If you are interested in the father of our country, you’re in luck: Three Arkansas museums are exhibiting various effects of George Washington, including Bibles, documents and portraits. For folks in Little Rock who have not made it to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, the exhibition at the Clinton Presidential Center has an added bonus: The 1797 Gilbert Stuart portrait of the president (the Constable Hamilton portrait), on loan from the museum.
Also in the Clinton exhibit on Washington are Washington’s personal copy of the Acts of Congress (1789) containing the U.S. Constitution and a draft of the Bill of Rights with Washington’s written notes, on loan from Mount Vernon; a letter Washington wrote on the Jay Treaty with Great Britain and one to Washington signed by Chief Justice of the United States John Jay, on loan from the National Archives. The “Tribute to George Washington” runs through July 12. Admission is $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17.
The Historic Arkansas Museum has Washington’s family Bible as part of its “Treasures of Arkansas Freemasons, 1838-2013” exhibition, which also goes down July 12. Admission is free.
Back at Crystal Bridges, the museum is showing documents written by Washington and his contemporaries on loan from the Harlan Crow Library in Dallas. They include a land survey prepared by Washington at age 19; a copy of the broadside recruiting poster for a regiment under Washington’s command during the French and Indian War; Washington’s letter to Pennsylvania militia Gen. John Cadwalader appealing to him for troops to continue the push against British outposts in New Jersey during the revolution; a letter announcing Washington’s death in 1799 and a first edition of Washington’s Last Will and Testament. “Surveying George Washington” opens tomorrow and runs through Sept. 30. Admission is free.