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on the back: This Bust is from the living face / of Washington by Monseur[sic] Houdon / 1785 Permission was granted to Clark / Mills in 1849 by Col. Washington / at Mnt Vernon to make a coppy[sic] of the / original cast in Bronse[sic] / Clark Mills / Founder; in red paint inside cast: 3107 [1]

Inscription Notes

[1] Although permission to copy the Houdon bust at Mount Vernon was granted to Mills in 1849 by Col. John A. Washington, the bust could not have been cast prior to early 1850 because Mills had no foundry until then; see letter of 17 November 2010 from John P. Colletta to Emily Shapiro, Corcoran curator, in NGA curatorial files.


The artist; gift 1883 to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; acquired 2015 by the National Gallery of Art.

Exhibition History

Loan for display with permanent collection, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 1877-1883.
Past and Present: 250 Years of American Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 15 April - 15 September 1966, unpublished checklist.
Portraits in Sculpture, MDB Gallery for the Blind, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 1 April - 31 May 1968.
The Body Politic: Portraits of American Presidents, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 8 December 2004 - 6 March 2005, unpublished checklist.


Seymour, Charles. "Houdon's Washington at Mount Vernon Re-examined." Gazette des Beaux-Arts (1948): 150, fig. 11.

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