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October 29, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT: Nick Massella
(202) 994-3087; massella@gwu.edu
Adela de la Torre
(202) 994-6424; adelita@gwu.edu

HISTORIC GEORGE WASHINGTON ART AND ARTIFACTS ON DISPLAY AT GW FOR INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT STEVEN KNAPP

Exhibits Feature Gilbert Stuart Portrait Through Dec. 14; George Washington's Original Will Nov. 13 - 16; and Washington's Inaugural Bible Nov. 16

WASHINGTON - George Washington's Inaugural Bible, two pages from his Last Will and Testament, and an original Gilbert Stuart portrait of the Father of our Country will all be on display as The George Washington University commemorates its namesake and welcomes GW's 16th president, Steven Knapp.

From Oct. 18 - Dec. 14, GW's Luther W. Brady Art Gallery presents Gilbert Stuart's Monro-Lenox Portrait of George Washington in honor of the inauguration of President Knapp. The painting is part of an exhibition titled "Where There's a Will, There's a Way."  Two pages from George Washington's original will, in which he shares his vision for a national university in the District of Columbia, will be part of the exhibit Nov. 13 - 16, 2007, the week of Knapp's inauguration. The will is on loan to the university from the Fairfax Circuit Court.  On the day of the inauguration, Friday, November 16, the Washington Bible, used in the ceremony during which President George Washington took his first oath of office on April 30, 1789, will be on display in the Charles E. Smith Center.

The Gilbert Stuart painting is a full-length, life-size portrait of the nation's first president purchased by the university in 1949.  Stirring considerable interest within the art market, it was the first portrait of Washington by Stuart to come on the auction block in many years. From 1950 to 1973, the painting was hung in the main reading room of the GW Library, then located at 2023 G St. The last time the painting was shown publicly was when it was featured in the 1999 exhibition George Washington: Architect at the Octagon Museum.  Also on display are a series of prints illustrating scenes of Washington's life as well as a collaborative exhibit with the GW Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Two pages of the will in which Washington outlined his bequest of shares of stock in the Potomac Company for the formation of a university in the nation's capital, will be on display in the gallery Nov. 13 - 16.  While the Potomac Company ceased operations and Washington's stock became worthless, his desire for a university came to fruition in 1821 when the Rev. Luther Rice founded and the U.S. Congress chartered Columbian College. 

The George Washington Bible, which visitors can view following the inaugural ceremony in the Charles E. Smith Center Nov. 16, also was used in the inauguration of President George Herbert Walker Bush.  The Bible will be provided as a courtesy of the owners, St. John's Lodge No. 1, A.Y.M. (Free and Accepted Masons) of New York City.

The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery is the professional showcase for art at GW.  Brady (B.A. '46, M.D. '48), the gallery's namesake and benefactor, is a world-renowned oncologist who earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the university. He also received the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from GW in May 2004 and has served as a member of the university's Board of Trustees.  Located on the 2nd floor of the Media and Public Affairs Building at 805 21st St., NW, Washington, D.C., the exhibit is free and open to the public between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays.

For more information on GW's Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, call (202) 994-1525 or visit http://www.gwu.edu/~bradyart.
The George Washington University will celebrate the inauguration of Steven Knapp as GW's 16th president Nov. 12 to Nov. 16.
The week-long series of events will celebrate GW history and its vision, culminating in the inauguration on Nov. 16.  For more information, please visit http://inauguration.gwu.edu or call the inaugural office at (202) 994-1600.
For more news about GW, visit the GW News Center at www.gwnewscenter.org.

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