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First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington's Mount Vernon in the American Imagination

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780813939254
Author(s): Lydia Mattice Brandt
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Dimensions: 178 x 0 x 229 (w x l x h)
Pages: 288

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Description:
Over the past two hundred years, Americans have reproduced George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation house more often, and in a greater variety of media, than any of their country's other historic buildings. In this highly original new book, Lydia Mattice Brandt chronicles America's obsession with the first president's iconic home through advertising, prints, paintings, popular literature, and the full-scale replication of its architecture. Even before Washington's 1799 death, his house was an important symbol for the new nation. His countrymen used it to idealize the past as well as to evoke contemporary--and even divisive--political and social ideals. In the wake of the mid-nineteenth century's revival craze, Mount Vernon became an obvious choice for architects and patrons looking to reference the past through buildings in residential neighborhoods, at world's fairs, and along the commercial strip. The singularity of the building's trademark piazza and its connection to Washington made it immediately recognizable and easy to replicate.
As a myriad of Americans imitated the building's architecture, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association carefully interpreted and preserved its fabric. Purchasing the house in 1859 amid intense scrutiny, the organization safeguarded Washington's home and ensured its accessibility as the nation's leading historic house mus
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