Gilcrease Museum Portrays George Washington In New Tulsa Exhibit

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 5:28 pm
By: Emory Bryan

There's a new look at American's first president opening this weekend at Gilcrease Museum.

The exhibit includes dentures worn by George Washington. And they're not made of wood.

The dentures are the pop culture focal point of this new exhibit - but the rest of it deeper historical insight that until now could only be understood through a visit to Mount Vernon.

"When people want to learn about George Washington, they come to Mount Vernon, from all over the world," said Melissa Wood of the Mount Vernon Estate.

"We realize not everyone can get there, so we've brought the best of Mount Vernon, we can't bring the mansion, but we've taken these incredible objects and updated exhibits on the road."

Before Gilcrease, the George Washington exhibit was at the Reagan Presidential Library. It starts with Washington as a young man, a surveyor, with life-size models created by forensic scientists using everything that's known about Washington's physique. 

The exhibit takes visitors through a series of defining moments in Washington's life - including his time as commander in chief. It's designed to portray the real Washington - not the one understood through popular myths.

"The man on the dollar bill is chopping down the cherry tree and wearing the wooden dentures and throwing a dollar across the Potomac, and all of that is incorrect," Wood said.

What is true is that George Washington would not have been the man he was without the woman he married and without the trials of battle.

The exhibit details his skill as a pioneering farmer who went on to create Mount Vernon and became a President who should be remembered as more than the man on the dollar bill.