The estate now has an "Estate of Colours." This greatly pleases George and Martha, the latter affectionately known as "Patsy."
With all the fanfare surrounding the unveiling of a work of art, Mount Vernon Estate, Tuesday night, formally introduced its authorized palette of colors which will be exclusively manufactured and marketed by Duron Paint and Wallcoverings.
After more than three years of interviews and exploration, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, for the first time in its 150 year history, has granted the exclusive rights to produce and market 120 colors directly associated with the Estate or inspired by the plantation and its period artifacts.
"Our scientific discoveries, in combination with what we know from George Washington's many diaries and letters, reveal a more colorful and vibrant Mount Vernon than we imagined," Dennis Pogue, associate director of preservation, told the crowd assembled in Smith Auditorium for the presentation.
"Though our search for authenticity is never-ending, we believe now we can offer the public the opportunity to purchase authentic Mount Vernon estate colors for their own homes," Pogue said. The palette, named "Estate of Colours," includes 30 colors exactly as they appear in the mansion, plus 90 more inspired by the plantation and colonial period.
"Duron is privileged to hold this exclusive licensing agreement," said Gary Saiter, Duron's director of marketing and e-commerce. "We've been in business more than 50 years near Mount Vernon, and have been involved in many historic projects, including manufacturing paint especially for the White House."
BASED IN Beltsville, Md., Duron manufactures architectural and light industrial coatings as well as sells paints, sundries, and wallcoverings at more than 250 stores, service centers and 160 authorized distributors east of the Mississippi River.
"Right now we have the Mount Vernon collection in 34 stores between Richmond and the Washington area," Saiter explained. "We intend to expand that availability to Philadelphia and New York in the near future."
Each paint container will carry a Mount Vernon logo. "It is a product line that says Mount Vernon special colors," Saiter clarified. "We think it is particularly significant to introduce this at this time in our nation's history.
"Many visitors to the estate have asked if the colors in the mansion are available. This is our most exciting color palette to date."
Beginning 20 years ago, the Ladies' Association authorized the investigation of all the original colors and coverings, according to James Rees, executive director, Mount Vernon Estate. In some rooms, experts had to work their way through as many as 26 layers of paint to reach the original hues selected by Washington.
In addition to witnessing the curtain rise on the full palette, the more than 200 architects and designers were treated to a candlelight tour of the mansion and a fireworks display viewed from the mansion's piazza, overlooking the Potomac River. Prior to the pyrotechnics, "George" and his bride "Martha," whom he usually referred to as "Patsy," led the crowd in a special Madeira wine toast to Duron.
Additional information on the Estate of Colours collection is available at www.duron.com/mountvernon.