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tv   The Presidency George Washingtons Beds  CSPAN  December 25, 2017 12:55am-1:43am EST

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[applause] >> of next, natalie larson describes how various beds owned by george washington at his mountvernon home or at -- vernon home reflected his social standing and wealth. three, beds were luxury item. even the wealthiest americans had to contend with various discomforts, including bedbugs. this was part of the mount symposium.e odeon -- it is 45 minutes. >> good afternoon. i am associate curator here at george washington's mouth german -- george washington's mount vernon. natalie larson is the unsung hero of american house museum
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and of mount vernon particular. she is responsible for authentically re-creating all the beds, curtains, and household textiles to make mount vernon believable as a home. is widely recognized as the leading american expert on furnishing textiles of the 18th and 19th century. career as an archaeologist, deeply interest -- interestedood in understanding how people lived in the past and how they lived with an express itself through their material possessions. over the past 30 years, natalie has taken that approach above ground by studying and documenting surviving textiles to create them for use in historic house museum spirit she began as an archaeological draftsman in colonial
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williamsburg. everyfurbished nearly exhibition building, including the most recent restorations of the peyton randolph house in governor's palace. since leaving williamsburg, natalie has worked for more than 80 museums in public sites. andhe first as boston natchez, mississippi. she is the go to textile expert for what i consider the three most important houses in america -- mount vernon, monticello, and the white house. natalie is an extraordinary mentor to curators around the country. she selflessly provides insights from her years of study. before i leave this podium, i would like to introduce you to her latest project from mount vernon, the blue bedchamber. over the past year, natalie re-created george and martha washington's long-lost blue bed
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from scratch in consultation with amanda isaac. using the surviving invoice and replicating bits and pieces of the period, natalie carefully assembled the parts that makes the bed that we believe the washingtons would recognize. i think we can all agree that the result is nothing short of spectacular. in the past week, natalie confided to me that one of her career goals is to see all of the man should bedchamber is restored. so far, she has re-created for beds for us, but there are three left to go. in the coming years, we hope to make natalie's vision a reality. i hope you keep this lecture and natalie's work in mind as we seek support for these projects. without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, natalie larson. [applause]
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natalie: i think we will have to put adam on the family payroll. [laughter] gosh. i aspire to live to maybe up to half of that. first, i want to thank adam for helping me though that -- the past couple of weeks pulling the slides that mount vernon has in the archives. i also want to thank amanda isaac, who let me read her account book report here on file. also to susan scholer, who has a deep and abiding interest in everything textile. and when i first came here, there was a tour of america's favorite house. the study of furnishing textiles
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is important to historians because it provides a window into the choices we make to make our living spaces not just attractive, but more comfortable. not everyone had these choices to make.
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