The Newly Restored Blue Room At Mount Vernon

The Newly Restored Blue Room At Mount Vernon


(acoustic guitar music) – Welcome to the newly restored
Blue Room at Mount Vernon. If you were a guest in Washington’s day, you might have had an
opportunity to stay in this room. It was one of the principal
guest bed chambers in the house. And it was located right
at the top of the stairs. As we approach the
refurnishing of this room, we really had a challenge. None of the original furnishings survived, so we had to comb back
through the documentary evidence to understand
what might have been here in the 1790s. One of the biggest clues
that helped us understand the furnishings in this
room was the room name. It was called the Blue Room in a 1796 memo and that name also appeared
in one of the inventories. That right there told us
that the dominant color in the room would of course be blue. And as was typical as was
customary at the time, that dominant color came from the textiles and the rest of the furnishings including the wall finishes would
have been coordinated with that as well. Many of the furnishings were actually ones that the Washingtons had
probably purchased earlier in their marriage, used in other rooms, so there’re period chairs representing a gothic style, a Recovo chair which is a popular style at the time. The bed was one that was acquired by the Washingtons in 1759. The dressing table and dressing glass are representing pieces
that Mrs. Washington is known to have brought to Mount Vernon from the Custis Estate as it’s detailed in those estate records. Other elements of the room
though were much newer. When the Washingtons returned in 1797, they updated the entire house. That included having wall paper. And so the wall paper here
represents a circa 1790s French style wall paper. Another important update at
that time were the prints, the fine art prints throughout the room. Washington had purchased
over 60 of these prints during the presidency and
he hangs four of them here. All of these different
elements added up to a very well furnished room in the 1790s. It wasn’t elaborate or ostentatious, but it was luxurious accommodations for the guests at the time. What’s interesting about
this room is it really showcases then in 1797 when
the Washingtons returned, they are very much looking
forward to life together and to many years together
in peace and happiness after all the many years
at the rigors of war and the toil of public service. (light music)

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