Facing Washington: From Gilbert Stuart to the Dollar Bill

Facing Washington: From Gilbert Stuart to the Dollar Bill

Susan P. Schoelwer

11.14.2018

Susan P. Schoelwer

Susan P. Schoelwer is the Robert H. Smith Senior Curator of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. She has served as Mount Vernon’s curator since 2010. In her capacity, she has overseen the refurbishment and reinterpretation of George Washington’s “New Room,” the reinstallation of the greenhouse slave quarter, and several special exhibitions in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.

Schoelwer is the editor of The General in the Garden: George Washington’s Landscape, a collection of essays on the landscape of Mount Vernon. Before becoming curator at Mount Vernon, Schoelwer headed the Connecticut Historical Society’s collections department.

Schoelwer holds a doctorate in American Studies from Yale University, a master of arts form the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and a bachelor of arts in History from the University of Notre Dame.

Join Susan P. Schoelwer, Robert H. Smith Senior Curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, fir a lecture exploring the tradition of Washington portraiture as it emerged and evolved in the work of artists including Gilbert Stuart, whose portrait of Washington resides in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. Throughout George Washington’s eight years as America’s first President, painters and sculptors struggled to craft an image suitable to the unprecedented role of a republican head of state. Discussing a variety of portraits created by Stuart and his contemporaries, discover how these artists facing Washington devised three basic strategies for representing this non-royal, elected, temporary, civilian head of state: the historic military commander, the contemporary civilian statesmen, and the timeless classical hero.