Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Heinz History Center is set open a new traveling exhibit focused on the life of the Nation’s first president. Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon, opens Friday and runs through mid July. History Center CEO Andy Masich says visitors will get to see forensic reconstructions of George Washington in three phases of his life; As a teenaged surveyor in what is now know as Western Pennsylvania, as a Revolutionary War hero atop his horse, and during his Presidential inauguration ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City. Nearly 100 objects from Washington’s life are spread over 10,000 square feet including an original set of Washington’s dentures, made of ivory, human teeth, and animal teeth. Masich says the dentures include a set of springs that forced the teeth open, “Washington had to clamp down just to keep his mouth shut.” The exhibition shows Washington in all phases of his life, including a more pastoral Washington, through five books from Washington’s personal library, complete with the signature of his ownership, that cover such topics as farming, botanical plants, and gristmills, and his family Bible. Among some of the larger items is a full-size replica of the Washington family pew from Pohick Church. Masich says it is fitting that the traveling exhibition opens in Pittsburgh given the amount of time Washington spent in the area and the roll he played in the region’s history. The exhibition will visit eight other cities after leaving Pittsburgh.