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George Washington Is Here!

Apr 4, 2017 @ 9:00 am - Apr 7, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

The Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington, installed in the State House in 1818, returns to the State Capitol after a year-long absence. The portrait will be re-installed on April 4 in conjunction with the opening of a new exhibit, “George Washington is Here! Images of the Founding Father in the North Carolina State Capitol.” The exhibit featuring the Capitol’s five artworks associated with George Washington, opens April 7, and will remain up through September. Admission is free.

In 1816, the state of North Carolina commissioned an 8-foot by 12-foot copy of the iconic Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington to hang in the State House. The copy, painted by artist Thomas Sully, was rescued when the State House burned to the ground in 1831 and hung in the State Capitol from 1840 until March 2016. To protect the first major piece of public art purchased by the state, the portrait was removed from display while the Capitol underwent a complete window restoration.

In addition to the long-awaited return of the Washington portrait to the House Chamber, the exhibit will feature four other pieces of public art at the State Capitol. They are the Antonio Canova statue of George Washington in the rotunda, an Albert Newsman lithograph of a Leutze and Weisman print, a copy of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s statue of Washington, and a copy of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s bust of Washington.

Through the lens of the Capitol’s Washington artwork, the exhibit examines the historical context, symbolism and mythology of America’s first president.

For additional information about the Capitol or the exhibit, call (919) 733-4994. 

The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history, architecture and function of the 1840 building and Union Square. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. For additional information call, or visit www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol


Apr 4, 2017 @ 9:00 am
Apr 7, 2017 @ 5:00 pm