiting British colonial refinement.
Finally, on Tuesday, September 19, Meghan Budinger, director of curatorial operations, will survey how we plan to furnish the reconstructed Washington house in “The Rooms at Ferry Farm.” In recent years, accuracy in historic house museums has become a primary focus of the curator’s presentation to the public. How we know what we know about the past has become almost as interesting as the objects we curate. As such, curators are not only decorative arts scholars, but have adopted skills from genealogists, architectural historians, material cultural experts, scientists, and even investigative reporters. Meghan will discuss how the Washington house and the effort to accurately furnish its rooms is a prime example of the synthesis of all of these vocations.
Each lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. and admission is free. The lectures will take place at Central Rappahannock Regional Library Headquarters, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401. For more information, call 540-370-0732 ext. 24 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, in October, celebrate the construction of the Washington house at a special ribbon-cutting event at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. More details soon!
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