The Many Faces of George Washington,” a national traveling exhibition that examines the real-life man behind the myth, opens at the Ingram Library of the University of West Georgia on Aug. 15. This exhibit explores the many different facets of Washington’s life, public service, and leadership. The exhibit closes on Sept. 23.
This panel exhibit examines Washington and his times through color graphics and photographs of iconic objects from the Mount Vernon collection, as well as figures of him in three stages of life that were developed for Mount Vernon through a cutting-edge forensic investigation.
The exhibition will also include a talk by John Ferling, UWG professor of history emeritus and an expert on the American Revolution. Ferling’s talk will be on Aug. 30 at 7:00 p.m. in Ingram Library. Ferling is the author of “The Ascent of George Washington,” “Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution” and “The First of Men: A Life of George Washington.” His latest book is “Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free."
In the exhibit, Washington’s life is chronicled in seven sections and includes information on the following: his Virginia childhood and desire to join the British navy at age 14, an eagerness for adventure thwarted by his mother; his bold, decisive risk-taking role in not just one war but two; his relinquishment of power at the end of the Revolutionary War.
Washington’s presidency is placed in context, showing how as the first president of a fragile new nation with an untried form of government, he brought wise decision making to the enormous challenges he faced. Washington received no formal education past the age of 14, yet he built a library to inform his leadership and character and to help shape his vision for the nation. Washington’s life at Mount Vernon is explored as well. The exhibit shows that just as he led the nation as a soldier and statesman, he also led it as an experimental farmer.
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York produced the exhibit. It is supported by a generous grant from the F.M. Kirby Foundation and sponsored locally by Ingram Library’s Penelope Melson Society.
There is no admission charged for the exhibit or exhibit talk. Parking on the UWG campus is unrestricted on Saturdays and Sundays. On the evening of the exhibit talk, special public parking is available at the Townsend Center, beginning at 6:00 p.m.