Welcome to The Rooms at Kenmore, an exciting new project at the George Washington Foundation! As many of you know, Kenmore underwent a major restoration over the course of eight years. That landmark, nationally-recognized project returned
Kenmore to its original 18th century appearance and taught us all a great deal about the world of Fielding and Betty Lewis. But, the Foundation’s work on Kenmore is not done just yet. We still have a long way to go!
With the physical restoration of the building complete, GWF staff has now turned their attention to all the objects that once filled the rooms of this amazing house. In the life of an historic house museum, this phase is often called a “refurnishing”, but it is much more than simply placing furniture. The reason that historic house museums exist at all is to educate the public about what life was like in the past, by immersing our visitors in that time period. Therefore, we try to be as accurate as possible in recreating the interiors of these houses, and to illustrate not only what objects would have been here, but what those objects tell us about the Lewis family and their daily life.
The process by which a house museum is refurnished is almost as fascinating as the final result. It’s part detective work, part science
experiment, and a lot of research. Unfortunately, it is not fast, and Kenmore will not be refurnished overnight. But the process has begun, and this blog will serve to share all the details along the way. Each week, you can stop in and check on the latest happenings, acquisitions, additions and changes.
So, if you will excuse me for the moment, there is much to do! I hope you will enjoy what is sure to be an amazing ride, as we recreate The Rooms at Kenmore.
- Meghan C. Budinger, Curator