George Washington: Perspectives on His Life and Legacy Offers Picture of Revolutionary War General and First President
Newburgh, N.Y. -- The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission today announced the opening of a new, nearly completely digital exhibit at George Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh. The exhibit, George Washington: Perspectives on His Life and Legacy, is the state park system’s first exhibit that is completely available in Spanish and English, and the first installed as part of the Our Whole History initiative to bring forward the under-told stories of all the people who lived at State Historic Sites.
"This innovative exhibit honors the legacy of this giant in American history and advances our mission to tell a more complete and nuanced version of our state and national history,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “New York State Parks is committed to the stewardship of Washington’s Headquarters, the first state historic site in the nation, while continuing to be innovative in bringing this important story to visitors.”
“An honest examination of our Founding Fathers is an important part of understanding the complete history of this Nation. The new exhibit at Washington’s Headquarters seeks to leave visitors with a better understanding of our First Founding Father and how his words and deeds remain relevant to our evolution as a country,” said PIPC Executive Director Joshua Laird. “The Palisades Commission is proud of its partnership with New York State Parks that supports the continued stewardship of this site and the sharing of its important history.”
The exhibit explores six aspects of Washington’s career and personal life: General; Politician; Celebrity; Roman Virtue; Slaveholder; and Private Citizen. By using quotes from Washington’s contemporaries to discuss how he was viewed at the time, and by exploring opposing viewpoints on Washington, the exhibit goals are:
- To expose visitors to new information about George Washington, encouraging visitors to reconsider their own views and assumptions about Washington.
- To inspire conversations that foster empathy and curiosity about the varied perspectives on Washington.
- To encourage visitors to see relevancy of this history to their own lives.
These goals align directly with State Parks’ Our Whole History initiative. Our Whole History’s approach is to provide multiple perspectives to create relevancy and meaning. This exhibit includes quotes from men, women, native peoples, enslaved peoples, people of African descent, Americans, French and British to highlight different aspects of Washington’s life, career, and behavior.
Research on the exhibit took place over the course of nearly three years and included review of every known document that George Washington wrote while he was at
Newburgh, as well as a significant body of things written to and about him, and a large body of the most recent published scholarship.
Other exhibits opening in 2022 as part of the Our Whole History initiative include Spero Meliora: Life in the Land of the Livingstons at Clermont State Historic Site in Germantown, and a comprehensive group of exhibits at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site in Yonkers.
In addition to George Washington: Perspectives on His Life and Legacy, Washington’s Headquarters offers other new exhibits to explore:
- The Preservation of Washington’s Headquarters examines the events and circumstances from which the Hasbrouck House, the longest of General Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War, became the first publicly owned historic site in the Nation in 1850.
- Junior Curator Project 2020 is a project with students from the Newburgh Free Academy. Students chose objects from our collection, and created new descriptions that are meaningful to them, hopefully making connections to a new audience of Museum visitors.
Washington’s Headquarters is open Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm, and Sunday, 1pm – 4pm through the Fall. Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is a registered National Historic Landmark. It is located at the corner of Liberty and Washington Streets within the city of Newburgh’s East End Historic District. The site is one of 35 historic sites within the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and is one of 28 facilities administered by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in New York and New Jersey. For further information contact: (845) 562-1195. For more information about New York State Parks, please visit our website at www.parks.ny.gov. For more information call 845-562-1195 or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/washingtonsheadquarters
Dan Keefenews@parks.ny.gov(518) 486-1868 |