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January 27, 2005

Jennifer Rosenthal: (202) 994-6424; 
Matt Lindsay: (202) 994-1423;
(202) 994-1525

FEB. 3 - MARCH 11, 2005


Enlightened Thinking, Lasting Appeal: Selections from The George Washington University Permanent Collection examines the ways 18th-century themes, imagery, and styles appeared in 19th-century art, fashion, and decorative arts.


Thursday, Feb. 3 - Friday, March 11, 2005
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


The George Washington University
Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, Media and Public Affairs Building 2nd floor
805 21st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
(Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro, Blue and Orange lines)


Free and open to the public


The Age of Enlightenment represents a critical time in American history when the country was established and the culture was formed. During the century that followed, the early days of our nation were glorified and romanticized. This exhibition examines how these interpretations continue to shape our understanding of the past. The works include pieces on loan from the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum as well as works from the GW Permanent Collection.

The exhibition is organized around three primary themes: fashion and style, mythmaking, and commemoration. To show the continued popularity of 18th century fashions into the next century, a wedding dress from 1889 based on the styles of the 1780s is included. The second section explores the development of myths surrounding prominent figures, most notably George Washington. The final theme of commemoration is evident both in celebrating anniversaries of significant dates such as American independence in 1776 and George Washington's birth in 1732, as well as by establishing place names in honor of famous people. The exhibition includes Henry Bacon's masterpiece, The Boston Boys and General Gage, 1775. This excellent example of historical genre painting was included in the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876 and has been in the University's collection since William Corcoran donated it in 1886.

During the 18th century, France both set artistic styles and represented the United States' first ally. In light of these longstanding alliances to France, this exhibition is tied in with Paris on the Potomac. From Valentine's Day through Memorial Day 2005, Washington, D.C., celebrates its longstanding ties to Paris with more than 80 French-themed exhibits, performances, walking tours, lavish restaurant experiences, and romantic hotel packages. For more information visit or call (800) 422-8644, ext. 1789.

The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, which opened in March 2001, is the professional showcase for art at GW. Luther W. 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 GW. 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.

For more information about the University Art Galleries, call (202) 994-1525 or visit
For more news about GW, visit the GW News Center at

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