Cover image for George Washington : a national treasure
George Washington : a national treasure
National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution)
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution ; Seattle, Wa. : In association with the University of Washington Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
103 pages : illustrations (some color), portraits (some color) ; 31 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N7628.W3 G46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



George Washington: A National Treasure celebrates our nation's permanent acquisition of Gilbert Stuart's magnificent "Landsdowne" portrait of George Washington. Commissioned For The Marquis of Lansdowne, a British supporter of American independence, The painting shows Washington in the last year of his presidency, 1796. Here is a George Washington For The ages, resolute in the face of the multiple crises of our nation's beginnings; grand in the tradition not of a king but of democracy's representative; civilian rather than military in his authority; and, above all, The embodiment of a nation both stable and free. Today the painting provides a way to think about a time when America's success was by no means certain, about a man whose traits of character became bound up with his nation's fate, and about the expectations for our nation's highest office - the presidency - at the very moment of its creation. Filled with symbols of Washington himself and of the new republic, The painting speaks to Americans today as much as it did in the late eighteenth century.
Lavishly illustrated in colour with details of the Lansdowne portrait itself, with other portraits of Washington - contemporary and modern - and with portraits of Washington's colleagues, The book is a treasure in and of itself. Essays reflect on how this remarkable painting explains the nature of Washington and his importance in the national psyche, discuss how Washington came to sit For The Lansdowne painting And The work's ownership throughout the years, and consider Gilbert Stuart's portraits of George Washington and their many copies. A chronology highlights Washington's life and times.
Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor at National Review and a columnist For The New York Observer. Margaret C. S. Christman is a historian at the National Portrait Gallery. Ellen G. Miles is curator of painting and sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery.

Author Notes


Table of Contents

Marc PachterSteven L. AndersonRichard BrookhiserFrederick S. VossMargaret C. S. ChristmanEllen G. Miles
Forewordp. 7
A Letter from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundationp. 11
George Washington: A National Treasurep. 13
Chronology of George Washington's Life and Timesp. 39
The Story of the Lansdowne Washingtonp. 42
Gilbert Stuart's Portraits of George Washingtonp. 77
Indexp. 102